by: Larissa Reinhart
Series: Maizie Albright Star Detective and Cherry Tucker Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery/Holiday
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Publisher: Past Perfect Press
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A VIEW TO A CHILL, a Cherry Tucker and Maizie Albright Interconnected Holiday Mystery by Larissa Reinhart
"Chaos, Criminals, Catastrophic Weather, and a Whole Lot of Crazy.”
From Wall Street Journal bestselling mystery author, Larissa Reinhart. The seventh in the award-winning Cherry Tucker Southern Cozy Mystery series and the third in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series.
“It was fun watching Maize and Cherry do what they do best, helping each other, indirectly, along the way in this engagingly entertaining drama. I look forward to more adventures together or separately with these lovable characters.” —Dru Ann Love, Dru’s Book Musing
May Your Days Be Cherry & Albright… When Halo's most notorious artist, Cherry Tucker, thinks she sees a crime through her bedroom window, her feverish claims are ignored by her family. Trapped in bed, influenza is the least of her problems. Deputy Luke Harper can't be found. She can’t tell fevered dream from reality. And a very bad Santa knows Cherry’s spotted his Christmas killing. It's going to take a Christmas miracle for Cherry to recover.
Meanwhile, ex-celebrity and #WannabeDetective Maizie Albright’s determined to help an elderly woman find her missing granddaughter despite her private investigator boss (and not-so-secret crush) Wyatt Nash’s claims that the grandmother’s annual plea is nothing but a dangerously wild goose chase. This holiday, Maizie’s search takes her away from her family and Nash to Halo, Georgia, where a storm threatens her nerves and her quest. When a deviant Santa learns Maizie’s looking for the granddaughter, he put Maizie on his naughty list. This Santa may get his holly jollies from murder.
“If you love southern settings with plenty of sweet tea and eccentric characters, the meetup of these two heroines is epic. Not only did I race through the pages, but I immediately headed over to download the first book in the series.” — Barb Taub, humor writer and author of the Null City series
“I love the characters Cherry Tucker and Maizie Albright and this mystery brings the two of them together in the same book. Everything I love about both series is here. If you've read either of the two series, I highly recommend this one.” — Michelle, Michelle’s Romantic Tangle
Hi Larissa. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
Great, thanks! I’m so glad to be here!
I’m happy you’re here too! Could you please tell me about the characters of Cherry Tucker and Maizie Albright?
Cherry Tucker is a twenty-six-year-old portrait artist from Halo, Georgia, a small country town. She grew up on her grandparents’ farm and lives in Halo in an old, decrepit cottage retrofitted into a studio. She struggles to find commissions, so she’ll do just about anything art-related. This gets her in all sorts of trouble, like painting a coffin portrait of a murdered man. Her mouth also gets her in all sorts of trouble. She’s pretty sassy. She sometimes lives with her sort-of-ex-husband, Todd, and has a lot of run-ins with her ex-ex-boyfriend, Luke Harper, who has moved back to Halo after serving in the military and planning on becoming a cop.
Whereas Cherry’s all country, Maizie Albright’s all city. She was born in Black Pine, Georgia, a resort town in the North Georgia Mountains, but grew up in LA. Her mom moved her out there so Maizie could work as a child actress. She had a successful series, Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective, but Maizie started spiraling downward after, ending up on a reality show her mother created, All is Albright. Maizie managed to get her college degree in Criminal Justice (in between rehab stints), but bad luck with a boyfriend got her arrested and a kind judge saw that her hot mess was a cry for help. He ordered her to leave California, move home to live with her father in Black Pine, and get a job that has nothing to do with show business. So, of course, she decides to try to become a private detective, like Julia Pinkerton. The only PI in Black Pine is the hunky Wyatt Nash and he has no interest in mentoring an ex-actress. But Maizie’s still going to try. Particularly when her mother moves the All is Albright cast and crew to Black Pine to try to save the show. Maizie’s got to scramble to prove to everyone she’s more than a burnt-out celebrity.
