As Georgia sunshine turns to bleak December rain, Cherry’s R&R goes MIA when she finds a body in the woods. While the police believe the local drunk took an accidental spill, Cherry has her doubts, particularly when a series of malicious pranks are targeted at the rifle toting contestants. With loyal companions at her side—sort-of-ex-husband Todd and a championship bayer named Buckshot—Cherry tracks suspects through a forest full of pitfalls and perils. And all the while, a killer’s stalking the hunt party with a bead on Cherry.
My reading year has been busy, busy, busy. One of my regrets this year, however, has to have not caught up on my Cherry Tucker mysteries. I reviewed the 4th installment, Death in Perspective, in July 2014, but have been unable to get to the first three, so when the opportunity came to read The Body in the Landscape, I jumped at it.
When I first saw the word "Hogzilla", I just about burst out laughing. It sounded like a reality show a la "Duck Dynasty". There have been many bad things whose names end in 'zilla' - Hogzilla, Bridezilla, and the grand-daddy of all zillas-Godzilla. So, Cherry has been invited to paint a portrait of the lucky Hogzilla-slayer. Part of me wondered why they went with a painting instead of a photograph, but hey, why not, right?
In an out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire move, Cherry gets away from the Branson-Ballard feud (and thereby Luke) and in steps her ex-husband Todd. Most often exes don't show up in cozies, and rarer still for an MC and her ex on not-entirely-uncivil speaking terms.
One of my favorite things about Ms. Reinhart's Cherry Tucker series is the examination of differences and clashes between the economic and societal classes. I'm not saying that the poorer folks are more noble than rich people by virtue of not having a lot of things, but by the same token, rich people are not 'better' than everyone else by virtue of having a lot of money. But many people have that idea ... just look at the Republican candidates for POTUS. (Ouch!)
Picture me fist-pumping when Cherry once again managed to (figuratively) duck for cover (little hunting joke) from the murderer just in the nick of time. And I hope she keeps bringing her brand of social commentary to cozies for a long time to come.
MEET THE AUTHOR
The first, Portrait of a Dead Guy, is a Daphne du Maurier finalist, Emily finalist, and Dixie Kane Memorial winner.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my objective review. Post contains affiliate links.)