ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 21, 2013
Cherry Tucker’s in a stew. Art commissions dried up after her nemesis became president of the County Arts Council. Desperate and broke, Cherry and her friend, Eloise, spend a sultry summer weekend hawking their art at the Sidewinder Annual Brunswick Stew Cook-Off. When a bad case of food poisoning breaks out and Eloise dies, the police brush off her death as accidental. However, Cherry suspects someone spiked the stew and killed her friend. As Cherry calls on cook-off competitors, bitter rivals, and crooked judges, the police get steamed while the killer prepares to cook Cherry’s goose
REVIEW: This is the second book in the Cherry Tucker Investigative series. It’s a little town in Georgia drama, revolving around an annual event the Brunswick Stew Festival.
Cherry Tucker is a local artist involved in her town. She’s dating a deputy sheriff Luke Harper, but has an ex-husband (sort of) who she married while in Las Vegas for a few hours before having it annulled, Todd McIntosh. Although Todd is an ex, he’s still a good friend and holds no animosity – in fact he’s still very much attracted to Cherry. This makes for some interesting conflict.
During the festival her friend and fellow artist Eloise Parker who has eaten about six sample bowls of the stew is taken very ill. Upset and trying to make people realize that Eloise, who had Crohn’s disease, was much too suddenly ill and she doesn’t believe it was her Crohn’s. When they reached the hospital it seems about 50 or more other people were also very ill, one in a coma. When Cherry goes to find Eloise’s room, she finds Eloise’s family crying and they tell her Eloise didn’t make it. Eloise’s father asks Cherry to help find out what happened to her, as he also doesn’t believe that her Crohn’s caused her death. He wants to know exactly what killed his daughter and won’t believe the police will give it the attention she deserves.
Cherry’s boyfriend as well as her sheriff uncle don’t want her involved in the case while they are investigating, but Cherry has very much a mind of her own…making her a cross somewhere between Lucille Ball and Stephanie Plum. Investigating in her own way, she has mishaps and yet somehow discovers that someone added arsenic to something served at the festival.
Larissa Reinhart has written a very interesting tale of murder, betrayal, romantic entanglement…you name it, this story has it! Very intriguing and fast paced. There are a lot of wonderful characters who quickly become your friends, family and enemies. It’s a twisting story of dysfunctional people, relationships, greed and more. There’s more than a little humor with a good bit of danger mixed in, making it a really great read.
Hope it doesn’t take too long to get back to Cherry and her next adventure!
1. Portrait of a Dead Guy
2. Still Life in Brunswick Stew
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Georgianna S.