Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
CHERRY PIES & DEADLY LIES by Darci Hannah (published June 8, 2018 by Midnight Ink) is the first novel in the Very Cherry Mystery series. Main character Whitney Bloom rushes home to her small hometown of Cherry Cove after a dead body is found at her parents’ Cherry Orchard Inn. The murder took place just days before the annual Cherry Blossom Festival is about to begin, and Whitney’s father is the number one suspect. Whitney pitches in to help her parents handle the festival, do damage control for the Inn, and find the real killer.
CHERRY PIES & DEADLY LIES is a fun cozy mystery with some plot twists that will keep the reader guessing. The murderer, the motive, and the additional crimes that took place were all interesting. Had the mystery aspect not been as strong or compelling, I probably wouldn’t have been as interested in the novel. The main character, Whitney Bloom, is the typical bumbling, amateur detective. Her father is the number one suspect, so she sticks her nose into the police investigation to help clear his name. She then continues to remain involved because her parents’ Inn is placed in jeopardy due to all of the criminal acts taking place on the property. While a likable enough character, Whitney got a little annoying at times. She came off as very immature, reckless, and boy crazy in some scenes. Whitey finds at least four men attractive – jumping between which one she is the most interested in faster than the cherry blossoms fall from the trees. Some of the other secondary characters – especially the ones who are roughly the same age as Whitney – also come off as a bit immature and reckless. Something else that didn’t sit well with me was how the town’s only police officer not only allows Whitney to take an active role in his investigation, but lets her family, friends, and whoever else tag along so that they can all get in his way and hamper his activities.