As a portrait artist Cherry Tucker has done her fair share of paintings, but the Branson’s have asked for something beyond strange. If she had not been desperate for money she might have refused. The Branson’s son Dustin was known for his criminal tendencies and eventually that cost him his life. The parents wanted a portrait of their son. But rather than telling her to use photographs or old home videos, they desire that Cherry paint him in his coffin. Add in the stress of an old nemesis, Shawna, and an old boyfriend and you have a situation. Her ex used and ignored her. Then he walked away from her. He is now back. Soon Cherry is pulled into finding out who had it in for the much hated Dustin.
This is a mystery that will have you laughing at times and cheering Cherry when she lets go with a sardonic remarks at others. There were times I thought, "What an absolute jerk!" as I read about her ex Luke and his step-father. With time you begin to realize that all is not as it first appears. You are quickly drawn into this story as you read and take part of the characters’ lives. Some you will like, some you will dislike, and some you would cross the street to avoid if they were real and you saw them while you were out.
This is the first in a series by Larissa Reinhart. I enjoyed how well Ms. Reinhart balances the humor with suspense. She does it just right and keeps it light. I cannot wait to read book two, Still Life In Brunswick Stew.
Pick up a copy and read Portrait of a Dead Guy.
In Halo, Georgia, folks know Cherry Tucker as big in mouth, small in stature, and able to sketch a portrait faster than kudzu climbs telephone poles -- but commissions are scarce. So when the well-heeled Branson family wants to memorialize their murdered son in a coffin portrait, Cherry scrambles to win their patronage from her small town rival.
As the clock ticks toward the deadline, Cherry faces more trouble than just a controversial subject. Between ex-boyfriends, her flaky family, an illegal gambling ring, and outwitting a killer on a spree, Cherry find herself painted into a corner she'll be lucky to survive.