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Cute, tiny, and trim, Cherry is a dynamo of an artist. She chose to return home to Halo, Georgia after graduating from art school, but she needs a commission. After Dustin Branson, "criminal in the making" is murdered, she is determined to win the commission to paint his portrait. Instead of a portrait she expected to paint of Dustin from a photo, his step-mother wants his portrait drawn of him in his casket. Okay! The customer is always right! In order to have it done in time for the funeral, Cherry takes the keys to the mortuary to return after hours to begin her work where someone hits her on her head and then ransacks the corpse and spills her paints. Cherry's habit of speaking before she thinks keeps getting her in trouble as she tries to clear her name of any wrong doing. Her friends and family, as unique and quirky as they come, try to help her and protect her, but it's not easy! This is a fast and hilarious mystery with fascinating characters who come to life as you read.
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Posted March 9, 2013
Portrait of a Dead Guy
This book provided by NetGalley and Henery Press for an honest review.
Portrait of a Dead Guy was a humorous story about struggling artist Cherry Tucker. In an attempt to buoy her business, Cherry agrees to a most interesting interesting business proposal -- to paint a portrait of the town's recently deceased bad boy. That decision lands Cherry in the middle of conflict, chaos, and controversy -- with her being the common denominator.
I really enjoyed Portrait of a Dead Guy because it was quirky and funny. When reading this story, one should not compare Cherry with any of the other female sleuths in the fiction world. She is truly unique and has her own style into working into "who done it". She definitely did not take the point A to point B approach but meandered a bit which allowed the reader to glean more about her, her family, and the residents of Halo. At times, the meandering was a bit maddening for this reader because I wanted to just reach through my Kindle and physically move Cherry and say, "Look over there, girly." *LOL* But the journey in reading Cherry get "there" was an absolutely enjoyable ride.
And for the romance lovers out there, there was a bit of that too in the story. Cherry had a Brittney Spears type wedding/annulment to the town heartthrob, Todd McIntosh, who was superficially present throughout the story in his beautiful "blonde bimbo" kind of way. *LOL* Then there was Cherry's childhood "sweetheart", Luke Harper. Luke was a man's man. Former military. Aloof. Sexy!!! Cherry had a weakness for beautiful men and she had it in spades with Todd and Luke who overwhelmed her better senses. And what made it worse was that they both had dimples. Devastatingly beautiful dimples *sigh* Poor Cherry never stood a chance. The push-pull dynamic in her emotions about both men kept the story fun in the romance department too.
Although I really enjoyed the story it dragged a bit longer than I would have normally liked. The meandering that I mentioned earlier was both good (for the aforementioned reasons) and bad because the story felt a bit sluggish in spots because of it. The action didn't really pick up until about 70% into the story for me when Cherry started pulling the pieces together. Now, don't get me wrong, that wasn't bad but us "high octane" readers like the action to happen quicker in the story.
But, as the first, Portrait of a Dead Guy, sets the stage for a funny, unconventional, and intriguing new series.
Posted November 12, 2012
COLOR ME DEAD!
I liked the *bones* of Portrait of a Dead Guy most. Mystery, check. Small southern town, check. Cute sassy protagonist, check. Trucks, fried chicken, cowboy good-looking guys, check. Lots of suspects, check. Neat tidy finish, check. What I found in Larissa Reinhart’s pilot, though, are two very impressive extras. One—Cherry Tucker isn’t a wanna-be private investigator, she simply wants to clear her name and in the process, discovers skills she didn’t know she had to go along with (second surprise) the skills she *does* have. The art theme is fresh, perfectly proportioned, and throughout—tempura, Manet, tableau, Rubens, Jackson Pollack. Brilliant!
Posted November 7, 2012
In Portrait of a Dead Guy, Larissa Reinhart introduces Cherry Tucker in a good old-fashioned who-dun-it. There are traces of sweet romance and a bit of suspense, but at its heart, Portrait is about finding out who the murderer is.
Cherry Tucker is a formally trained starving artist who chooses to move back to her rural Georgia roots rather than join some swanky artist colony in someplace “cool”. Cherry ekes out a living by combining chasing commissions for portraits with visiting her grandfather and sister at mealtimes.
When Cherry hears that the richest family in town wants a portrait of their murdered son in his coffin, Cherry can’t help herself from going after the job aggressively.
All Cherry has in mind is to paint the portrait and collect the sizable commission. But when she is conked on the head late at night alone in the funeral home with the deceased, Cherry makes it her mission to track down her attacker. She cranks up her efforts when the roommate of one of her friends is the next one to die. Think Jessica Fletcher transformed into a twenty-something, somewhat flighty Southern girl.
Forgive me the bad pun, but Reinhart paints a portrait of Cherry in words as well as Cherry paints in, well, paint. Bless Cherry’s heart, she is a fine mess. As sweet as her name, yes, but sweetly flawed. She simply can’t choose between two lovers; she goes back and forth between Luke and Todd as quickly as the clock ticks away seconds. Although in her defense, I’d find it hard to pick one of these fellows over the other myself. Cherry dukes it out verbally with the cousin of the deceased, who is an artist in her own right. Cherry is quite open about what she thinks about Shawna’s so-called artistic talent, not hesitating to call her out in public or private about the tackiness of what Shawna calls “paintographs.” I couldn’t always decide whether to cheer Cherry on or scold her!
Reinhart creates a great supporting cast of characters for Cherry, starting with her family—grandfather, sister, and brother—moving on to her boyfriends/one-time Vegas-wed husband in the vein of Brittany Spears’ first “marriage”, the crazy family of the fella in the coffin, and a smarmy car salesman. It might sound like a cliché—smarmy car salesman—but Reinhart pulls it off with the right amount of smarminess and very little cliché.
The pacing is fast, with enough twists and turns to keep me interested, but steadily enough that I did figure out the “who” of the who-dun-it myself, but not so soon that I lost interest in staying with Cherry until she finally figures it out, too.
Fans of this book will be happy to know that this is just the first of Cherry’s many adventures to come. I’ll be waiting to see what kind of bad guy Cherry takes down next.
Posted October 18, 2012
No text was provided for this review.