Pretty as a Picture
An egomaniacal movie director, an isolated island, and a decades-old murder--the addictive new novel from the bestselling author of Dear Daughter 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.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.

Pretty as a Picture Details

TitlePretty as a Picture
Author
ReleaseFeb 25th, 2020
PublisherViking
ISBN-139780670016396
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

Pretty as a Picture Review

  • Kellye
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the author's first book, Dear Daughter, so I was super excited to see that she had a new one coming out. It was definitely worth the wait. The author manages to keep the things I loved about Dear Daughter -- the voice, the observations, the elements of celebrity -- while creating a completely different character in Marissa Dahl. You get the sense that the author knows this world and is giving us an inside glimpse of a movie set and a really interesting mystery with some great twists.
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  • Christine Bolton
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Viking Publishers for my ARC of this book. I loved Dear Daughter so I was very excited to read Pretty As A Picture.I loved the unique structure of this book with the integration of the podcast. It is perfect for anyone who loves true crime podcasts. The protagonist was quirky and unique. She seemed to be on the spectrum but that was never really explored, which was an interesting choice by the author.This book had a lot of the components that I really enjoy - but unfortunately it Thank you to Viking Publishers for my ARC of this book. I loved Dear Daughter so I was very excited to read Pretty As A Picture.I loved the unique structure of this book with the integration of the podcast. It is perfect for anyone who loves true crime podcasts. The protagonist was quirky and unique. She seemed to be on the spectrum but that was never really explored, which was an interesting choice by the author.This book had a lot of the components that I really enjoy - but unfortunately it did not hold my attention. The Hollywood ¨jargon"weighed the book down. Some of the descriptions of camera angles and ¨Video Village"and producerś responsibilities etc. felt superfluous and weighed the book down. The characters´ quirks and nuances were not fleshed out as much as I would have wanted.I think this would make an enjoyable beach read for someone that has some background understanding of film making.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    Marissa is a quirky, awkward film editor who is chosen to work on a movie with the famous director, Tony Rees. It's based on a true crime that was never solved and part way through filming, the lead actress is also found dead. Because the set is on a remote island, things get dicey as Tony has assigned security detail for Marissa and the others. Scattered throughout are segments of a podcast that airs after the fact. It's an interesting story with a lot of film jargon thrown in but you don't Marissa is a quirky, awkward film editor who is chosen to work on a movie with the famous director, Tony Rees. It's based on a true crime that was never solved and part way through filming, the lead actress is also found dead. Because the set is on a remote island, things get dicey as Tony has assigned security detail for Marissa and the others. Scattered throughout are segments of a podcast that airs after the fact. It's an interesting story with a lot of film jargon thrown in but you don't really need to understand it as the plot is clear.Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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  • Halley Sutton
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn't put this book down. Seriously. I was in Hawaii and I basically missed the first day and a half because I was so wrapped up in Marissa. Little's writing is that zippy, that good--she grabs you from the first paragraph and Marissa is such a delight to spend time with--even as she's investigating first a deeply f*cked up movie set and later, murder. There's an insider-knowledge feel to everything to do with the movie business but you don't have to be In The Industry to get a kick out of I couldn't put this book down. Seriously. I was in Hawaii and I basically missed the first day and a half because I was so wrapped up in Marissa. Little's writing is that zippy, that good--she grabs you from the first paragraph and Marissa is such a delight to spend time with--even as she's investigating first a deeply f*cked up movie set and later, murder. There's an insider-knowledge feel to everything to do with the movie business but you don't have to be In The Industry to get a kick out of Little's depictions of it (and yet, she never skews into flat caricature). God. Buy this book. Read this book. It's so much fun.
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  • Matthew FitzSimmons
    January 1, 1970
    Full disclosure: Liz is a friend of mine, but I really loved this book and she'd have my head if I sang false praises of her work. I'm just so, so happy to have new words from her. Finished this one just now. Lot's of people sound like lot's of people, but no one sounds like Liz Little. So bitingly funny, on the one hand, but also so painfully true and close to the bone. A Greek comedy in the old sense. Boy, did I love this book.
