Humor, Hijackings and a Handful of Hunks...
With a classical series sold and a portrait commissioned, Cherry Tucker’s art career is in Georgia overdrive. But when the sheriff asks Cherry to draw a composite sketch of a hijacker, her life takes a hairpin as the composite leads to a related murder, her local card-sharking buddy Max Avtaikin becomes bear bait and her nemesis labels the classical series “pervert art.”
Cherry’s jamming gears between trailer parks, Atlanta mansions, and trucker bars searching for the hijacker who left a widow and orphan destitute. While she seeks to help the misfortunate and save her local reputation, Cherry’s hammer down attitude has her facing the headlights of an oncoming killer.
Praise for HIJACK IN ABSTRACT:
“The fast-paced plot careens through small-town politics and deadly rivalries, with zany side trips through art-world shenanigans and romantic hijinx. Like front-porch lemonade, Reinhart’s cast of characters offers a perfect balance of tart and sweet.” – Sophie Littlefield, Bestselling Author of A Bad Day for Sorry
“Reinhart manages to braid a complicated plot into a tight and funny tale…Cozy fans will love this latest Cherry Tucker mystery.” – Mary Marks, New York Journal of Books
“I love this series! Cheeky, clever, and compelling—keeps me reading way too late. This book has one of the most original—and fun—love triangles you’ll ever come across.” – Kaye George, Agatha Award-Nominated Author of the Imogene Duckworthy Mysteries
“Cherry Tucker is back – tart-tongued and full of sass. With her paint-stained fingers in every pie, she’s in for a truckload of trouble.” – J.J. Murphy, Author of the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries
“Witty, fast paced dialogue sandwiched between vivid descriptions and interesting characters made Hijack in Abstract come to life before my eyes. Larissa Reinhart and Cherry Tucker have a lifelong fan. My recommendation—don’t miss this one!” – Christine Warner, Author of Bachelor’s Special
“Artist Cherry Tucker just can’t help chasing after justice, even when it lands her up to her eyeballs in Russian gangsters, sexy exes, and treacherous truckers. A rambunctious mystery as Southern as chess pie and every bit as delectable.” – Jane Sevier, Author of the Psychic Socialite 1930s Memphis Mysteries
“A true work of art…I didn’t want this book to end! I was so caught up in Cherry’s crazy life, I wanted to just keep reading. You will, too.” – Gayle Trent, Author of Battered to Death
“Cherry Tucker’s got an artist’s palette of problems, but she handles them better than da Vinci on a deadline. Bust out your gesso and get primed for humor, hijackings, and a handful of hunks!” – Diane Vallere, Author of the Style & Error and Mad for Mod Mystery Series
“Reinhart took me on a fun rollercoaster ride…I haven’t had this much fun trying to solve a mystery in a while and it sure beats playing a game of Clue any day!Four out of five stars.” – Literary, etc.
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Genre: Humorous Cozy Mystery
Length: 257 pages
Release Date: December 18, 2013
« The Book Excerpt »
Genre: Humorous Cozy Mystery
Length: 257 pages
Release Date: December 18, 2013
« The Book Excerpt »
There are many places you don’t want to be at zero dark thirty, but I’ve got a personal top three. One is the ER. Second is a police station. The third is your ex-boyfriend’s bedroom.
Thank God Almighty I was not in number three. Stupid does catch me occasionally, but not this night. I was nowhere near an ex-boyfriend’s bedroom.
At two forty-five in the morning, I found myself in number two. The Forks County Sheriff’s Office to be accurate. My cornflower blues were a bit bloodshot and blurry, but my grin matched Shep Peterson’s, who also found himself in a similar location. However, Shep had a drunk tank grin. Mine was more of a self-congratulatory grin, born from knowing that finally someone in Forks County had recognized my accomplishments in the art world. Never mind the phone call that woke me from a dead sleep and near gave me a heart attack.
Or that I had to drive my sister’s Firebird because her vehicle was blocking my driveway. Or that I now sat in the junior officers’ room with a cold cup of coffee and had just realized I had forgotten to comb my bed-head designed blonde cowlicks in my bleary-eyed haste.
And to put on a bra.
The Forks County Sheriff, Uncle Will, needed my expertise. That’s all that mattered. And I was going to get paid.
Needed me for what was still a bit vague. I hoped nothing needing brushed hair and a bra.
* * * * *
With my messenger bag bumping my back, I hugged my chest, figuring it best not to give an extra show to Shep and the boys. I followed Uncle Will down the hallway, waiting while he unlocked a door. The door opened and two faces turned to look at us. One I didn’t recognize, but judging by his despondent expression, I figured he was probably in a mess of trouble. The other person, another deputy, I identified immediately. Hard not to recognize those brown ochre curls with the highlights I had decided were transparent oxide-red lake. Or the lean, muscled body, much like Michelangelo’s David. Or by the strong jaw buttressing two adorable dimples that made a rare showing.
Unfortunately, I knew Deputy Luke Harper a little too well.
He gave me a scant nod and turned back to the perp.
