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Bleeding Tarts

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Val's new pies are foolproof—but not bulletproof. Old West ghost towns are as American as apple pie. So what better place to sponsor a pie-eating contest than the Bar X, a fake ghost town available for exclusive private events on the edge of Silicon Valley. Valentine Harris is providing the pies, hoping to boost business for her struggling Pie Town shop and become a regular Val's new pies are foolproof—but not bulletproof. Old West ghost towns are as American as apple pie. So what better place to sponsor a pie-eating contest than the Bar X, a fake ghost town available for exclusive private events on the edge of Silicon Valley. Valentine Harris is providing the pies, hoping to boost business for her struggling Pie Town shop and become a regular supplier for the Bar X. But no sooner does she arrive in town than a stray bullet explodes the cherry pie in her hands. And the delicious dessert is not the only victim. Val finds the Bar X bartender shot dead in an alley. Egged on by her flaky friend and pie crust specialist, Charlene, Val aims to draw out the shooter. But solving a real murder in a fake ghost town won't be easy as pie. And if Val doesn't watch her back, her pies won't be the only thing filled full of lead . . .


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Val's new pies are foolproof—but not bulletproof. Old West ghost towns are as American as apple pie. So what better place to sponsor a pie-eating contest than the Bar X, a fake ghost town available for exclusive private events on the edge of Silicon Valley. Valentine Harris is providing the pies, hoping to boost business for her struggling Pie Town shop and become a regular Val's new pies are foolproof—but not bulletproof. Old West ghost towns are as American as apple pie. So what better place to sponsor a pie-eating contest than the Bar X, a fake ghost town available for exclusive private events on the edge of Silicon Valley. Valentine Harris is providing the pies, hoping to boost business for her struggling Pie Town shop and become a regular supplier for the Bar X. But no sooner does she arrive in town than a stray bullet explodes the cherry pie in her hands. And the delicious dessert is not the only victim. Val finds the Bar X bartender shot dead in an alley. Egged on by her flaky friend and pie crust specialist, Charlene, Val aims to draw out the shooter. But solving a real murder in a fake ghost town won't be easy as pie. And if Val doesn't watch her back, her pies won't be the only thing filled full of lead . . .

30 review for Bleeding Tarts

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Bleeding Tarts by Kirsten Weiss is the second book in the cozy Pie Town Mystery series. Each book in the series features a new mystery to be solved so it would be possible to understand the mystery as a standalone however the character stories do carry over book to book. Valentine ‘Val’ Harris is the owner of Pie Town and is out looking for new business hoping for a contract from the owner of the Bar X , a fake ghost town. When Val and her pie crust maker, Charlene, arrive at the Bar X Val finds Bleeding Tarts by Kirsten Weiss is the second book in the cozy Pie Town Mystery series. Each book in the series features a new mystery to be solved so it would be possible to understand the mystery as a standalone however the character stories do carry over book to book. Valentine ‘Val’ Harris is the owner of Pie Town and is out looking for new business hoping for a contract from the owner of the Bar X , a fake ghost town. When Val and her pie crust maker, Charlene, arrive at the Bar X Val finds herself almost the victim of a stray bullet that instead takes out one of the pies she’s carrying. As Val runs and ducks for cover after her pie is shot she finds herself in the alley next to the saloon at the Bar X where she uncovers a dead body. The bartender of the saloon is in the alley the apparent victim of one of the flying bullets. As Val phones police covered in cherry pie some begin to think she is the shooter so again Val and Charlene find themselves chasing a murderer before they become the next target. I’m sure it’s very apparent from my rating that I absolutely love this series. It took all of a few page turns to immediately begin laughing again and think to myself oh my I missed Charlene… yes, Charlene the side kick in the stories, the lady is absolutely hilarious. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve enjoyed Val and the setting of her pie shop along with the mysteries but I think if you took Charlene out of the books they would probably fall flat and instead with her I find myself laughing out loud and loving every minute. This series is one that I will be sure to return to over and over just for the laughs alone. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  2. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Valentine Harris is a baker who does a bit of amateur sleuthing on the side. She's a bit stressed lately because she recently expanded her pie shop and it's been a bit difficult juggling finances. To bring in a bit of money, she's providing the pies for an eating contest at an area tourist attraction. Bar X is a fake ghost town and Valentine wants a contract with them. Supplying pies for the tourists would bring in some much needed steady income for Pie Town. As she is delivering the pies for th Valentine Harris is a baker who does a bit of amateur sleuthing on the side. She's a bit stressed lately because she recently expanded her pie shop and it's been a bit difficult juggling finances. To bring in a bit of money, she's providing the pies for an eating contest at an area tourist attraction. Bar X is a fake ghost town and Valentine wants a contract with them. Supplying pies for the tourists would bring in some much needed steady income for Pie Town. As she is delivering the pies for the event, things get a bit dicey. Sharp Shooters are practicing for an event at the ghost town, and a stray bullet slings through one of the pie boxes she's carrying. Valentine is hardly recovered from the explosion of cherry filling and pie crust when she sees a dead man on the ground. The Bar X bartender has been shot dead. Calling the police covered in bright red cherry pie filling makes her a suspect at first, but soon Valentine is on the case, doing whatever she can to identify the killer. Baiting a killer is dangerous though. If she's not careful, it won't be just the pie and the bartender that have a couple extra holes in them. Bleeding Tarts is the second book in the Pie Town cozy mystery series. It isn't necessary to have read the first book, The Quiche and the Dead, to enjoy this mystery. A bit of the character background is continued from the first book, but there is enough background info included in the second book to make it easy to just jump in and read. I enjoy this series. It has a nice mix of humor, background theme and mystery. There are recipes included at the end of the mystery as well. Pie recipes of course! Not all are dessert pies though. One is savory and involves cheese...definite yum there. :) The mystery in this newest addition to the series moves along at a nice pace. The murder happens pretty quickly in chapter one, so there isn't a lot of waiting for the dirty deed to be done. The setting of a fake ghost town with every sort of tourist trap trick is very entertaining and fun. I thought it was hilarious when Valentine gets shot right in the pie....and then the police think she's covered in blood when it's actually cherry pie filling. :) The rest of the book was just as cute and fun. Definitely a great cozy! A 3rd book in the series, Pie Hard, is coming out in February 2019. **I voluntarily read an advance readers copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elle's Book Blog

