Cover Reveal ~ A Composition in Murder by Larissa Reinhart

I’m so excited to once again reveal the cover for the next book in the “Cherry Tucker” mystery series.

A Composition in Murder

Cherry Tucker’s sixth full novel, A Composition in Murder, launches November 15, 2016. With a short story in a Halloween anthology coming this fall, that will make eight Cherry Tucker stories (six books, 2 novellas) in four years. What an exciting ride it’s been and it’s all due to my readers. Thank you! I feel so privileged to share the cover with y’all, particularly on dru’s book musings. I feel like I’ve gotten to know so many of you over the last four years and I’m feeling sentimental doing this once again!

In A Composition in Murder, when Cherry Tucker volunteers to teach art at Halo’s poshest independent living home, Halo House, she’s trying her best to stay out of trouble. However, what can a nosy girl do when Halo House’s most famous resident Belvia Brakeman, the ninety-year-old CEO of Meemaw’s Tea, confides in Cherry that the family tea empire is in jeopardy and asks for help? Belvia suspects her daughter, the COO, has been murdered and she might be next. Cherry once again finds herself involved in a hometown whodunit, where the secret recipe for tea might just involve poison.

I chose a posh senior residency for the setting in Cherry’s sixth caper because growing up in a small town, I knew more elderly people than kids my own age. I grew up listening to small town stories at my Nana’s, my next door neighbor, and from other folks in my hometown. My Grandpa Bun was a master storyteller. But the best stories came from asking questions. You learn a lot about history, psychology, and storytelling when you ask your elders about their past.

Fair warning, A Composition in Murder is no story where the seniors are sick, feeble, and helpless. They’re not even that sweet. In fact, at Halo House, Cherry finds the friendly rapport of likeminded people she’s missed since college. She also finds that older doesn’t always mean wiser. Nor does it mean innocent.

Here’s a sneak peek from a scene at Halo House’s bar, the Last Call, to make my point.

The Last Call looked like a typical hotel bar. Adjoined to Halo House’s fine dining space, the bar and restaurant were open to the public, although neither were advertised in the local phone directory under “Eating Establishments.” Halo House also had a twenty-hour deli (open four a.m. to midnight), a pool bar, and room service.

“I am telling you,” I said, hopping on to a leather bar stool. “Halo House is something else. Always someone to talk to. Lots going on. Buses that take you anywhere you want to go. I just love it to death.”

“Don’t say that too loudly around here.” The bartender, a retirement-aged woman with frosted tips in her burgundy hair, had a surprisingly edgy north of the sweet tea line accent. She flashed a look around the walker and cane set, playing cards and chatting at the cocktail tables. “Or at least don’t shout it.”

She extended her hand. “I’m Rosie. You look familiar. Whose granddaughter are you?”

“I’m Cherry.” I shook her hand. “I’m Grandma Jo’s girl, but she isn’t here. Actually she passed ten years ago. Cancer.”

“So sorry. Had it myself and kicked its can in my fifties. I’m one of the lucky ones. What brings you to the Last Call?”

“Beer and company mostly. I’m teaching art here.”

“Right, you’re the painting lady. Heard that’s a popular class, although some are anxious to get to the good stuff.”

“Good stuff?” I considered the fundamentals I had covered. “We’ve done linear, one-point and two-point perspective. We’re working our way to line and plane variations using still life objects, but I thought they should master drapery to understand depth and shadow first. They’re probably anxious to get to the still lifes. Drawing cones and cubes can get tedious.”

“Sounds boring as hell, but I don’t do art.” Rosie pushed a beer toward me. “No, I’m talking about models.”

“Models? This is a fundamentals class, not a life drawing class.”

“Sweetheart, these ain’t the kind of folks who sign up for ‘Learn to Draw Tippy the Turtle’ in the back of a magazine. They like you well enough, but you’ve got to keep them interested.”

“They’re going to learn more than Tippy the Turtle in my class. Although if they are interested in illustration, I could adjust the course.” I floated a few pen and ink ideas around my brain as I sipped off my foam.

Rosie rolled her eyes. “There’s too much going on at Halo House. I heard there’s a hot yoga class starting. Those art students will drop you like a bad penny. They’ve got short attention spans when it comes to activities. Time’s precious here.”

My eyes widened. “I’ll lose my job. I can’t lose my job to something called hot yoga.”

“Don’t get all uppity with your art crap. I may be new to the area, but I’m a quick study. Just because these folks have money and a long history in the county, don’t mean they don’t want tacky titillation. They’ve lived a long time and they’re tired of minding their manners. They want a good time in their final years.”

