Thursday 5 August 2021

Pretty as a Picture by Elizabeth Little Blog Tour

 I'll be honest, there are some books that I'll choose to read purely based on their front covers. That's right, I can be in the dark as to what the story is actually about but the cover is enough to make me want to pick it up instantly.

One such book was Pretty as a Picture, the latest novel from best-selling author Elizabeth Little. Now I haven't read any of her other books so I really was stepping into the unknown with this story.


It did not disappoint!


Marissa 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.

Our main protagonist is Marissa, a film editor who in my opinion must be somewhere on the spectrum going by how she interacts with people and the outside world.

But it is how she acts and reacts that makes her so successful in her job role. 

She is extremely intuitive when it comes to movies. It is as though she places herself within the scenes, and this is also how she lives her life, always thinking like she is in a movie scene.

Quirky, and I really like her for it.

Marissa is in need of a job ASAP so when her agent arranges an interview she can't afford to say no. 

During said interview she is shown a still (an image) and is asked to use her skills to essentially analyse it, to tell them what the picture is of, what it's trying to say. 

Marissa correctly guesses it is from a true crime movie - was there ever any doubt - and is hired instantly.

The snag, she doesn't get shown the script and before she knows it, Marissa finds herself rapidly onto an isolated island where the real life crime occurred, quickly replacing the previous film editor who was fired, reasons unknown.

The murder that the film is to be based on has remained unsolved for years. And when things start to go wrong during production, tensions build and what starts as making a movie, turns into finding a murderer and Marissa is the detective. 

I loved this book. From the story itself, to the conversations and even the layout.

We get the main story from Marissa's perspective and it's a real pleasure seeing things through her eyes. And then the author uses a podcast, so we get interview style excerpts of the True Crime podcast between some chapters which was a canny way of adding to the mystery that surrounds the whole book.

Which brings me to my favourite supporting roles, Grace and Suzy. These young girls add a slice of humour to the tale, this really complimented Marissa's own dialogue. An unlikely trio that just worked. 

And there are some really good cinematic/film references, an added bonus to any film buffs who choose to read the book.

Packed with plenty of secrets, details are revealed slowly, creating quite a ghostly atmosphere.

I don't want to say too much about the story itself as I don't want to give too much away. I'll just say this. Pretty as a Picture is an utter delight to read. Fast-paced and entertaining with a highly satisfying conclusion.

Go ahead and follow the rest of the blog tour for more reviews and insights into this gem of a book:


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