The Curse of the Cherry Pie

Severn House. (Tish Tarragon Mystery, Bk. 4). May 2021. 224p. ISBN 9780727890559. $28.99. M
This is Meade’s fourth Tish Tarragon mystery (following The Christmas Fair Killer). After Celestine Rufus’s husband dies, she’s not up to participating in the Virginia Commonwealth Bake-Off, so Tish (Celestine’s boss at Cookin’ the Books Café) steps in to take her place. When Tish lists her three entries for the bake-off, including a signature cherry pie, everyone reacts badly. The last two contestants who entered cherry pies are dead. Tish’s journalist friend Julian hysterically calls the pie cursed and begs her to change her entry. But Tish wants to discover how a respected Southern event is connected to two deaths. Tish’s lawyer boyfriend is only concerned about how her investigation reflects on his campaign for mayor, while the acting sheriff sneers at the notes and threats she receives. Fortunately, Tish’s lifelong friends are in her corner.
VERDICT A delicious character-driven treat for fans of The Great British Baking Show or Krista Davis’s “Domestic Diva” mysteries. Foodies will relish this latest addition to a series featuring a likable amateur sleuth with supportive, well-developed friends, along with recipes and talk of food.
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