“Making quality art is a good time.”

She poured a shot of bourbon in a wine glass and filled it with Diet Coke. “Let me show you something about quality in Halo House. People ’round here act snobbish at times, but money don’t buy good taste. Nor does it buy good sense.”

I leaned forward. I may draw the line between good and bad art, but I never drew a line when it came to hot gossip.

Rosie sipped on her cocktail and nodded toward a woman sitting in a corner by herself. She smiled and waved as people walked by, but seemed content to sit by herself and watch the scene. “That’s Eleanor.”

“She looks lonely.” I turned on my stool. “I should sit with her a bit.”

“She’s not lonely, she’s stoned out of her mind.”

“The poor thing. Is it her medication?”

Rosie chuckled. “Eleanor calls it medication. When I was growing up, we called it reefer.”

I swiveled around and almost knocked my beer over. “She’s high?”

“Not only does she roll her own, she grows her own.”

“What?”

“The community garden.”

A waiter strolled through the bar from the restaurant and deposited a basket of chips and a side of guacamole in front of Eleanor. She high-fived the waiter and dug into the chips.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” I admitted. “Grandma Jo was a strict Southern Baptist. She wouldn’t even try her sister’s homemade muscadine wine. Now Grandpa Ed has been known to dip from time to time and will drink a beer at a ball game, but that’s as far as he got on the controlled substance list.”

“Poor kid.” Rosie snorted. “Do you think your generation was the first to shock their parents? Just because you’re old, doesn’t mean you’re as straight-laced as your Granny. Hell, there’s plenty of baby boomers in Halo House. That should tell you something.”

I wasn’t sure what that was supposed to tell me, but I would give Rosie the benefit.

“What else is going on at Halo House?” I swung around on my stool to observe the crowd.

A couple had put some money in an old fashioned jukebox and were dancing to Tom Jones. Next to the jukebox a line of women had formed, some pointing out songs to their friends, others tapping their toes while they waited.

“That’s Two Dollar Frank,” said Rosie. “He’s one of our bachelors.”

“Two Dollar Frank?”

“Two bucks a dance. He makes mad money that way. And exercise to boot. He charges more for horizontal dancing, if you get my picture.”

“Good Lord. Halo House is like a college dorm. Where’s the keg hidden?”

Rosie smiled. “Now you’re getting the picture.”

Thanks so much Dru Ann for celebrating my cover reveal with me! To catch you up on the series before A Composition in Murder’s November release, I’d like to offer a Cherry Tucker Kindle or Nook e-book to one lucky commenter. Who was the senior in your life who told you the best stories of their past?


About the author
A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery series. The first in the series, Portrait of a Dead Guy (2012), is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. The sixth mystery, A Composition in Murder, is expected to release November 15, 2016. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, now live in Nagoya, Japan, but still calls Georgia home. Visit her website, find her chatting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads, or join her Facebook street team, The Mystery Minions.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win. The giveaway will end July 25, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

89 responses to “Cover Reveal ~ A Composition in Murder by Larissa Reinhart

  1. Susan Berkowitz

    Looking forward to reading this. I love the Cherry Tucker books.

    • Larissa Reinhart

      Thank you Susan! So sweet of you!! I’m very excited to share it. Can’t wait until November!

  2. Larissa Reinhart

    Thanks for having my cover reveal, Dru!

  3. Looking forward to read this book!

  4. Great cover, Larissa! And I am looking forward to reading the newest Cherry Tucker book.

  5. neighbor

  6. Marlene Ezell

    My grandfather whom we called Dandy always told the best stories. He also used to bounce me on his knee and quote nursery rhymes. My favorite started like this, “There was an old woman as I’ve heard tell”.
    Thank you so much for the chance to win.

    • Larissa Reinhart

      Thanks for stopping in, Marlene! I love all those old nursery rhymes. Dandy is such a cute name for a grandfather!

  7. Sounds good. I have seen Cherry Tucker Mysteries advertised on Facebook but never took the time to check them out. I think I need to. Thanks for the chance.

  8. This series is new to me. Thanks for the chance to win.

  9. I’m looking forward to reading this.

  10. My MOm and Dad told great stories as they got older. My dad in particular would tell us stories about running moonshine. Never knew that about him as a kid. I like that the story doesn’t have such “perfect” people. Everyone has there little habits and vices and I think this will be a really fun read!

    • Larissa Reinhart

      I would love to hear those moonshine stories! Did he use to drive dirt tracks, too? Thanks so much for stopping in Donna!