Cherry Tucker is the protagonist in your Cherry Tucker Mystery series. Maizie Albright is the protagonist in your Maizie Albright Star Detective series. A View to a Chill brings these two series and ladies together. How did the idea for this come about?
Originally, I joined a group of authors to do a novella in an anthology that would raise money for local animal shelters that suffered in the 2017 hurricanes. What was supposed to be a short story grew to novel-length when I had the idea of doing a Rashomon-styled story. I saw it as a challenge to do the same mystery from two points of view. And it would benefit fans of both series. I like these kinds of writing challenges.
Each series already has several books to it. Is A View to a Chill a standalone read, allowing new readers to enjoy the book just as much as long-time fans?
I’ve had readers start with A View to a Chill as an introduction to one or both characters. It’s meant to work by itself that way. I always try to write my books so a new reader can read from any in the series and not feel lost. That’s happened to me and I didn’t like feeling clueless!
The story takes place in Halo, GA. Please tell me about Halo and if it’s based on a real place.
I live south of Atlanta and that’s the area where I based fictional Forks County where Halo exists. It’s a whistlestop town like a lot of little towns around here. When the railroads and cotton was king, these towns flourished. Then the boll weevil killed that dream in the early twentieth century and folks started moving to bigger cities like Atlanta for work. Now the towns are a little raggedy, but the movie industry is helping them recover, which is why I started the Maizie Albright series. You can’t throw a rock around here now and not hit a movie or tv set.
Can you tell me a little about some of the secondary characters we’ll see in the book?
For Cherry Tucker, her sister, Casey, and grandpa Ed’s lady friend, Pearl, are taking care of Cherry, who’s sick with the flu. As a local deputy, Cherry’s flame, Luke, is working Christmas Eve but not far from Cherry’s thoughts.
Maizie Albright is on her own. Wyatt Nash, the private investigator who mentors her (and her not-so-secret crush), asked her not to take the case that brings her to Halo. But Maizie can’t resist a grandmother’s call for help and when Maizie’s in trouble, her first call is to Nash.
When you sit down to write your mysteries, do you already know who the killer is and why they did it, or are you just as surprised as the readers?
Generally, I know the culprit because I need their motive (and means and opportunity) for the story to work. However, I’m not an outliner, so I jump off with the crime in mind and work with the sleuth to the end, so it’s always surprising how things work for me.
I am immensely fascinated by your personal life. (Not in a stalkerish way.) More specifically by the fact that you and your family can’t decide what country to live in. (Just kidding on the last part.) You guys bounce back and forth between Georgia and Japan. These places could not be more different. What are the holidays like in Japan?
New Year’s is the big holiday in Japan (and most of Asia), but Christmas has caught on. We’ve really seen it grow over the last twenty years. It’s a kids and couple’s holiday. Couples go out for a romantic meal on Christmas Eve and kids get Christmas presents, but nothing like in the US. There are fun decorations, particularly since it’s just before the New Year holiday. The traditional Christmas meal in Japan is Kentucky Fried Chicken and Christmas cake. You’ll see statues of Colonel Sanders wearing a Santa hat and inside KFC, they’re taking orders to pick up on Christmas day.
That’s interesting! What’s something you look forward to every Christmas?
Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love all the traditions. Decorating, especially the tree. Hanging stockings. Shopping for gifts. Making cookies. Having children — even teenage children — makes it even more special. One of my favorite things is watching movies with my family. We always watch White Christmas, The Sound of Music, It’s a Wonderful Life, and then squeeze in whatever other old movies we can, like Meet Me In St. Louis and Holiday Inn. I’m a sucker for all those old musicals and I love watching them in front of a fire with my family.
Larissa, thank you so much for answering some questions for me.
Thanks so much for having me! It’s been great to meet you!
Purchase A View to a Chill from:
The Maizie Albright Star Detective Series:
17.5 Cartridges in a Pear Tree releases December 17, 2019
The Cherry Tucker Mystery Series: