A Composition in Murder is classic Cherry Tucker: family mess, fighting with the Bransons, being a nosy gossip, romance troubles, murder and mayhem. She’s got a steady paycheck only now she needs to keep it. Between retirees wanting to paint nudes and people wanting to kill her, that’s a tall order.
I adore this series for many reasons, but most of it wraps around Cherry. Working class, struggling, family problems, realistic issues stemming from her past, and she’s damn funny. I’m no artist but I love how it affects her perspective and how she identifies colors.
A Composition in Murder
by Larissa Reinhart
Series: Cherry Tucker Mystery #6
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Contemporary,
Format: Ebook, 266 pgs.
Source: Free for Review
Rating: 4 Stars
CW: Kidnapping, Drugs, Violence
With a new art teaching gig at Halo House—Halo, Georgia’s posh independent living home—and Halo society scrutinizing her family and her love life, Cherry Tucker needs to stay out of trouble. However, her sleuthing skills are sought by Halo House’s most famous resident: Belvia Brakeman, the ninety-year-old, blind CEO and founder of Meemaw’s Tea. Belvia confides in Cherry that the family tea empire is in jeopardy. The CEO suspects her daughter, the COO, has been murdered and she might be next. Her offer is hard to refuse, but will have Cherry treading on Forks County Sheriff toes, namely her personal Deputy Heartache, Luke Harper.
Amid her town troubles, can Cherry put her reputation, romance, and life on the line for the final request of a sweet tea tycoon? While she juggles senior citizen shenanigans, small town politics, and corporate family scandals, Cherry finds the sweet tea business cutthroat in more ways than one.
“Cherry Tucker is a strong, sassy, Southern sleuth who keeps you on the edge of your seat.”
– Tonya Kappes, USA Today Bestselling Author
“Anyone who likes humorous mysteries will also enjoy local author Larissa Reinhart, who captures small town Georgia in the laugh-out-loud escapades of struggling artist Cherry Tucker.”
– Fayette Woman Magazine
“The tone of this marvelously cracked book is not unlike Sophie Littlefield’s brilliant A Bad Day for Sorry, as author Reinhart dishes out shovelfuls of ribald humor and mayhem.”
– Mystery Scene Magazine (on Portrait of a Dead Guy)
“The hilariously droll Larissa Reinhart cooks up a quirky and entertaining page-turner! This charming mystery is delightfully Southern, surprisingly edgy, and deliciously unpredictable.”
– Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha Award-Winning Author of Truth Be Told (on Still Life in Brunswick Stew)
Artist and accidental detective Cherry Tucker goes back to high school and finds plenty of trouble and skeletons…Reinhart's charming, sweet-tea flavored series keeps getting better!”
– Gretchen Archer, USA Today Bestselling Author of the Davis Way Crime Caper Series (on Death in Perspective)
Fast paced and full of outrageous southern expressionism this is one mystery that will take you in many directions.
~Laura’s Interests (on A Composition in Murder)
I enjoyed that beneath Cherry’s tough exterior, she had such a heart for these individuals and you could tell they made a great impact in her life.
~ Grace Gratitude Life (on A Composition in Murder)
Maybe it’s just me, but as a series progresses, especially cozies, I start to worry. Often the characters fall into a rut based on what worked before and what was once loved becomes stagnate. Do I really need 18+ books with a 30 something woman playing hot potato with two men? Nooooooope.
The great news is Cherry doesn’t follow in other more famous footsteps that jumped off a cliff over a shark and wound up in La-La Land. There’s resolution! Progress! Holy shit, I can’t wait for the next one!
Mainly, it’s in regards to the romance. Todd starts dating someone, Cherry struggles but deals with it so it’s not drawn out stupidity. Her and Luke actually talk about their problems head on and come to an understanding. It’s not all wrapped up in a bow and there’s more to smooth out but I am fucking ecstatic right now, ya’ll have no idea. I was getting worried and frustrated around 50% - 75% of the way through, but if you can make it, the payoff is worth it.
Mysteries are great, but characters are the bedrock. I’ll put up with a disappointing mystery for the characters, not (usually) the other way around.
The good news is this mystery is a lot of fun with many players and pieces to put together. I did think at times it was stretched and Cherry was over the top. How did she not immediately get identified and in trouble of breaking that window? And she was surprised that it hurt?!?
I did call out the culprit about 75% through and Cherry’s stubborn denial at first did bother me, though she has reasons for doing so. We just weren’t on the same page as I already knew who, just not the why’s. I loved finding out that information in the showdown and wrap up.
Anyways, besides brief moments of her panicking into foolish territory and wondering how she functions as an adult, it was a great ride. Cherry kicking it with the seniors was a hoot. I love how she found her elderly counterpart in Ada – hilariously sassy, stubborn, loyal, and too much trouble.
About the Author:
A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery series. The first in the series, Portrait of a Dead Guy, is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. The sixth mystery, A Composition in Murder, releases November 15th. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, now live in Nagoya, Japan, but they still call Georgia home.
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