When unpopular billionaire Thomas Whistler, Jr., turns up dead in his hot tub, it sends shock waves through the small town of Chautauqua, New York. The prime suspects: his seven kids, all of whom stand to gain from their unloved father’s death and have their greedy paws outstretched for their share of his estate. It’s the perfect case for Mimi Goldman, sports reporter by day, amateur detective by night. With the help of her fiancé, her son, and some good friends, Mimi puts her sleuthing skills to work to solve the murder, while simultaneously preparing to walk down the aisle. Will she crack the case in time for the wedding? Or will someone stop her before she can say “I do”?
THE FRUIT OF LIES is the latest in Deb Pines’ series featuring her winsome crime solver, Mimi, and she’s still going strong. Pines delivers plenty of suspense in another successful small-town mystery, set this time in the artsy village of Chautauqua. Pines is a confident storyteller and there is enough fast-paced action and high-octane thrills to keep readers hooked–and guessing who dunnit–until the last page. Her writing is clear, concise, and engaging and there’s a good bit of lightheartedness to leaven out the darker qualities of the story.
The characterization in THE FRUIT OF LIES is also top notch. Mimi is a charismatic, likable heroine–readers won’t doubt that she’ll solve the mystery–and her confidence and spunk make her easy to root for. Pines also paints a compelling picture of the murder victim; rich, but cruel, even to his own children. And those children—the principal suspects—are a gas, each with a motive to have committed the crime. Mimi’s foodie fiancé and scamp of a son provide support, and a 93-year-old daredevil driver offers up some knee-slapping humor. Also of note is the way Chautauqua becomes a character in its own right; Pines gives it life and breath that will make readers feel as if they’re walking down the streets.
THE FRUIT OF LIES, the latest entry in Deb Pines’ excellent murder mystery series, is yet another well-crafted, spine-tingling and suspenseful murder mystery that will satisfy fans and newcomers alike.
~Heather McNamara for IndieReader