Y’all seriously don’t want a day in my life. I’m Casey Tucker. I live on my Grandpa’s farm in Halo, Georgia, with my brother Cody and a bunch of goats. I wait tables at Red’s County Line Tap. Sounds real exciting, doesn’t it? Not that she knows it, but I’m thinking of moving in with my sister, Cherry Tucker, who has Great Gam’s in-town cottage. And not because Grandpa’s new girlfriend Pearl can cook better than me. That ain’t it, although I’d love to tell Pearl to take a hike.
You see, Cherry has an exciting life for Halo’s standards. She’s an artist, went to art school in Savannah even. Got a mouth on her that won’t stop, so she’s always in the midst of some kind of trouble. Will stand up to anybody if she thinks some injustice’s been done. Always been like that. She beat the snot out of Jeffrey Brooks in kindergarten for making fun of Whitney Elgin’s trashy mother. And did I mention Cherry’s, like, five foot tall? Imagine her size in kindergarten. Eats like she’s a sumo wrestler, though. I don’t know where she puts it. Certainly not her boobs.
So I’ve been thinking I should move in with Cherry. Someone needs to keep an eye on her. Her friend Eloise died while she and Cherry worked an art booth at the Brunswick Stew Cook-Off in little ol’ Stillwater. Eloise had some kind of stomach disease and the police think a nutjob poisoned the cook-off stew. But Cherry’s got it in her head that someone killed Eloise on purpose. Like murder. Cherry’s supposed to be working on a big painting project for some gallery deal Eloise got her in, but all Cherry does is run back and forth to Stillwater, talking to teenage boys with neck tats and collecting gossip.
And if she’s not focusing on Eloise’s death, she’s trying to bust Max Avtaikin on his latest bingo scheme. Cherry thinks he’s ripping off old ladies, so she’s determined to stop him. You know what I think? I think Max likes to get a rise out of Cherry, just like everybody else. It’s easy to do. And he likes to make easy money, so he probably is ripping off little old ladies. But they love Max. The blue hairs stalk him just to deliver baked goods. Cherry better watch it or she’ll find herself gutted with a steel tipped cane. Those Ladies Auxiliary women can get nasty if they want to.
You know who else wants to stop her? Luke Harper, Cherry’s boyfriend and the newest deputy in the Forks County Sheriff’s Department. Luke’s getting pretty steamed with her interference in police business. And she’s getting pretty steamed with Luke for not introducing her to his parents. His stepdad is JB Branson, the local big wig. You know the type. The kind that doesn’t care for folks like the Tuckers even though our family’s lived in this neck of the woods as long as the Bransons.
Poor Cherry. She’s doomed in the man department due to the male-stupidity gene passed on to her from our Momma’s DNA. If it’s not bad enough she’s got trouble in paradise with Luke, her ex-husband Todd is still gunning to renup those broken vows. Most think Todd is a good candidate for town idiot, but the man drums better than Lars from Metallica and wins poker tournaments without blinking an eye. He can’t be that stupid. And he somehow talked my sister into a Vegas wedding even if she did annul it. Todd must do something right.
Cherry just needs to focus. That girl is worse than a Jack Russell terrier on steroids. Maybe if she can figure out what happened to her friend Eloise, she can concentrate on fixing her own hot mess.
Larissa is giving away one (1) copy of STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the author. Contest ends May 30 and US entries only.
You can read more about Cherry in Still Life In Brunswick Stew, the second book in the “Cherry Tucker” mystery series. The first book in the series is Portrait Of A Dead Guy.
Meet the author
Larissa Reinhart loves small town characters, particularly sassy women with a penchant for trouble. STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW (May 2013) is the second in the Cherry Tucker Mystery Series. The first, PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY, is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, a 2012 The Emily finalist, and a 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. She lives near Atlanta with her minions and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit. Visit her website, her Facebook page, or find her chatting with the Little Read Hens on Facebook.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.