    Release Date: April 24, 2018 Genre: Cozy Mystery Actual Rating: 5 stars There was absolutely nothing that I didn't like about this book! It's fun, filled with humor, and has relatable characters. Some are a bit eccentric (Charlene and Marla) but I loved them because of it! I have to admit, I was weary going into this one because I didn't LOVE the first book in the series, but this one was perfection. I'm really glad I decided to give it a try. Bleeding Tarts is the second book in the Pie Town Release Date: April 24, 2018 Genre: Cozy Mystery Actual Rating: 5 stars There was absolutely nothing that I didn't like about this book! It's fun, filled with humor, and has relatable characters. Some are a bit eccentric (Charlene and Marla) but I loved them because of it! I have to admit, I was weary going into this one because I didn't LOVE the first book in the series, but this one was perfection. I'm really glad I decided to give it a try. Bleeding Tarts is the second book in the Pie Town Mystery series which follows Val (the owner of Pie Town) and her sidekick Charlene. Val is your typical woman in her early 30's who has a knack for figuring out the who-dun-it in murders. Charlene is her eccentric sidekick who is a bit wacko, but good at what she does. The two are a dynamic duo in both baking pies AND solving crimes and you don't want to miss them crack the case in this book! I love how the author used a bit of paranormal spoofing in this one. That's not to say it's a paranormal cozy because it's not. However, adding in a "haunting" along with some fairy and alien "sightings" was laugh out loud funny. I really loved how dynamic the book is. If you are a cozy mystery fan then you should read this series. I keeps getting better and better and I can't wait for the next installment! Find the reading order below: Series Reading Order I recommend reading this series in order 1. The Quiche and the Dead: https://amzn.to/2OnEEOe (currently $1.99) 2. Bleeding Tarts: https://amzn.to/2N9nJKx (this book I reviewed) 3. Pie Hard: https://amzn.to/2Inv2O8 (releasing Feb. 26)

  4. 4 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts Bullets are blazing everywhere when Val arrives with her delivery to the Bar X, one even takes out a pie SHE WAS HOLDING!! Covered in cherry pie she discovers one of the bullets hit someone. She finds the bartender from the Bar X Saloon dead in the alley when she runs for cover. She really wants the business from this fake ghost town to improve her bottom line but is it worth getting killed over? Charlene has one of her “pie in the sky” ideas that she and Val (the Baker Street Dollycas’s Thoughts Bullets are blazing everywhere when Val arrives with her delivery to the Bar X, one even takes out a pie SHE WAS HOLDING!! Covered in cherry pie she discovers one of the bullets hit someone. She finds the bartender from the Bar X Saloon dead in the alley when she runs for cover. She really wants the business from this fake ghost town to improve her bottom line but is it worth getting killed over? Charlene has one of her “pie in the sky” ideas that she and Val (the Baker Street Bakers) can prove her old friend Marla is the murderer, I mean find the killer. But someone is not happy with their interference and lets them know it in some very dangerous ways. Charlene is flakier than any of her fabulous crusts and Val loves her too much to call her out on her weird conspiracy theories. That is until she decides her old arch enemy Marla is guilty from the moment the shots were fired. Instead of trying to catch the real killer, who could still be Marla, Charleen tries to twist up all the facts. I will admit to laughing out loud as Marla and Charlene’s rivalry soared to new heights throughout the story. The author also introduces a supporting cast at the Bar X. These characters, like the ones we met in the first story, are very well written. We learn a lot about all of them within these pages. I really enjoyed the setting of the Old West ghost town. Still new and just getting ready to open with a big event, a pie eating contest. A great way to mesh together the Pie Town shop with a new business. I also liked the little place Val has moved into. A very unique idea and the views are to die for. The murder at the ranch gave a wide range of suspects. Who had alibis and who didn’t? Was it two people working together? Another murder shakes the investigation up as the fingers are being pointed at almost everyone. A lot of drama took place away from the Bar X too. Val is being targeted by the killer, Heidi, owner of the gym next door is still on her SUGAR KILLS rampage, Val ex is still hanging around every though Val is trying to actually make it through a date with Detective Gordon Carmichael, and there may be fairies or ghosts in the local dog park. Between Charlene’s trying to divert attention to Marla and the nice twists given by the author, I found this mystery very entertaining. Life at Pie Town and Val’s personal life added a lot to the story. I have never watched Stargate, but fans will love that Val and Charlene are watching the series and will enjoy the references to the characters. Put all of this together along with all the pies and you have a delightful cozy mystery. I really like the cover too! You are going to want to have pie available as you are reading. I recommend cherry, but skip the bullet!

