Still Life in Brunswick Stew by Larissa Reinhart is the second book in the “Cherry Tucker” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, May 2013
Cherry Tucker’s in a stew. Art commissions dried up after her nemesis became president of the County Arts Council. Desperate and broke, Cherry and her friend, Eloise, spend a sultry summer weekend hawking their art at the Sidewinder Annual Brunswick Stew Cook-Off. When a bad case of food poisoning breaks out and Eloise dies, the police brush off her death as accidental. However, Cherry suspects someone spiked the stew and killed her friend. As Cherry calls on cook-off competitors, bitter rivals, and crooked judges, the police get steamed while the killer prepares to cook Cherry’s goose.
If I liked Cherry before, I love her now. That girl has gumption and everyone better move out her way when she’s in the pursuit of justice. This time it is her friend Eloise who suddenly dies and when the autopsy shows she was poisoned, Cherry already has her list of suspects and the fun begins as she systematically narrows down her list, until the killer is revealed, and boy was we all snookered by that.
This was a great read that me rooting for Cherry in all manner of things. Tried as she might, she kept putting herself in the most peculiar situations and it was fun watching her get out of it. Oh would I love to be on the wall, when a certain someone gets their comeuppance. The mystery was good as it kept me turning the pages with some surprising twists that I saw a bit too late, which made this action-filled whodunit, entertainingly delightful. I’m looking forward to reading the next book so see where Cherry lands this time.