Friday, June 6, 2014

Death in Perspective, by Larissa Reinhart

I read a really good book recently, y'all — Death in Perspective, by Larissa Reinhart.  Let me tell you a little about it.

Synopsis, from the author's website:
The curtain rises on Cherry Tucker’s debut as a high school set designer at the posh Peerless Day Academy. Cherry’s been hired for an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, but the drama director is hoping Cherry can also turn the spotlight on a malicious social media bully who’s sending poisonous texts to the faculty. The director’s got his own drama to hide, and the phantom texter seems eager to spill school secrets. When the principal’s secretary commits suicide, Cherry suspects foul play. 

Deputy Luke Harper is ready to return as Cherry’s leading man. He’s eager to assist in finding the phantom culprit, but Cherry fears family secrets offstage may doom them to the role as star-crossed lovers. With the bully waiting for a murderous encore and her own family skeletons to hide, Cherry scrambles to find her brother and the mysterious texter before the phantom decides it’s curtains for Cherry and forces her to take a final bow.

I love this book — #4 in the Cherry Tucker Mystery series.  The main character of Death in Perspective, Cherry Tucker, has a great sense of humor, as do many of her friends, family members, and neighbors.  I was laughing out loud at times while I read it.  The pacing is just right — neither too slow, nor too fast.  I had a hard time putting Death in Perspective down.  In fact, I stayed up late to finish it; it's that good!

Cherry and the other characters seem realistic, and are placed in realistic situations.  Author Larissa Reinhart's world-building in Death in Perspective is spot on.  The town of Halo, in Forks County, Georgia, seems so real to me, that I am (almost) fully convinced that I can drive down there, visit with Cherry and her family and friends, meet Tater and Snickerdoodle, eat some barbecue at the Lickety Pig, and hang out a while at Red's County Line Tap.   
The mystery of Death in Perspective's "malicious social media bully" comes to a thrilling conclusion.  I suspected who the perpetrator might be, but my correct guess in no way detracted from my enjoyment of this great, very fun read.  The serious subject of suicide, including teen suicide, is handled well and in a sensitive manner. 

In addition to the resolved mystery in Death in Perspective, there is more to the ongoing mystery that began in book 1, Portrait of a Dead Guy, when Shawna Branson asked Cherry for some photographs that Shawna had lost.  In preparation for reading and reviewing Death in Perspective, I re-read books 1 - 3, and found several clues to this series mystery that I had not picked up on earlier.  I am looking forward to reading book #5, to find out what happens next in the continuing saga of Shawna's photos.  

Because of this continuing mystery in the Cherry Tucker Mysteries, I recommend that the books be read in order; however, it is possible to read Death in Perspective as a stand-alone.  The important task is .... read the book!   

I recommend Death in Perspective to all cozy mystery fans, especially those who like "hick lit" (the author's term — I love it!) books with strong, sassy heroines and quirky characters.  
Death in Perspective has earned Five Kitties, our highest rating!   

The publisher provided a review copy of this book to me for free, in exchange for an honest review.