  5. 5 out of 5

    ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆

    I absolutely loved this book just like the first in the series!!!😍 I totally #fangirl over this series! Not only do I just love Charlene's never-ending humorous behavior! I am totally jealous that a woman in her 70-80s can have that much fun sleuthing around and I can't! Man, responsibilities!😤 This was a great mystery, had a good plot and I wasn't expecting the ending! I love this series because there is no insta-love or anything like that just fun and sleuthing. I highly recommend this series!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sabine

    Let me begin with how much I love the book cover. The colours, the kitty, the pies and the deliciously messy counter caught my attention and played a big role in my decision to give this new-to-me author a try....and boy, did I have a good time with this ghost town mystery. Charlene is a hoot and I admire Val for putting up with her crazy ideas about fairies, ghosts and aliens. Even better were the looney encounters between Charlene and Marla - I couldn't stop laughing about their attempts to one Let me begin with how much I love the book cover. The colours, the kitty, the pies and the deliciously messy counter caught my attention and played a big role in my decision to give this new-to-me author a try....and boy, did I have a good time with this ghost town mystery. Charlene is a hoot and I admire Val for putting up with her crazy ideas about fairies, ghosts and aliens. Even better were the looney encounters between Charlene and Marla - I couldn't stop laughing about their attempts to one-up each other. It was a solid plot that left me clueless about the murderer until the big reveal. I am looking forward to reading more in this series. I requested this book on Netgalley and would like to thank Kensington and the author for providing me a copy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peggy R

    I found the second book in the Pie Town Mystery series by Kirsten Weiss to be just as enjoyable as the first book. There is a good mystery with plenty of suspects to choose from and a lot of clues for the reader to sift through in order to figure out "whodunit". I was able to figure out who the culprit was before the reveal but not that much and it didn't detract from my enjoyment. It isn't often that I figure out the identity of the culprit before the protagonist but when I do, I always enjoy r I found the second book in the Pie Town Mystery series by Kirsten Weiss to be just as enjoyable as the first book. There is a good mystery with plenty of suspects to choose from and a lot of clues for the reader to sift through in order to figure out "whodunit". I was able to figure out who the culprit was before the reveal but not that much and it didn't detract from my enjoyment. It isn't often that I figure out the identity of the culprit before the protagonist but when I do, I always enjoy reading on to see how the identity is revealed. I think the author has done a good job of writing a very diverse cast of secondary characters to go along with her two main amateur sleuths. Val and Charlene are a wonderful pair and very diverse. Charlene seems to be the more impetuous one and Val tends to balance her out with caution and sometimes common sense. I liked that Val was able to see the parallel's between her situation with Heidi and Charlene's situations with her nemesis Marla, who quite frankly made me want to slap her a number of times during the story. Overall, I think is a fun series with solid mysteries and a diverse cast that has good potential as the series grows and evolves. I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Kensington, through Netgalley.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    Bleeding Tarts by Kirsten Weiss is the 2nd book in the Pie Town Mystery series, and I loved it. Bleeding Tarts is a perfect blend of mystery and humor. Not only is this book really funny, I often found myself laughing out loud a lot, the mystery kept me guessing. I found this book to be a quick read, I read it in one day, with a well developed plot and characters. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. If you love humorous cozy mysteries, I recommend this book and series. I Bleeding Tarts by Kirsten Weiss is the 2nd book in the Pie Town Mystery series, and I loved it. Bleeding Tarts is a perfect blend of mystery and humor. Not only is this book really funny, I often found myself laughing out loud a lot, the mystery kept me guessing. I found this book to be a quick read, I read it in one day, with a well developed plot and characters. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. If you love humorous cozy mysteries, I recommend this book and series. I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    An old west ghost town is having a pie contest and Val is bringing a pie, which is shot out of her hands. She also finds the Bar X bartender shot and dead in an alley. Val and her pie crust specialist friend try to draw the shooter out and put themselves in danger. The plot was good but the story seemed to drag on and on.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    This is the second book in the Pie Town Mystery series, but I did not read the first book and had no problem following this story. Val Harris owns Pie Town and is trying to drum up new business after hiring new employees. She had taken on a catering job for the Bar X Ghost Town that is holding a benefit. When Val and Charlene (her pastry baker) arrive at the fake ghost town, Val is shot at along with finding a dead body. As the story continues, Val is the victim of a couple more attempts on her This is the second book in the Pie Town Mystery series, but I did not read the first book and had no problem following this story. Val Harris owns Pie Town and is trying to drum up new business after hiring new employees. She had taken on a catering job for the Bar X Ghost Town that is holding a benefit. When Val and Charlene (her pastry baker) arrive at the fake ghost town, Val is shot at along with finding a dead body. As the story continues, Val is the victim of a couple more attempts on her life. Obviously, she is not taking that sitting down and is out to find the murderer as well as whoever is trying to kill her. Charlene and Val are the Baker Street Bakers, sleuths ready to solve a mystery. Charlene, who says she is 42 but more like 82, is a hoot. She and her old nemesis Marla are trying to outdo each other in solving the murder and their encounters are so funny. She and Val get themselves in some sticky situations while trying to sort out the situation, but her individual investigations almost always end up in hilarity. The murder in this story happens right at the beginning of the story and the plot moves along quickly. The setting of a fake ghost town is pretty interesting and certainly very different from any others I have read about. If you are looking for a fun cozy mystery with a good mystery, pick up this book. I will definitely go back and read the first book in this series to see what I have missed. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    Bleeding Tarts is the 2nd book in the Pie Town series. This is a cute series, built with strong characters that will continue to grow as the series progresses. Val is excited to be providing the treats for the Pie eating contest. What she doesn't expect is to become the victim of a mysterious stalker who seems determined to keep her quiet. I enjoyed how the author wrote about Val and her nemesis Heidi, and about Charlene and her nemesis, Marla. Charlene sees Marla as an arrogant, spiteful woman whos Bleeding Tarts is the 2nd book in the Pie Town series. This is a cute series, built with strong characters that will continue to grow as the series progresses. Val is excited to be providing the treats for the Pie eating contest. What she doesn't expect is to become the victim of a mysterious stalker who seems determined to keep her quiet. I enjoyed how the author wrote about Val and her nemesis Heidi, and about Charlene and her nemesis, Marla. Charlene sees Marla as an arrogant, spiteful woman whose main goal is to out best her at every opportunity. I would like to see Val become more confident in her abilities. There's a fine line between lack of confidence and a whiny character. I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Bleeding Tarts by Kirsten Weiss is the second slice of A Pie Town Mystery series. Val Harris owns Pie town in San Nicholas, California. Val along with her crust maker, Charlene McCree are taking pies out to the Bar X (an Old West ghost town available for events) for a pie eating contest. Val is hoping to get a contract to regularly supply pies from the owner, Ewan Frith which will help her struggling business (she has hired too many employees). Val is carting the cherry pies to the saloon when a Bleeding Tarts by Kirsten Weiss is the second slice of A Pie Town Mystery series. Val Harris owns Pie town in San Nicholas, California. Val along with her crust maker, Charlene McCree are taking pies out to the Bar X (an Old West ghost town available for events) for a pie eating contest. Val is hoping to get a contract to regularly supply pies from the owner, Ewan Frith which will help her struggling business (she has hired too many employees). Val is carting the cherry pies to the saloon when a shot rings out and shoots one of the pies splattering her with cherry goo. Val ducks into an alley and finds a man dead on the ground, and he is not playing opossum. Who was the shooter aiming at? The victim is Devon Blackett who was the bartender for Bar X. With Val once again a suspect in a murder case, her dinner date with Detective Gordon Carmichael is canceled. Charlene is determined that they (Baker Street Bakers) will solve the case especially since her archrival, Marla Van Helsing has decided sleuthing is her new profession (she even printed up cards). The killer, though, is a nasty varmint who wishes to derail their sleuthing by taking out Val. Then a second Bar X employee is killed. Val and Charlene need to work quickly before the Bar X turns into a real ghost town. Bleeding Tarts is a humorous, quick paced cozy mystery. While this is the second installment in A Pie Town Mystery series, it can stand on its own. There are numerous quirky characters along with zany antics sprinkled throughout the story. Heidi, who own Heidi’s Gym, is back and she has increased the size of her “Sugar Kills” sign (her business is next door to Pie Town). Charlene is still going around town with Frederick, her cat, draped about her shoulders. Marla Van Helsing is a black widow (all of her husbands were rich and are now dead) on the prowl for her latest victim (i.e. husband). Val needs this venture with Bar X to be a success since her business is doomed without it. She has taken on too many employees and there is not enough money coming in to support them (assistant manager, pie crust maker, dishwasher, pie maker). It might help if she did not have coffee available for customers on the honor system (put money in a jar). I think Val should take some business classes or get a good accountant. Let us not forget Charlene’s obsession with ghosts, fairies and all things extraterrestrial. She is not sure if the problem in the local park is a ghost or if fairies have moved in. I did love the Samantha Carter, Rodney McKay, and Dr. Zelenka references (fans of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis will get it). I wish the mystery had been a stronger. There are a limited number of suspects, and I was able to identify the guilty party. There is some misdirection that could send readers down the wrong trail. My rating for Bleeding Tarts is 3 out of 5 stars. Bleeding Tarts will have you laughing from the very first page as Charlene drives them out to the Bar X (she should have her license taken away).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Taryn