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  • Ryann Uden
    January 1, 1970
    Marissa Dahl is shy movie editor who needs a job - desperately. She's just moved out and taking a break from her movie partner/best friend, and needs to be on her own for bit. That's the only reason she agrees to take on a mysterious movie project that only gets more mysterious once she takes the plane-car-boat to get to the isolated island where the movie is being filmed. She soon discovers the true crime movie is being filmed where the actual crime took place and is still unsolved. When Marissa Dahl is shy movie editor who needs a job - desperately. She's just moved out and taking a break from her movie partner/best friend, and needs to be on her own for bit. That's the only reason she agrees to take on a mysterious movie project that only gets more mysterious once she takes the plane-car-boat to get to the isolated island where the movie is being filmed. She soon discovers the true crime movie is being filmed where the actual crime took place and is still unsolved. When accidents start happening and Marissa starts asking questions...things get dangerous and secrets start unravelling. Interspersed with the story are transcripts of a true crime podcast, which adds some fun to the story. Marissa is treated as an outcast as she has difficulty reading people, although she compensates for that in ways that make her a great movie editor. She's not always treated well by those around her, although a more endearing character would be hard to find. This is a fun read that takes a deep dive into movie making and a mystery that kept me guessing until the end. Take it on spring break with you...just not to an isolated island. Here's hoping we see more of Marissa and her adventures in the future!(Advanced copy read courtesy of Viking and NetGalley. Opinions are my own.)
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  • Georgette
    January 1, 1970
    Did not hold my interest at all, although the dialogue and dynamic between Marissa, the girls on the podcast, and Isaiah was pretty entertaining.
  • Mrs. Salgy
    January 1, 1970
    "Pretty as a Picture" by Elizabeth Little is sure to be your next beach read! A fast-paced page-turner, this whodunit has an intriguing main character and a plot that moves quickly, yet still has plenty of twists and turns. The story takes place primarily on a movie location--a hotel that has seen better days--and every character, from the film editor to the hotel's proprietors, are caught up in a web of murder and mystery.This novel is meant to be read quickly; there are side plots and "Pretty as a Picture" by Elizabeth Little is sure to be your next beach read! A fast-paced page-turner, this whodunit has an intriguing main character and a plot that moves quickly, yet still has plenty of twists and turns. The story takes place primarily on a movie location--a hotel that has seen better days--and every character, from the film editor to the hotel's proprietors, are caught up in a web of murder and mystery.This novel is meant to be read quickly; there are side plots and characters that are not fully explored or resolved. The main character is obviously on the spectrum yet that is never directly addressed, which is an interesting move by the author. I'm not sure if this is setting up to be the first in a series; if so, the dangling story threads make sense as they would be the basis for other books. As it stands, the mystery is neatly solved by the end of the book, but the reader is left without a full resolution in terms of character backstory and development. Those issues aside, it kept my attention and is one I'd definitely recommend.
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  • Cari
    January 1, 1970
    I was pleased to receive an advanced copy of Elizabeth Little's new novel from Edelweiss. Thank you!At first I had a hard time connecting with protagonist Marissa, but once I got into the story, I was hooked. Marissa is a film editor, working behind the scenes on movies, primarily for her best friend, Amy. Amy is a lauded director, and most of Marissa's clout in the business comes from her. When Marissa is invited onto a closed set in a mysterious location, she signs the papers not knowing I was pleased to receive an advanced copy of Elizabeth Little's new novel from Edelweiss. Thank you!At first I had a hard time connecting with protagonist Marissa, but once I got into the story, I was hooked. Marissa is a film editor, working behind the scenes on movies, primarily for her best friend, Amy. Amy is a lauded director, and most of Marissa's clout in the business comes from her. When Marissa is invited onto a closed set in a mysterious location, she signs the papers not knowing exactly where she is going. She needs money - she's moving out of her apartment with Amy, and the two of them aren't exactly on great terms right now anyway. Marissa finds herself being boated to a remote island off the coast of Delaware, where the true mystery begins. What is going on with this film, and why is the director being so secretive about it? It seems to be about a long-ago killing that happened on the same island - and has that killing truly been solved?This is a quirky novel - funny banter, a complicated mystery, an interesting location. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where exactly it was going - like a twisted track of a roller coaster. As I mentioned earlier, I had a hard time connecting with Marissa at first, but when I realized she suffered from anxiety and difficulty connecting with others, her voice made a lot more sense. By the end of the book, I was rooting for her and wanting to see her again. The marketplace is crowded with thrillers, so a compelling voice and story is so important. Oh, also - if you like movies, there a lot of awesome references!
