Avon, July 2004, 6.50, 272 pp.
The small Ohio town of Paradise is home to Josie Toadfern, owner of Toadfern's Laundromat and an expert in removing stains. Paradise is a small town where the leading family, the Breitenstraters own the town's main business, the Breitenstrater Pie Factory. Josie is looking forward to the annual pie-eating contest but the day is marred when Alan Breitenstrates dies after eating a pie that was originally meant for his brother Cletus. Cletus never showed up for the event even though he attended it every year for decades.
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Josie, who was watching the scenario, casually, asks her boyfriend and her best friend to take the pies and bring them back to the Laundromat while she distracts the police and a security guard. Though the authorities think the victim died of a heart attack, Josie wants to get the pies tested to see if they contained poison. When a ferret eats a piece of one of the pies and falls into a coma, Josie is sure that at least one of the pies is poisoned. She intends to find out who poisoned the pie thinking that information will lead her to a killer.
Shannon Short's second Toadfern mystery is very delightful and a real puzzler because no one is above suspicion in this charming cozy. The cast of characters are totally charming and quirky, the type of people one would want for a next-door neighbor. DEATH OF A DEER DISH PIE is an upbeat who-done-it that will have readers laughing at some of the actors of the main characters, including the protagonist.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner