I know what y’all are thinking. You’ve been eyeing me over that bottle of beer for a long time. I saw you near the stage during my last set behind the drums. Probably liked my leather pants and my drumsticks. But that’s not why you keep studying my awesome guns and ripped six-pack. I can tell what’s going on in that pretty, little mind. You’re thinking, why does this dude look so familiar?
If I stripped down to my skivvies, it’d probably jolt your memory. Maybe jolt some of your other parts, too.
Yep, I’m the guy in the Cherry Tucker paintings that’s got everybody so heated up. The title was some classical something-or-other for a gallery show out in Athens, Georgia. Cherry calls the paintings Three Greek Todds for short because she painted me in some famous Greek dude poses. One of ‘em even had a frisbee. And you call them nudes, not nekkid. I guess they appreciate their nudes in Athens. It’s a college town. Atlanta, too, because some rich lawyer guy from Buckhead bought the triptych.
But here in Halo, Georgia, nudes are not appreciated. Which is why Cherry’s been labeled a “pervert artist.” Well, I guess we’ve both been labeled a couple of perverts by Shawna Branson. But I don’t mind. Cherry says I’m her muse and that’s okay with me. She didn’t take too well to being my wife, but I’m glad we can still be friends. Plus she’s a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with.
Although she doesn’t do much hanging. Right now she spends a lot of time driving back and forth to Atlanta to paint the portrait of the rich lawyer who bought the Greek Todd paintings. And running around Forks County, trying to clear up her name. And to this trucker bar, The Gearjammer, hunting down a hijacker. And to a tired, old trailer park run by meth cookers to visit this orphan and old widow woman. That girl has no fear when it comes to getting into scrapes. Cherry’ll take on anybody and that’s just fun to watch, is what that is. She’s like a cute, little wind-up toy that you let go and watch where it ends up.
Don’t tell her I said that. She’d probably punch me. She hates being called cute.
I’m a little worried about Cherry and all this running around, actually. She won’t tell anyone, but ever since she did that composite sketch of the Dixie Truck hijacker, she’s been acting a little nervy. Jumpy, you know? Like she thinks someone’s following her. And blaming herself for the shooting of the witness, that junkie copper thief, so much so she vowed to his grandma that she’d figure out who shot him. She takes everything to heart and expects everyone else to do the same.
It’s what we love about her. And others hate. Being around Cherry Tucker ain’t a picnic, but what’s so great about lying around on a blanket getting bit up by fire ants? Chasing after Cherry is fun. That’s what I call a good day in the life. Winding up Cherry and watching her go.
HIJACK IN ABSTRACT, A Cherry Tucker Mystery #3
(Henery Press, November 5, 2013)
Cherry Tucker’s love life has shifted into neutral. And her siblings, Grandpa, and sort-of-ex-husband have flipped her personal life to greasy side up. But life in Halo, Georgia, isn’t all bad for the sassy, Southern artist. Her career has pushed into full throttle. A classical series sold. A portrait commissioned. Then Uncle Will, Forks County Sheriff, calls in a favor to have Cherry draw a composite sketch of a hijacker. Suddenly, life takes a hairpin when the composite leads to a related murder, her local card sharking buddy Max Avtaikin becomes bear bait, and her Amazonian nemesis labels the classical series “pervert art,” causing Cherry to be shunned by the town.
Cherry’s jamming gears between trailer parks, Atlanta mansions, and trucker bars searching for the hijacker who left a widow and orphan destitute and Max Avtaikin in legal jeopardy. While she seeks to help the misfortunate and save her local reputation, Cherry’s hammer down attitude has her facing the headlights of an oncoming killer, ready to grind her gears for good.
Meet the author
Growing up in a small town, Larissa Reinhart couldn’t wait to move to an exotic city far from corn fields. After moving around the US and Japan, now she loves to write about rough hewn characters that live near corn fields, particularly sassy women with a penchant for trouble. HIJACK IN ABSTRACT is the third in the Cherry Tucker Mystery Series from Henery Press, following STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW (May 2013) and PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY, a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist. QUICK SKETCH, a Cherry Tucker prequel to PORTRAIT, is in the mystery anthology THE HEARTACHE MOTEL (December 2013). She lives near Atlanta with her minions and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit. Visit her website larissareinhart.com or find her chatting with her other minions, the Mystery Minions, on Facebook.