( I know I usually feature fairy tale or folktale on Thursdays, but this was too perfect for the letter P.)
I’ve never had pigeon pie, but from the couple of recipes I saw on-line, it might be good, similar to a chicken pot pie. The recipe from Really Nice Recipes is one I would try, if I actually knew where to buy pigeon. It includes pigeon, mushrooms, onions, celery , carrot, and a red wine sauce all in a pastry shell. I guess I could use Cornish hens, I know they sell those at our grocery store. I should give it a try one of these days. And no one will die shortly after eating mine, unlike the pigeon pie in The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stewart.
Title: The Pigeon Pie Mystery
Author: Julia Stuart
Read by: Hannah Curtis
Audio published: August 7, 2012 by Random House Audio
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
When Indian Princess Alexandrina is left penniless by the sudden death of her father, the Maharaja of Brindor, Queen Victoria grants her a grace-and-favor home in Hampton Court Palace. Though rumored to be haunted, Alexandrina and her lady’s maid, Pooki, have no choice but to take the Queen up on her offer.
Aside from the ghost sightings, Hampton Court doesn’t seem so bad. The princess is soon befriended by three eccentric widows who invite her to a picnic with all the palace’s inhabitants, for which Pooki bakes a pigeon pie. But when General-Major Bagshot dies after eating said pie, and the coroner finds traces of arsenic in his body, Pooki becomes the #1 suspect in a murder investigation.
Princess Alexandrina isn’t about to let her faithful servant hang. She begins an investigation of her own, and discovers that Hampton Court isn’t such a safe place to live after all.
First, I have to say I love the cover of The Pigeon Pie Mystery and I think it fits well with the story. The mystery’s light-hearted, fun, and full of odd quirky characters, just like the maze.
As to be expected, Hampton Court is full of a variety of people, some of whom are more eccentric than others, but all of whom eventually spill their secrets to Princess Alexandrina, whose nickname is Mink. I have to admit I liked Mink. Mink is quite charming and lovely. Life’s handed her a lot recently and she’s dealing with it the best she can, and she’s determined to prove her maid is innocent. She treats her maid as family, and really she’s the only family Mink has. This is one of those mysteries where it seem like everyone has a possible motive, and in closed communities like that of Hampton Court, it’s probably reasonable that there is a lot quiet in-fighting, of petty disagreements that can escalate out of control.
It was an amusing story, Victorian manners can seem so arbitrary. Like, how dare the American show up wearing this, or address the duchess as that. Of course, Mink gets away with a lot – she is after all a princess. I though the narrator did a good job bringing the story to life. The mystery is a little slow, maybe, which would probably have bothered me more if I had read the printed version than listened to the audio. When I’m listening to audio, I’m usually doing something else too, running, walking the dog, dishes, so I don’t necessarily notice lulls as much, if that makes sense.
There’s a bit of a burgeoning romance but it adds to the story. A neighborhood doctor has quite a crush on Mink, but, in the way of most amusing romances, his attempts to impress her go awry. It also leads to a couple of funny incidents between him and his housekeeper.
The Pigeon Pie Mystery wasn’t outstanding, but I enjoyed it. I’m rather hoping for a second mystery for Mink to solve.