Pretty as a Picture by Elizabeth Little [Book Review]

Book Review

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Title: Pretty as a Picture

Author: Elizabeth Little

Publisher: Viking

Publish Date: February 25, 2020

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

Pretty as a Picture by Elizabeth Little


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 by Elizabeth Little


Marissa is a skilled film editor who gets sucked into a real life mystery on her latest job. The job is working with a demanding director on a set in an isolated location. The film is based on the unsolved murder of a girl that happened 20 years prior. When Marissa arrives to work, she soon learns that something is wrong on set, and everyone is on edge.

The unsolved murder had a big impact on the locals. Everyone believes they know who did it, and the director sets out to solve the case in his film. It’s not as clear as everyone would like to believe though. Marissa gets involved with a couple of teens looking to find the real killer, and things get more complicated.

Pretty as a Picture is a slow-burning mystery. I enjoyed Marissa, a socially awkward woman wanting to prove herself in the film industry. The teen podcasters she helps to solve the mystery are entertaining and on point. The isolated setting adds to the intriguing atmosphere. Suspenseful, clever, and witty.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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