Pretty as a Picture
Books | Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
A Wall Street Journal, Seattle Times, and CrimeReads Best Mystery Book of 2020 "Funny, fast-paced, and a pleasure to read." --The Wall Street JournalAn egomaniacal movie director, an isolated island, and a decades-old murder--the addictive new novel from the bestselling author of Dear DaughterMarissa Dahl, a shy but successful film editor, travels to a small island off the coast of Delaware to work with the legendary--and legendarily demanding--director Tony Rees on a feature film with a familiar logline. Some girl dies. It's not much to go on, but the specifics don't concern Marissa. Whatever the script is, her job is the same. She'll spend her days in the editing room, doing what she does best: turning pictures into stories. But she soon discovers that on this set, nothing is as it's supposed to be--or as it seems. There are rumors of accidents and indiscretions, of burgeoning scandals and perilous schemes. Half the crew has been fired. The other half wants to quit. Even the actors have figured out something is wrong. And no one seems to know what happened to the editor she was hired to replace. Then she meets the intrepid and incorrigible teenage girls who are determined to solve the real-life murder that is the movie's central subject, and before long, Marissa is drawn into the investigation herself. The only problem is, the killer may still be on the loose. And he might not be finished.A wickedly funny exploration of our cultural addiction to tales of murder and mayhem and a thrilling, behind-the-scenes whodunit, Pretty as a Picture is a captivating page-turner from one of the most distinctive voices in crime fiction.
Community ReviewsSee all
"Although corny at time this read kept my interest throughout. Lots of film references and characters to keep track of. The ending left me moderately satisfied but I expected one last twist that never came."
"So many twists this corkscrew could open a bottle of wine, I read this before her other book Dear Daughter and may have preferred her other book more. An enjoyable read I finished quickly and pushed me to find her other writing!"
"I rated this book as 3.5 stars. I loved the intrigue of following Marissa Dahl, this quirky, neurodiverse character that is a great editor in Hollywood. Yes, most people laugh behind her backs for her portrayed “weirdness..” But, you can’t deny she has a great attention to detail and makes a superb editor. This was kind of a love/hate book for me...read below. <br/><br/>Marissa receives an interview and unbeknownst to her reveals its working with the legendary director Tony Rees. She is offered the job and accepts it automatically due to what the prospects could be with working with Tony...Oscar maybe? She failed to read the manuscript before accepting, so she virtually went into this movie blind. <br/><br/>The film is produced on an island, that re-enacts a murder of a beautiful young woman years earlier. The murderer was never found; however, the townsfolk automatically are convinced that the boy, who was also neurodiverse, and didn’t follow social norms was the murderer. They even beat him quite badly to end up in the hospital. <br/><br/>Most of the staff and townspeople are hoping that this movie would finally prove and hopefully provide more concrete evidence that the socially-inept Kyle would soon be exposed and they would feel vindicated once he was locked away for good. . <br/><br/>This is were the plot thickens and the leading lady was also found murdered by Marissa. Who would have done it? Of course, everyone immediately jumps to the theory that the strange Kyle killed again. <br/><br/>But could this friendly man, by all accounts, actually be a killer? This is where Marissa’s clever eye and unbelievable knowledge of every single movie is just another readily available picture playing in her head. Who else had motive? That is what she will try to find out for herself, regardless if it involves breaking into the police station. <br/><br/>What I enjoyed and at the same time didn’t care for the characters that Marissa was obviously had Autism Spectrum Disorder! I loved that this author made her character stand out as someone different and highly intellectual in her work abilities. I didn’t like that she was constantly called weird, by everyone. It just didn’t sit well with me. In this age we all need to realize Autism is everywhere and to please not call people weird...especially adults! <br/><br/>The twist at the end was unexpected and Marissa, who knows all minuscule details, even speaks to herself “What if I really am Obi-Wan Kaobi?” She soon catches the real killer! It was unexpected and she was Obi-Wan Kanobi, without her brilliant attention to detail no doubt the real killer would have been unfounded. <br/><br/>Favorite quote from book, “**** creek’s littered with the bodies of people who think they’re smarter than the rest of us.”<br/><br/>Thank you #netgalley and #penguinviking for allowed me to read #PrettyasaPicture in return for my honest opinion."
"A slow burn mystery. A girl that doesn’t fit in, fits in just enough to solve two murders."