    In this second book of the series Val is hard at work trying to keep Pie Town in the black. She has taken on Bar X, a Wild West Town, as a new client. They need pies for their pie eating contest and Val can't wait to add their name to the list of places Pie Town serves and delivers to. While making the delivery with her crust maker they run into a woman that is Charlene's nemesis. Charlene goes off to confront Marla leaving Val to deliver the pies and while doing so not only does she find a body In this second book of the series Val is hard at work trying to keep Pie Town in the black. She has taken on Bar X, a Wild West Town, as a new client. They need pies for their pie eating contest and Val can't wait to add their name to the list of places Pie Town serves and delivers to. While making the delivery with her crust maker they run into a woman that is Charlene's nemesis. Charlene goes off to confront Marla leaving Val to deliver the pies and while doing so not only does she find a body but someone shoots one of the pies in her hands. The dead man is a bartender at the Bar X and has only been working there a few months, who would have wanted to kill him and why? Charlene intends to find out, she has been friends with the owner and his family for years and knows he nor his daughter could have done it. The only problem is Marla, Charlenes nemesis, saying she's is going to find the killer first. Charlene drags Val into the investigation and they start asking questions of the workers. When Val almost gets run over by horses she wonders if they are on to something. There are only so many suspects and all claim to have an alibi but do they really? Val aims to find out. Follow along as Val runs her business, follows clues, helps another client and tries to make a date with a certain cop. This is a fun series filled with interesting characters who believe in fairies, aliens, and so much more. It's a wonderful series that will have you laughing out loud. I look forward to seeing what Val and Charlene get into next.

