The Body in the Landscape is book 5 in the Cherry Tucker mystery series. It seems like just yesterday that I came across this cozy mystery series set in small town Georgia. Cherry Tucker is a struggling artist who also dabbles in some investigative work. Regular readers are familiar with my enthusiasm related to this series.
The Body in the Landscape is very different from the rest of the series. Indeed, if you have never read any other Cherry Tucker book, you will get a very different impression. The setting is a small lodge or rather, an elite and exclusive hunting club of sorts that is holding a big hunt. Now hunting is not my thing. It is not something I would choose to do ever.
You get none of the other characters that you may have come to love in this series. Cherry is here to paint a portrait of Max, the ex Russian mobster. She has to paint him standing over a giant dead hog. Family tensions loom in Cherry’s mind. Her brother is facing arrest. She is not sure how to behave with Deputy Luke, him from the evil family that wants her brother arrested. She makes secret calls to Luke and then feels guilty about them. There is not enough good food to eat and Cherry longs for some down home cooking. And then, as she is painting a landscape, she comes across a body.
Weather worsens, and the hunt begins. People are stranded without communication, huddled in cozy hunting stands with every amenity possible. The action escalates and Cherry does her sleuthing stuff.
I think Body in the Landscape is much more intense with microscopic detail for each and every ‘scene’. The whole book is devoted to two days in the woods, rather than spaced out over a few weeks like the other books. Fans of Cherry Tucker will want to read this because they don’t want to miss one in the series. But it might take a hunting enthusiast to really understand and enjoy the backdrop of this book.