  11. Judy Weaver

    I love love love the cover!! Time to get caught up on my Cherry Tucker reading!

  12. Yay for Cherry (and for you, of course — congrats!). My daddy still tells the best stories, a real natural. I suspect my mama’s daddy made the best senior stories, though — he was the hot bachelor at the elder care facility where he spent the last years of his life. He inspired lots of jealousy and jostling among the female residents.

    • Larissa Reinhart

      You’re so sweet. Thanks for commenting, Tina. That’s exactly one of things that interested me in writing this one, the hot bachelor in the senior care facility stories. I’ve got one named Fred in Composition!

  13. My Papaw and my Dad have always told me the best stories. They have so many fun stories about growing up in the woods, hunting, fishing and about the other people that they interacted with over their lives. My Papaw has been gone for 15 years now and my Dad has picked up telling me the stories of his childhood and of Papaws childhood.
    One of the favorite stories that Dad has told me is about when he and his brother figured out where the neighborhood drunk hid his bottle of booze. He always put it in the side ditch so the cold water would run over it and keep it cold. My Dad went one day and took the bottle and dumped half of his booze out and filled the bottle up the rest of the way with water. Dad is where I get my orneriness from.
    Larissa, I can’t wait for this next Cherry Tucker book. She is one of my absolute favorite characters. I love the new cover!

  14. The best storyteller was my mother. She had a gift and enthralled us. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway.

  15. Jill Broussard

    The cover is great and the book sounds awesome! My grandma had some great stories to tell, but my Aunt, her sister, she was the wild one! Thankyou for the opportunity!

    • Larissa Reinhart

      The wild ones always have the best stories, don’t they? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Jill!

  16. You can’t mistake a cover for this series with any other. They are so unique.

  17. Love the fall colors in the new book cover. Can’t wait for it and the novella.

    • Larissa Reinhart

      You know what, I didn’t think of the fall colors, but you’re right! Perfect for an autumn release! Good eye, Jan!

  18. My Grandmother kept the family history alive. I loved listening to her tell us stories. She would have made a wonderful teacher.

    • Larissa Reinhart

      That’s so sweet, Joye! Your grandmother sounds wonderful! Thanks for commenting!

  19. Laurie Bergh

    My mother loves to tell stories of the past. It is so interesting to hear about family things.

    • Larissa Reinhart

      I love those stories, too. So interesteing to hear it from their point of view. Thanks for commenting, Laurie!

  20. I am so super duper excited for this! #TeamMax

  21. Barbara Hackel

    This sounds like a great story! I love the setting. When I was a girl, I would listen to my grandmother tell me stories about living through wars and distant family members. Long after she passed, I became friends with a lovely lady who was more than double my age, had lived in my current town all of her life. She made the past come alive as she told stories about people and places-many that were no longer here. I love to talk to older people because their pasts are so different from mine-and so interesting. Now that I have made it to social security age, I wonder if I will have any great stories when I am asked. Then my kids assure me that I have already started the tradition as they recite stories from my youth or my older family stories. It is wonderful to keep oral history alive. Even though Cherry is fiction, I am sure there is much fact in there as well. The cover is beautiful! I look forward to the book next November! Thanks Dru Ann and Larissa.

    • Larissa Reinhart

      That’s wonderful, Barbara. Sounds like you do have some great stories, though. It’s all in the telling!

  22. What a beautiful cover!

  23. martha countryman

    Looking forward to the next installment of Cherry Tucker! Like the edginess that makes Cherry Tucker unique! Hope to catch you in East Moline in August.

    • Larissa Reinhart

      Hey Martha! Thanks so much! I hope to see you at the East Moline Library event, too!

  24. Another fabulous cover (and story within I have no doubt!). Thanks for the giveaway.

  25. Thank you Dru Ann for including Larissa Reinhart and her current book on your blog. I love the Cherry Tucker series and the many things she gets involved with. It will definitely be a fun read. robeader53@yahoo.com

  26. My Mom grew up in the depression in old SF and she had the best stories. I miss her every day but especially her interesting stories and tales of a family long gone from this life.She had great stories of San Francisco. She worked with Dr. Oppenheimer at UC Berkeley and was able to put herself through college working for the war effort. She was a amazing woman. She met my Dad working at UC Berkeley and it was the love story for the ages. Her stories I wish I had put on tape. They were fascinating!

    • Larissa Reinhart

      Wow Lexie! I’d love to hear your mother’s stories. What an amazing woman! Thanks for sharing!