  14. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Pie shop owner and baker Valentine Harris and her pie crust maker Charlene are excited to make a delivery to the exclusive faux ghost town Bar X in northern California. The visit quickly turns sour when first Charlene runs into her old nemesis, Marla and Val's pie gets hit by a bullet. Then Val discovers a dead body in the alley behind the saloon and becomes a suspect in a murder investigation. The detective, Gordon Carmichael doesn't really think Val is a killer, especially since he wants to ta Pie shop owner and baker Valentine Harris and her pie crust maker Charlene are excited to make a delivery to the exclusive faux ghost town Bar X in northern California. The visit quickly turns sour when first Charlene runs into her old nemesis, Marla and Val's pie gets hit by a bullet. Then Val discovers a dead body in the alley behind the saloon and becomes a suspect in a murder investigation. The detective, Gordon Carmichael doesn't really think Val is a killer, especially since he wants to take her out of a date. Charlene blames the death on a mysterious Phantom of Bar X and sets out to solve the mystery and thwart her rival. Meanwhile, the health nut next door to Val's shop is dating Val's ex and won't stop harassing Val about selling sugar. As mysterious things start happening to Val, she begins to wonder whether she wasn't the target of the first bullet after all. That makes her more determined than ever to figure out who did murder the Bar X bartender. This mystery is LONG and unnecessarily so. I wasn't so captivated by it that I couldn't put it down and I really didn't care who killed Devon or why. I never solved the mysteries and some of the answers seemed a bit far fetched. I knew early on that I wasn't going to be reading any of the other books in this series because I did NOT like the characters. While Val seems sensible, for the most part, and I liked her, Charlene drove me absolutely crazy! Charlene is an octogenarian who acts like a spoiled, silly teenager. She carries her white cat, Frederick, around her neck like a stole, claiming he's a therapy animal. Charlene's crazy conspiracy theories and wild paranormal obsession drove me crazy. I get enough of that insane paranormal stuff at work and don't need it in my pleasure reading. Her rivalry with Marla is out of control. Both of them are old enough to know better yet act like competitive children. Marla is very unpleasant, bragging about her wealth, wanting to copy everything Charlene does just to one-up Charlene and generally being annoying and rude. The rivalry was the main focus of the novel and really really annoyed me. Without it, I may have been more into the plot. Also, the Bar X can't be a faux ghost town because ghost town means a place that has been deserted. Bar X is full of people and is a living history wild west town or faux wild west town but not ghost town. I'm being nitpicky but that bothered me. Bar X does not sound like a place I'd like to visit. None of the people who work there are all that pleasant. Ewan, the owner, seems nice enough now but he had a wild past and may be hiding secrets. His daughter, Bridget, is snippy and a bit rude. She withholds evidence from the investigation at first. Her connection to Devon, the murder victim, seemed obvious to me and I'm sure Gordon. Devon seems like an unpleasant person himself. He was a lazy opportunist who shouldn't have been hired. His resume raises red flags and the gossip about him can be proven at least once. Everyone deserves a second chance but this was one chance too many. Larry, Moe and Curly (yes their real names) are the resident sharpshooters. They seem nearly as competitive as Charlene and Marla in spite of claiming to be best friends. They have secrets too. Larry, a used car salesman, seems the nicest of the three but is still a suspicious character since something happens connected to his business that really can't be a coincidence. Back in town, there are an odd assortment of other characters. The manager of Pie Town wants to be a mortician! She's a bit odd. She loves her job because she's needed but she also is passionate about becoming a mortician. Pie Town regulars include RPGers Harriet and Ray. Ray is a nice guy who is a good friend to Val. Harriet seems to have feelings for Ray but he's clueless. There's also Graham and Tally Wally, the local wise guys. I found Wally a bit sexist at times. Mrs Banks, an elderly woman in town, keeps losing her groceries and blaming it on aliens or fairies, is hilarious but also sad. Next door is "Healthy Heidi" who hates sugar and declares war on Val. Val also serves savory pies like quiche and chicken pot pie not just sweets. Heidi's animosity is out of control and unbelievable. She's partly motivated because for some reason she's in love with Val's ex, who sounds boring. Heidi is out of control and crazy. I did not like their rivalry. Gordon seems like a great guy. He's back in his hometown caring for his aging parents and he is a super nice guy who helps out old ladies. He is a good detective but very by the book black and white. His boss, Chief Shaw, is an incompetent buffoon who deliberately targets Val just to get free pies. He's sexist and really really annoyed me. This series is not for me but I did recommend it to a friend who probably will enjoy the silliness more than I did.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    This was a fun read. The killing of the pie and all of Charlene’s antics were funny. There were several twists and turns with the mystery. Val’s house and Poe Town were vivid settings. Enjoyable listen.

  16. 4 out of 5

    RO G'ma

    Bleeding Tarts is the second book in Kirsten Weiss’ A Pie Town Mystery series. The mystery is well plotted and entertaining, the cast of characters are strong, eccentric, and likable. The two main characters, Val and Charlene, have a chemistry that allows them to work well together and makes them a hilarious duo. There are plenty of suspects to choose from and lots of clues to sift through in order to try to figure out whodunit. There isn’t any graphic violence or adult situations, but there is Bleeding Tarts is the second book in Kirsten Weiss’ A Pie Town Mystery series. The mystery is well plotted and entertaining, the cast of characters are strong, eccentric, and likable. The two main characters, Val and Charlene, have a chemistry that allows them to work well together and makes them a hilarious duo. There are plenty of suspects to choose from and lots of clues to sift through in order to try to figure out whodunit. There isn’t any graphic violence or adult situations, but there is some adult language. After Valentine ‘Val’ Harris moved to the small town of San Nicholas in California, she followed her dream and opened Pie Town. She’s excited when Ewan Frith, the owner of the Bar X, places a large order of pies for a pie-eating contest and has high hopes of becoming a regular vendor for the fake old west ghost town. When Val and her talented piecrust maker, Charlene McCree, are delivering the pies, a bullet hits one of the cherry pies Val’s carrying; she drops the remaining pies off in front of the saloon, and frantically searches for a place to hide and discovers a body. The deceased is Devon Blackett, Bar X’s bartender. Detective Gordon Carmichael, the only detective in San Nicholas, and Val’s upcoming first date must be postponed because she’s found another murder victim. Val and Charlene, start asking questions and looking into Devon’s death, another murder occurs, Ray, a gamer and regular Pie Town customer, is injured trying to protect Val during one of the multiple attempts on her life. Charlene’s nemesis, Marla Van Helsing, is trying her hand at investigating to compete with Charlene and Val’s nemesis, Heidi Gladstone, the owner of the gym next to Pie Town who’s dating Mark Jeffreys, Val’s ex-fiancé, continues to torment Val. I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Arlene Arredondo

