How could I resist such an awesome cover?! Cherry Pies and Deadly Lies is the first in a cozy mystery series about Whitney Bloom, a disgraced ad executive (she ran a tampon ad during the Super Bowl) who now sells cherry pies online. In this book, she returns to her family’s cherry farm to support her parents and investigate a murder when her father is accused of the crime. Solving the crime with her is Jack, her former high school rival and the town’s only police officer.
Cherry Pies and Deadly Lies is a fun cozy mystery complete with a cherry pie competition, funny subplots involving Whitney’s best friends (a rivalry over a hot rich guy, and a minor betrayal over a pot pie dinner), and a Sasquatch sighting. I liked the small town feel and how close-knit the community seemed, and I liked the friendships among the characters.
There were some annoying, too-stupid-to-live moments, most egregiously the one where Whitney spills everything about her murder investigation to C-bomb, her mysterious (read: anonymous!) online suitor. And from what I could see, there was no reason beyond casual conversation and a slight suspicion that C-bomb could be Jack. What Whitney found mysterious and exciting (C-bomb’s refusal to reveal his identity until “the right moment”), I found creepy and disturbing, particularly when people in your immediate circle are getting murdered. Seriously.
The last few scenes as well seemed a bit over-the-top, with the series of big reveals and the Nancy Drew level of danger the heroine found herself in. I realize a big trope of cozy mysteries is the heroine landing in danger for whatever reason, but it was also one of those moments where she walks headlong into dangerous situations unnecessarily.
Still, overall, it’s a quick, breezy read and a solid addition to the cozy mystery genre. And the cover art is hilarious.
Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.