  27. Thanks for the chance. Sounds interesting! janngrogan@yahoo.com

  28. Celia Fowler

    My Grandmother, Mimi, was a wonderful storyteller. My favorites were the ones featuring her brother’s friend Fatty Fisher who kept getting pushed down the laundry chute of their old house — poor Fatty — and the best was when she hired a young Hoagy Carmichael to play for a dance in Terre Haute, Indiana, for $20, and got a wonderful thank you note from him.

    • Larissa Reinhart

      I love the name Fatty Fisher! And a Hoagy Carmichael story. I hope she held on to that note! Thanks for sharing Celia!

  29. My grandmother who shared what it was like to get her hair bobbed. She was considered fast.

    • Larissa Reinhart

      I think your grandmother sounds fun! And I bet she’s got some good stories!

  30. My husband’s grandfather could tell you some great stories. He died too soon after I met him. And the cover looks great. Can’t wait til the book comes out.

  31. Mary irvine

    My husbands grandmother used to tell me stories from back in her day she was born in 1913 she lived to bve 102!! She wouykd tell stories on how she wanted her hair cut..she grew up when there was not any lights or electric and how she didn’t have a lot so she saved everything or made it what little she had.!!!

  32. Can’t wait to read the latest Cherry Tucker book. Great series.

  33. I never got any stories from the real elders of the family but my Mom has some and she passes them along when we look at the old photos. Thanks for the chance to win a book in this series.

  34. Mary Jane H.

    That would have to be my uncle who occasionally dropped in from wherever he was currently residing with tall tales and many stories. I remember him challenging my Mom to find a hot pepper that he couldn’t eat…and believe me she tried.

  35. Cynthia E. Blain

    First of all, I am really looking forward to reading your 6th book, Larissa. And the cover is very nice and perfect for a fall release. As to stories, well, my mother had many wonderful information to relate to us about growing up in a depression and how she and her brothers enjoyed themselves despite being quite poor. My paternal grandfather had some interesting adventures coming to live in the US from Austria and Germany with his siblings, all alone at a very early age. I am doing a “Grandma’s Life” book for my grandchildren, so someday when I am gone, they can read about my life growing up and perhaps that will remind them of the stories already told to them from time to time.

    Thank you for the chance to win one of the earlier books in this series as I don’t have all of them unfortunately.

    Cynthia

    • Larissa Reinhart

      Thanks for sharing Cynthia! A Grandma’s Life book sounds like a good idea. 🙂

  36. CAN’T WAIT TO READ THE NEXT!!

  37. Doward Wilson

    Great review & interview. My grandmother & great aunt always told the best & sometimes the juiciest, stories. So much for the meeting in church story about my grandparents, I got the dirt from my great aunt. LOL Thanks for the chance to win a book in this series. It is on my Wish List.

  38. Carroll Pellegrinelli

    I’ve got a couple of friends who tell some great stories. One friend who just turned 90, lived on a sailboat for 9 years.

    • Larissa Reinhart

      Wow! That’s pretty amazing. The things they must have seen and heard! Are they “salty”? LOL

  39. Jackie Wisherd

    My grandfather who told lots of stories about hunting and farm life in Colorado.

  40. I can’t wait. I know what you mean about older people in small towns, but I am not to the point that I recognize the full impact of Baby Boomers in assisted living. lol! What fun!

    • Larissa Reinhart

      This is an independent living facility, so they’re starting to catch the first generation of baby boomers. 🙂 You know it’s going to be fun!

  41. Looks like Cherry has her work cut out for her. So. Who’s teaching who? Looks like a fun read. Della at deepotter@peoplepc.com

  42. The covers of this series are always so interesting & fantastic!!!!

    Thank you for the giveaway…..

  43. What a beautiful cover! Looking back, my Uncle Fritz was a consummate storyteller!

  44. Yay! Finally a new Cherry Tucker mystery! Thanks for the chance to win it.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  45. My dad’s significant other tells me great stories. He’s been gone since 1998 but we still talk often. Of course, she now repeats stories sometimes but, I still listen like I’ve never heard them before.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  46. I would like to win this print book. My paternal great grandmother and both sets of grandparents would tell us stories of how they grew up, came to America and lived at a young age. Thanks for this giveaway.

  47. Jen Frederick

    This sounds like another winner. I cannot wait to read it.
    My maternal grandma told great stories, and growing up my brother and I spent the night every Friday. Every Sunday she would make enough food for an army (we are polish after all) and my family, her sisters, my aunts and cousins would all gather for great food (she was a fantastic cook, the one who just throws the ingredients in, no measuring) and we would watch old movies and just have quality family time talking about anything and everything. I so miss her.
    jen.frederick@yahoo.com