    This is a cozy murder mystery with a splash of humor. The main characters of this series are a pie shop owner, with a past of being involved in solving three murders, an octogenarian friend and coworker who sees a mystery to solve in every corner. They are both part of the sleuthing group Baker Street Bakers, and Val, our main character has her eyes set on the police detective Gordon. When they are hired for a pie eating contest at an old town style bar, the delivery is made with more than a few This is a cozy murder mystery with a splash of humor. The main characters of this series are a pie shop owner, with a past of being involved in solving three murders, an octogenarian friend and coworker who sees a mystery to solve in every corner. They are both part of the sleuthing group Baker Street Bakers, and Val, our main character has her eyes set on the police detective Gordon. When they are hired for a pie eating contest at an old town style bar, the delivery is made with more than a few inconveniences. Charlene has to confronte her old time Nemesis, while Val is in the middle of a shooting where the a Cherry pie has being injured and a murder is uncovered. Lots of fun moments, suspects and unexpected twists. Note: I received an ARC for review purposes and an honest and unbiased opinion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    **I voluntarily read this ARC** A fun addition to the series. The wild west town setting was fun, but I do wish it was featured more. The mystery was fun and not overly complicated. The recipes at the end had me cracking up.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    Would have gotten another star if it lost about 50 pages.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Prockish

    I enjoyed this book and I feel like we all need a friend like Charlene!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Elizabeth

    The Charlene/Marla feud was horrible. This book had too many annoying distractions and too little character-building or plot.

  22. 4 out of 5

    RoloPoloBookBlog

    Bleeding Tarts by Kirsten Weiss Book #2: Pie Town Mystery Series Source: Netgalley My Rating: 4½/5 stars Since nearly dying while investigating a crime, Val Harris and her crust maker, Charlene have taken to solving much more mundane mysteries. When not solving crimes, Val and Charlene are working hard to build Pie Town, improve customer relations, create new recipes, and bring in wholesale customers to increase revenue. As it happens, the Bar X “ghost” town is looking for a supplier and if Val’s pi Bleeding Tarts by Kirsten Weiss Book #2: Pie Town Mystery Series Source: Netgalley My Rating: 4½/5 stars Since nearly dying while investigating a crime, Val Harris and her crust maker, Charlene have taken to solving much more mundane mysteries. When not solving crimes, Val and Charlene are working hard to build Pie Town, improve customer relations, create new recipes, and bring in wholesale customers to increase revenue. As it happens, the Bar X “ghost” town is looking for a supplier and if Val’s pies go over well at their pie eating contest, Val will have her first wholesale customer. There’s a lot riding on this deal and Val has high hopes. Just as she and Charlene are delivering their baked goods, everything falls apart. One of Val’s pies is shot right out her hands and as she is running for cover, she finds the shot-up body of the Bar X bartender. Yeah, another dead body and murder to solve is just what Val needed in her life. As always, Charlene is more than ready to dive headlong into the fray and this time, she’s going up her against her arch nemesis! With three amateur detectives, one worthless police chief, and one real detective on the case, it shouldn’t take any time to ferret out the killer. Unfortunately for all those detecting, the killer has no intention of being caught. In fact, the killer has every intention of taking out one or two more people before the whole mess concludes. Unfortunately for Val, she’s on the killer’s to-do list and her detecting partner has lost her mind and drive to solve the crime. If Val doesn’t figure it all out, she’s going to have no wholesale customer, no way to pay her increasing bills, and no life. Just another day at the office, right? The Bottom Line: Bleeding Tarts has the kind of evolution I like to see in books/series, slow and steady with real purpose. Weiss has given Val forward movement in both her personal life (the yummy detective!) and in her professional life, while giving us more about crazy Charlene’s past. The two women are such a mismatched pair, yet so perfectly suited for another. Charlene is a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of woman, while Val is far more conservative and thoughtful in her approach to detecting, life, and business. Between the two of them, there is always some sort of madness occurring which makes the read so much more fun. There are hijinks and shenanigans, more than a bit of personal drama, and some very real drama to keep the reader interested and moving forward. The pacing is perfect for the story and I enjoyed this one from cover to cover.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Faythe Shattuck