My hand snuck back to my hair and yanked on a particularly tall cowlick in back. I gritted my teeth and gave myself a quick lecture not to make a scene. We had aired our irreconcilable differences behind the local roadhouse, Red’s County Line Tap, a few months ago and I had not quite recovered.
“That’s Tyrone Coderre,” said Uncle Will. “He’s going to give you a description to draw. We need a composite sketch.”
Uncle Will stopped me before I entered the room and pulled me to the side. “Can I leave Deputy Harper in there with you or do I need to call in another officer? Harper’s the one who picked up Coderre, so this is his investigation.”
“I’m quite capable of separating my personal and professional life,” I said, tilting my chin so I could eyeball Uncle Will. “You might want to ask the same of him.”
“I trust Luke not to screw up his job. You are another story.”
I gave him a “why, I never” gasp.
“I’m going to be watching through the two-way.” He tapped my messenger bag. “Lucky for you, I don’t know other artists to call during the middle of the night. Wouldn’t want to be accused of nepotism. But I want a sketch while the memory is still fresh in Coderre’s mind. Don’t disappoint me, Cherry.”
“So, this is an important investigation?” Excitement zipped through my veins and made my fingers tingle. “I won’t let you down. You can even deputize me if you want.”
Uncle Will chuckled. “Just draw us a good picture. That’s plenty helpful.”
“Yes, sir,” I said and snuck by him to enter the room. I nodded to the man in the black sweat suit behind the table and held out my hand. “Hello, Mr. Coderre. I’m Cherry Tucker, a local artist.”
“Don’t shake his hand,” barked Luke. “Are you crazy?”
Tyrone Coderre’s cuffed hands retreated below the table, and I blew out a hard breath.
Looked like it was going to be a long night. At least the criminal had manners.
Couldn’t say the same for the cop.
« The Guest Post »
DIYing HEROINE FASHION (Part Two)
Thanks so much for having me at The Back Fence! I’m so glad to be here today and thought your readers might enjoy some reading meets crafting chat. In Hijack in Abstract, her third mystery, Cherry Tucker wears a variety of DIY clothing. I thought I’d share the outfits, but show how a real DIYer could use Cherry’s crazy ideas to make their own unique embellishments.
The background: The heroine of the Cherry Tucker Mystery series is an artist. Classically trained portraitist, from a small, Southern country town called Halo. Her tough, redneck roots and creative ingenuity help her solve crimes, attract the wrong sort of men, and outfit her in themed outfits. As an artist, she’s always broke, but with her penchant for interesting dress, Cherry uses her DIY craft skills to match her wardrobe to her personality.
Red ombre dyed tank top, gold jeans, and red faux-Ray Bans.
To match the gold and red decor of her patron’s mansion. Her patron’s decor sense is a Victorian-Baroque mashup of epic proportions.
The non-fiction DIY: A good tip I saw for dip dying is to roll up the part of the fabric you don’t want dyed and secure it with a clip-on hanger. That way you can hold the hanger to dip the cloth in the dye in increments. To keep the dye from forming lines on the cloth, keep the dye moving by stirring with a paint stirrer.
A tube top decorated with multi-colored, micro-beads spelling out her name.
Worn under a shear shirt that was destroyed while escaping a stalker. Some of the beads are scraped off in her crawl over a hill, so eventually the tube top reads “Che y” and is mistaken for a Spanish phrase.
The non-fiction DIY: A tube top has a lot of elastic and in reality, probably difficult to sew. For seed beads or anything bigger, though, sewing is your best bet for attaching to fabric. However, if you have jewel-like beads with no holes, gluing is your only option. Look for glitter and gem glue or embellishing glue for jewels.
In the second Cherry Tucker book, Still Life in Brunswick Stew, Cherry glued Swarovski crystals in the shape of a Raku pot on the back of a dress in memorial for her deceased, potter friend. Unfortunately the dripping white glaze in the black pot made everyone think she had jeweled a derriere on the back of her dress and was kicked out of the funeral.
An on-the-spot bullet holster from a t-shirt.
Necessary when you have no pockets in your skirt and you need to carry extra shells. Because you’re life and the life of your friend is in danger. And...you get the picture.
The non-fiction DIY: This is easily achieved by looping the ends of a t-shirt through the neck hole and folding up the hem. Cherry drops the extra shells into the excess material. Not recommended in reality.
However, cutting and knotting t-shirts for embellishment has gotten really popular. I loved this idea for making a too-large t-shirt fit. Turn the shirt inside out and cut off the hem to the desired length (the t-shirt material should roll, so no hemming necessary). Cut the side seam of the t-shirt from just under the armpit seam (don’t cut the armpit). Now fringe the sides by making a series of cuts of equal length perpendicular to the seam. Tie the cuts together. You’ll have a series of tiny knots going up the side of your t-shirt. Turn the t-shirt right side-out, and you’ll have a new seam that looks braided. Adjust the fringe cuts to the size you want.
Thanks so much for having me on today! I hope you enjoy these embellishments a la Cherry Tucker! Do you have any embellishment ideas you’d think Cherry Tucker should use in a future story? I’m writing her fifth mystery now and always looking for ideas!
« About Larissa Reinhart »