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  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Viking Publishers for my ARC of this book. Things I liked: The narrator- She is funny, endearing, and lovably awkward. I enjoyed her point of view and was rooting for her. Also, the podcast scripts interspersed between chapters, the two teen girls invested in the case were great! Main Characters 5/5There were a lot of supporting characters that could have been explored more. Things to note: This is not a thriller, but reads more like fiction mixed with a true crime podcast. The Thank you to Viking Publishers for my ARC of this book. Things I liked: The narrator- She is funny, endearing, and lovably awkward. I enjoyed her point of view and was rooting for her. Also, the podcast scripts interspersed between chapters, the two teen girls invested in the case were great! Main Characters 5/5There were a lot of supporting characters that could have been explored more. Things to note: This is not a thriller, but reads more like fiction mixed with a true crime podcast. The novel gives the reader behind the scenes look at a hollywood production turned investigation. Some parts went into great technical detail about cinematography, but they were not many. Overall, it was a little too 'tame' for my taste (Yes, I do realize this is about a murder- the twists just didn't seem 'twisty' enough for me) and I was hoping for slightly more suspense and excitement in the second half of the book. Nonetheless, I would read another book by this author and will be sure to check out "Dear Daughter". I would recommend for both adult and YA readers.
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  • Kim McGee
    January 1, 1970
    Needing a break from Hollywood and an awkward situation with her best friend and work partner, Marissa accepts a job as a film editor for a very secretive film on a remote island. The warning bells are going off everywhere and the situation is intense but she signed a huge non-disclosure agreement and the money is good. Making a movie and solving a murder shouldn't be this hard. Elizabeth Little sets the scene well as a feast for old movie buffs and the characters are off-kilter but fun. A Needing a break from Hollywood and an awkward situation with her best friend and work partner, Marissa accepts a job as a film editor for a very secretive film on a remote island. The warning bells are going off everywhere and the situation is intense but she signed a huge non-disclosure agreement and the money is good. Making a movie and solving a murder shouldn't be this hard. Elizabeth Little sets the scene well as a feast for old movie buffs and the characters are off-kilter but fun. A little bit like an Agatha Christie mystery movie where they all seem to be guilty at some point and Evanovich's Stephanie Plum is leading the investigation. Marissa is very lovable as a socially challenged editor and she along with the ragtag amateur detective team will find their way into your heart. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    At this current point it’s not fair for me to give a starred review because I have decided to shelve the book for now. It’s not horribly written and the premise seems very interesting but several chapters in and the main character is “painfully awkward”. It’s an overused character trait in current fiction and it just seems repetitive. But I do love film/cinema so potentially closer to the release date I’ll pick this one back up again....maybe.
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review the E-arc copy of The Lying Room.#TheLyingRoomA thrilling, mystery that centers on a woman's fear of her affair being found out. Once she finds her lover murdered things spiral out of control and she scrambles to keep her life in tact. It is full of twists and lies. It will keep the pages turning.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 overall. Very engaging, I loved the cast of characters, and it was a really good whodunit.
  • Michelle Lubetzki
    January 1, 1970
    Unfortunately this book just failed to maintain my interest. While I did find some of the banter between characters funny, all in all I just found the plot super slow and anti-climactic
  • Martha
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 4.5Takes a little patience to get to know the protagonist, but once that happens it's awfully good.RTC.Thanks to NetGalley and Viking for the ARC!
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