    Old West ghost towns are as American as apple pie. So what better place to sponsor a pie-eating contest than the Bar X, a fake ghost town available for exclusive private events on the edge of Silicon Valley. Valentine "Val" Harris is providing the pies, hoping to boost business for her shop Pie Town and become a regular supplier for the Bar X. But no sooner do Val and her friend and co-worker Charlene arrive in the ghost town when a stray bullet explodes the cherry pie in Val's hands. The delici Old West ghost towns are as American as apple pie. So what better place to sponsor a pie-eating contest than the Bar X, a fake ghost town available for exclusive private events on the edge of Silicon Valley. Valentine "Val" Harris is providing the pies, hoping to boost business for her shop Pie Town and become a regular supplier for the Bar X. But no sooner do Val and her friend and co-worker Charlene arrive in the ghost town when a stray bullet explodes the cherry pie in Val's hands. The delicious dessert is not the only victim, Val finds the Bar X bartender shot dead in an alley. Egged on by Charlene, Val aims to draw out the shooter, but solving a real murder in a fake ghost town won't be easy as pie. And if Val doesn't watch her back, her pies won't be the only thing filled full of lead . The characters are diverse, quirky, well written, and well developed which makes them all seem believable and life like. The mystery moves along at a nice pace while also being filled with twists, suspects and clues for you to sort through to figure out who the killer is before it is revealed in the surprising conclusion. The author does a nice job of describing the characters and the scenes in the book so you can picture what is going on in the book. The one thing that I could have done without in this book would be Charlene's obsession with fairies, ghosts, and aliens, her obsession really didn't add anything to the books story line the author could have dropped this sub plot and the book would be just as good. I liked the friendship between Val and Charlene they seem to be such a mismatched pair with their personalities, yet they are so perfectly suited to be friends. I hope that the relationship between Val and detective Gordon Carmichael gets a chance of actually turning into something real instead of just a bunch of rescheduled dates, or dates that are cut short. I'm looking forward to see what Val and the rest of San Nicholas get into. I got an ARC of this book from Kensington books and Netgalley for my honest opinion of the book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Bleeding Tarts is the second installment in the Pie Town Mystery series set in San Nicholas, CA and featuring Val Harris, pie maker and owner of Pie Town. The new shop is gaining a reputation but Val is still struggling to make ends meet and is looking forward to landing a new wholesale client. She and crust maker, Charlene McCree along with the narcoleptic furry Frederick make their way to Bar X, the exclusive fake Old West Town. While Val is delighted to meet Bar X owner, Ewan Frith and his dau Bleeding Tarts is the second installment in the Pie Town Mystery series set in San Nicholas, CA and featuring Val Harris, pie maker and owner of Pie Town. The new shop is gaining a reputation but Val is still struggling to make ends meet and is looking forward to landing a new wholesale client. She and crust maker, Charlene McCree along with the narcoleptic furry Frederick make their way to Bar X, the exclusive fake Old West Town. While Val is delighted to meet Bar X owner, Ewan Frith and his daughter Bridget, Charlene is foaming at the mouth with the discovery that her high school nemesis Marla is also on the scene. It's only a matter of minutes before gunshots ring out, a pie is shot out of Val's hands, and Bar X bartender Devon Blackett is discovered dead in an alley. Against her better wishes Val finds herself drawn into the murder investigation. With only a handful of suspects that include Ewan, Bridget and the trio of sharpshooters, Larry, Moe and Curly, Val thinks she'll have the case wrapped up in no time. But, Charlene is determined to pin the murder on Marla and the rumored Bar X phantom may also play a role. Despite warnings from possible love interest Detective Gordon Carmichael not to get involved, Val and Charlene quickly find themselves in a sticky situation with the killer turning his sights on Val. A laugh out loud romp that includes phantoms, fairies, the return of the Baker Street Bakers and the nerdy collection of gaming regulars, fanatical gym owner Heidi and Pie Town employees. Mouthwatering pie recipes and a tasty tidbit of what's next to come in Pie Hard finish off this delightful addition to the series. I received an advanced copy of Bleeding Tarts from NetGalley via Kensington Books. While not required to write a review I am more than happy to offer my honest opinion.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I read this immediately following the first book in the series. The quirky, madcap adventure continues at the same super quick pace. Val is grateful her business survived a tragic beginning, and now she even has a place to live, which doesn't require her to shower at her gym. Somehow she got talked into doing investigations with her conspiracy theory driven pie crust maker, Charlene. Although Val is really just trying to humor her new friend, coworker and landlady. She truly is excited to have an I read this immediately following the first book in the series. The quirky, madcap adventure continues at the same super quick pace. Val is grateful her business survived a tragic beginning, and now she even has a place to live, which doesn't require her to shower at her gym. Somehow she got talked into doing investigations with her conspiracy theory driven pie crust maker, Charlene. Although Val is really just trying to humor her new friend, coworker and landlady. She truly is excited to have an opportunity to expand her pie shop's reputation by supplying pies to a ghost town tourist attraction - the Bar X bar. There is even a chance Val could finally move forward with her social life and have an actual date! Except that "circumstances" not only keep her potential male friend from having time, when Val is again a person-of-interest in a murder, it wouldn't work for this law man to get involved with her socially. Is the ghost town haunted? Are fairies playing tricks? Is Charlene's old nemesis a murderer? The mystery this time is more convoluted than the first book, but equally as dangerous to Val and pals. They will need pie to help them think through the clues. Fortunately for us, delicious sounding recipes are included at the books end. I can't wait for this series to continue! Loads of fun!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Bleeding Tarts is the second in the Pie Town series and it's just as good as the first. Val and Charlene work hard to make Pie Town Shop a success but they are not there yet. When the chance to supply the pies for a pie eating contest at the Bar X, a faux ghost town, she is eager to bake up a storm with the hope that it will lead to a steady gig supplying pies to private events at the ghost town. That shouldn't include bullets flying before she has even delivered the pies. One poor pie bites the Bleeding Tarts is the second in the Pie Town series and it's just as good as the first. Val and Charlene work hard to make Pie Town Shop a success but they are not there yet. When the chance to supply the pies for a pie eating contest at the Bar X, a faux ghost town, she is eager to bake up a storm with the hope that it will lead to a steady gig supplying pies to private events at the ghost town. That shouldn't include bullets flying before she has even delivered the pies. One poor pie bites the dust when it is shot out of her hands - good shot if the shooter was aiming for the pie or bad shot that the bullet missed Val? When she heads for cover she finds the body of the bartender and so begins another entertaining mystery with Val and Charlene investigating whodunnit and why? Along the way both Val and Charlene have to deal with a couple of people who have made it their mission in life to really annoy the pie ladies. Why does Marla have to show up here, of all places? I love the team of Val and Charlene and the humor. The mystery is as satisfying as one of their pies with none of the calories. I'm looking forward to the third in the series. My thanks to the publisher Kensington and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnston

    Princess Fuzzypants here: Val may be turning her smile into a frown instead of the other way around., as her advertising suggests. Her business is doing well but she may have over extended and if she doesn’t make the deal to supply a local ranch with her baked goods, her business may bite the dust. That is if she doesn’t bite the dust herself. She not only discovers a body on the ranch shortly after a pie was shot out from her arms but there have been a number of close calls and she is starting t Princess Fuzzypants here: Val may be turning her smile into a frown instead of the other way around., as her advertising suggests. Her business is doing well but she may have over extended and if she doesn’t make the deal to supply a local ranch with her baked goods, her business may bite the dust. That is if she doesn’t bite the dust herself. She not only discovers a body on the ranch shortly after a pie was shot out from her arms but there have been a number of close calls and she is starting to take it personally. She questions if she is the target or just caught up in the cross-fire, some of it literal and some figurative. It seems her crust maker is in the midst of a showdown with her life long nemesis and neither one is taking any prisoners. Quite frankly Val has the patience of Job to put up with either of these two senior ladies. They his and claw at each other so much you would think they were having a cat fight. Anyway, it is all good fun and light and entertaining reading. I give four purrs and two paws up.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Corrie DeWolfe (Fae's Finds)

    We are back sleuthing with Val and Charlene from Pie Town. And it's wildly fantastic. Val has been working hard to expand Pie Town into exclusive distribution in bigger businesses across San Nicholas. She and Charlene are of to Bar X, a made up Old West venue, operated by an old friend of Charlene's, Ewan. And of course no sooner from the moment they arrive, a cherry pie is shot out of Val's hands, and she finds a dead bartender, Devon. The Baker Street Bakers are on the case! But, as they get cl We are back sleuthing with Val and Charlene from Pie Town. And it's wildly fantastic. Val has been working hard to expand Pie Town into exclusive distribution in bigger businesses across San Nicholas. She and Charlene are of to Bar X, a made up Old West venue, operated by an old friend of Charlene's, Ewan. And of course no sooner from the moment they arrive, a cherry pie is shot out of Val's hands, and she finds a dead bartender, Devon. The Baker Street Bakers are on the case! But, as they get closer to the truth, THREE attempts on Val's life are taken. Maybe she should sit this one out. Nah, she's pissed now. Charlene's usual snarky, paranormal obsessed, is front and centre. With more determination than ever to solve the cause when an old rival sweeps in to steal the spotlight. Marla. I can't wait for the third installment of the Pie Town Mysteries. Pie Hard is due out later this year.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Fun. Setting this in an old west "ghost town" gives Weiss a chance to do some entertaining things with the cozy genre. Val and Charlene are a dynamic duo and their dialogue will make you chuckle (I especially like that Charlene is a "mature" woman.). Who would ever expect that delivering a cherry pie could lead not only to a sniper shooting at the pie but also the discovery of a dead body? Well, that's the basis for this second installment in what I hope will be an ongoing series. Some of the dr Fun. Setting this in an old west "ghost town" gives Weiss a chance to do some entertaining things with the cozy genre. Val and Charlene are a dynamic duo and their dialogue will make you chuckle (I especially like that Charlene is a "mature" woman.). Who would ever expect that delivering a cherry pie could lead not only to a sniper shooting at the pie but also the discovery of a dead body? Well, that's the basis for this second installment in what I hope will be an ongoing series. Some of the drama between Charlene and her nemesis Marla was a tad much but it didn't distract from the plot. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. This one has a little romance (very little), a not too twisty mystery, and some good lines.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    This is a great book 2 in the Pie Town Mystery series. Val's Pie shop is doing well and she is donating pies to the Bar X pie eating contest in hopes of securing their business. Bar X is a Old West Ghost Town nearby. Val and Charlene are delivering the pies when someone shoots a pie out of her hands and kills a local bartender. Between Charlene's belief in Fairies, Ghosts and aliens and her cat Frederick, Val has her hands full. This is funny and a very good cozy mystery. Gordon and Val are stil This is a great book 2 in the Pie Town Mystery series. Val's Pie shop is doing well and she is donating pies to the Bar X pie eating contest in hopes of securing their business. Bar X is a Old West Ghost Town nearby. Val and Charlene are delivering the pies when someone shoots a pie out of her hands and kills a local bartender. Between Charlene's belief in Fairies, Ghosts and aliens and her cat Frederick, Val has her hands full. This is funny and a very good cozy mystery. Gordon and Val are still trying to get that 1st date in the books but fate seems to be against them. This can be read as a stand alone but book 1, The Quiche and the dead , will help with background. I received a copy of the ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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