BOOK REVIEW: Secrets and Pies by Jenny Kales (Cozy Mystery)

Greetings Friends!

Today I have a review of Secrets and Pies by Jenny Kales, the third novel in the Callie’s Kitchen mystery series.

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.


Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publication Date:  October 2017


Summertime in Crystal Bay means tourist season for Calliope “Callie” Costas, owner of Callie’s Kitchen, a Greek-meets-Midwest from-scratch eatery. Business is booming but so is the stress. Callie can barely keep up with the demand for her famous summer fruit pies and savory Greek delicacies, plus she’s agreed to bake dozens of “pitas” for the annual Greek Fest. 

When Callie is asked to deliver cast party treats for a Murder Mystery Night at the historic Harris House, it seems like a welcome break from her hot stove. That is, until she finds herself an unwilling player in yet another suspicious death. Worse yet, the victim is a family friend and graduate student working on a project involving Crystal Bay’s colorful past. 

Before long, a motley crew of suspects makes things as juicy as the succulent berries strewn around Callie’s Kitchen. And that’s not all Callie’s got on her plate. Add family obligations, a deepening romance with a local detective and unexpected personnel problems to the mix. 

One thing’s for sure: Callie’s got the recipe for a long, hot summer! 


Award-winning writer Jenny Kales is the author of The Callie’s Kitchen Mystery series. Though she’s worked as a writer and journalist for years, fiction writing is her first love and her marriage into a Greek-American Midwestern family inspired The Callie’s Kitchen mysteries, featuring Calliope Costas, food business owner and amateur sleuth. The setting of the story, “Crystal Bay,” is inspired by a favorite family vacation spot – Wisconsin’s beautiful Geneva Lakes. Kales is an avid reader, cook and baker and she’s addicted to mystery TV, especially anything on Masterpiece Mystery or BBC America. She lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier.
You can connect with her on:


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

Callie’s Kitchen mysteries is another series that I happened to stumble across without having read the first two books. However, this book was so well written with such intriguing and developed characters that I never felt like I was missing anything. Now, I’m looking forward to adding the previous books to my TBR!

One of the highlights of the story for me was how much I absolutely loved the settings!  From the picturesque vacation spot of Crystal Bay to the mysterious Harris House, I was captivated by this community and can’t wait to visit again when I read more. Even being in the kitchen brought so much energy! The author beautifully showcased the inner workings of running a restaurant, while also crafting an incredibly believable amateur sleuth. Additionally, the flowing dialogue between characters added such great dynamics to both Callie’s personal and professional lives that you truly could feel as though you were also a part of this lovely group of people. 

The mystery is riddled with various motives and suspects with very few clues being revealed as the story unfolds, ultimately creating a well layered and plotted mystery that has to be read to the end in order to find out who the killer is. As an English major myself, I really appreciated the inclusion of the F. Scott Fitzgerald thesis and Gilded Age themes, which enhanced the suspense and created a multifaceted story that is a cut above the more traditional cozy mysteries.  

A huge highlight of this book as a fan of Greek cuisine was reading about all the foods served at Callie’s Kitchen.  Everything sounded so delectable that you’ll definitely want to have some snacks nearby while reading this to keep your stomach from grumbling too much!  And this foodie definitely appreciated the provided recipes featured at the end of the book.  Perhaps I’ll find some time to try some of them out and report back on how successful the recreation turned out to be!

I’m so glad that I discovered this series and highly recommend it if you’re a fan of cozy culinary mysteries.  I definitely look forward to returning to Crystal Bay in order to experience more adventures with Callie at her cafe.
Many thanks to Jenny Kales and Great Escapes Book Tours.  It was pleasure providing a review!

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