Today, Larissa Reinhart has brought along some information about her novel 'Hijack in Abstract' and is going to tell us about....
Visiting Cherry Tucker’s South
Nancy, thanks so much for having me on your blog today! I’m a Southern writer, and in consideration of visiting a UK writer’s blog, I thought some of your non-US readers might be interested in a tourist’s point of view of the Cherry Tucker series. Hijack in Abstract is the third in the series, but all the books are centered in the fictional Forks County, Georgia, particularly in Halo, where Cherry Tucker lives.
Forks County is commuting distance from Atlanta, which is both an aggravation and a convenience for the locals. And when I say locals, I mean folks who have born and buried generations in Forks County. For a writer of mysteries, Forks County gives me the best of both worlds. A small, Southern setting close to a big city makes for a good by-pass for cozy crime.
In Hijack in Abstract, Cherry leaves Forks County to paint the portrait of a rich immigration lawyer in Atlanta. Cherry’s a classical portraitist by trade, but a small town, country girl at heart. Wealth makes her uncomfortable and she’s headed to the wealthiest part of Atlanta...
Atlanta is a city of neighborhoods, and Buckhead is the ritziest. It’s in the top ten most affluent neighborhoods in the United States, second to Palm Beach in the South. It’s a major shopping center in Atlanta, where the most popular malls and designer boutiques are located. Designer restaurants and clubs make it a hopping area at night. Several international consulates are located here as well as the governor’s mansion. Buckhead also has an interesting mix of high rise condo living as well as a forested area of winding roads hiding homes with at least six zeroes attached to their price tag.
Uh, yeah, Cherry Tucker is not born for Buckhead. She doesn’t suffer snobs gladly. But she does make friends at that Buckhead mansion, particularly a chauffeur recently immigrated from Eastern Europe, and she takes him to a beloved Atlanta institution...
Established in 1928 near Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology) in Midtown Atlanta, The Varsity was a drive-in burger and “dog” joint for college students.
When not working on the Buckhead lawyer’s painting, Cherry’s back in Forks County splitting her time with solving the murder of a junkie copper thief who witnessed a hijacking, clearing her name from “pervert” status after painting a nude triptych, and helping a friend in trouble with the law. Not to mention, dealing with ex-boyfriend and family issues. So where does Cherry like to catch some down time?
The Waffle House
Another Atlanta eatery institution. This fast food diner chain located all over the south, has spread throughout the United States, but founded in Atlanta in 1955. Like The Varsity, Waffle House also has their own lingo for food. Most famously, their hash browns which can be served “scattered” (spread on the grill), “smothered” (with onions), “covered” (cheese), “chopped” (diced ham), “diced” (tomatoes), “peppered” (jalapeño peppers), “capped” (mushrooms), or “topped” (with chili). Or just get them “all the way” and be done with it.
Red’s County Line Tap.
Actually fictional, Red’s represents the honky tonk turned modern bar found throughout rural Georgia. Because many towns were controlled by blue laws (laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol for religious reasons), the tavern and bar culture is not as prevalent here as in the North. However, many small, older towns had old, sometimes scary looking, honky-tonks located just over the town line. Hence, Red’s. But because this is modern day Georgia, Red’s has been converted into a family establishment, serving pimento cheese burgers and sweet potato fries along with Cherry’s favored hot wings and beer.
If you get a chance to travel to Atlanta, be sure to visit Buckhead and The Varsity, and try some of the older establishments outside the city limits. Let me know if you’re coming and I’ll recommend more places for you to see and to eat beyond Cherry Tucker’s world.
Anyone else have favorites in the Atlanta area?
Nancy says: I've never been to Atlanta but you describe it so well, Larissa. I've been to Minnesota, and the West Coast from LA all the way north to Canada (Vancouver) but maybe someday I'll hop across the Atlantic and pitch up in Atlanta since I love the way you describe it. The Varsity is a building to enjoy and preserve!
Humor, Hijackings and a Handful of Hunks . . .
With a classical series sold and a portrait commissioned, Cherry Tucker’s art career is in Georgia overdrive. But when the sheriff asks Cherry to draw a composite sketch of a hijacker, her life takes a hairpin as the composite leads to a related murder, her local card-sharking buddy Max Avtaikin becomes bear bait and her nemesis labels the classical series “pervert art.”
Cherry’s jamming gears between trailer parks, Atlanta mansions, and trucker bars searching for the hijacker who left a widow and orphan destitute. 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.
Praise for HIJACK IN ABSTRACT:
“The fast-paced plot careens through small-town politics and deadly rivalries, with zany side trips through art-world shenanigans and romantic hijinx. Like front-porch lemonade, Reinhart’s cast of characters offers a perfect balance of tart and sweet.” – Sophie Littlefield, Bestselling Author of A Bad Day for Sorry
“Reinhart manages to braid a complicated plot into a tight and funny tale…Cozy fans will love this latest Cherry Tucker mystery.” – Mary Marks, New York Journal of Books
“I love this series! Cheeky, clever, and compelling—keeps me reading way too late. This book has one of the most original—and fun—love triangles you’ll ever come across.” – Kaye George, Agatha Award-Nominated Author of the Imogene Duckworthy Mysteries
“Cherry Tucker is back – tart-tongued and full of sass. With her paint-stained fingers in every pie, she’s in for a truckload of trouble.” – J.J. Murphy, Author of the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries
“Witty, fast paced dialogue sandwiched between vivid descriptions and interesting characters made Hijack in Abstract come to life before my eyes. Larissa Reinhart and Cherry Tucker have a lifelong fan. My recommendation—don’t miss this one!” – Christine Warner, Author of Bachelor’s Special
“Artist Cherry Tucker just can’t help chasing after justice, even when it lands her up to her eyeballs in Russian gangsters, sexy exes, and treacherous truckers. A rambunctious mystery as Southern as chess pie and every bit as delectable.” – Jane Sevier, Author of the Psychic Socialite 1930s Memphis Mysteries
“A true work of art…I didn’t want this book to end! I was so caught up in Cherry’s crazy life, I wanted to just keep reading. You will, too.” – Gayle Trent, Author of Battered to Death
“Cherry Tucker’s got an artist’s palette of problems, but she handles them better than da Vinci on a deadline. Bust out your gesso and get primed for humor, hijackings, and a handful of hunks!” – Diane Vallere, Author of the Style & Error and Mad for Mod Mystery Series
“Reinhart took me on a fun rollercoaster ride…I haven’t had this much fun trying to solve a mystery in a while and it sure beats playing a game of Clue any day!Four out of five stars.” – Literary, etc.
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).
Larissa lives near Atlanta with her minions and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit. Visit her website or find her chatting with the Little Read Hens on Facebook.
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Thank you for visiting Monday Moments, Larissa and best wishes on your tour for Hijack in Abstract!