I am delighted to be joining the blog tour for Too Sharp today, the new Tara Sharp novel by Marianne Delacourt. I have a wonderful guest post to share with you from Marianne on her inspiration for the character of Tara Sharp and some of her friends, as well as a review of the book by my guest reviewer, Mandie. But before all of that, here’s what the book is about.
The Official Book Blurb
Tara Sharp is back in this frightening foray into the music industry.
Things are a bit hot for Tara Sharp in her home town of Perth, so she jumps at the chance to leave town when a music promoter offers her a gig looking after a difficult musician who’s touring Brisbane.
Though minding musicians isn’t Tara’s usual line of work, the money is good and she’s a sucker for a backstage pass. Respite from her mother – with her not-so-subtle hints about ‘eligible young men’ and ‘suitable jobs’ – is also a plus, as is the time and distance to try to resolve her mixed up romantic life.
Arriving in ‘BrisVegas’, Tara finds her hands full dealing with the bizarre habits of the ‘artist’, not to mention his crazy fans. And it’s not long before she discovers that the music industry can be more cut-throat than she imagined and it can be very dangerous messing with the big boys…
What people are saying about the Tara Sharp series:
“Australia’s Marianne Delacourt delivers the laughs and action with her sassy, unorthodox PI Tara Sharp…” The Herald Sun
“Tara Sharp is a gust of fresh air in the local crime fiction scene. While it is wonderful that our more literary crime writers are finally getting the attention they deserve, there’s still plenty of room for fast-paced commercial female-oriented Australian crime fiction. And Marianne Delacourt (aka sci-fi writer Marianne de Pierres) has certainly nailed that brief.” The Australian Bookseller and Publisher
“Delacourt has invented a Stephanie Plum character who is just as ballsy and loveable but this one lives in Perth and has two pet Galahs instead of a hamster. An easy read with multiple story layers, Sharp Turn will keep you guessing till the end, pick it up this summer if you like Janet Evanovich and Val McDermid’s Blue Genes.” She Said
“I know, because they have come from Twelfth Planet Press, they are going to be feminist as hell, no women are going to get fridged and I am going to damn well enjoy them.” Books and Pieces
I’m not sure exactly where I got the idea for Tara Sharp’s character. I mean, there is definitely some of me in her, but I’m way too cautious to get into some of the scrapes she finds herself in. I know I tried to imagine how having a super sensitivity to body language, and the ability to see colours around people, would affect how a person thinks and acts. In Tara, it is reflected in the way she gets so easily distracted. Let’s face it, she’s a bit flaky – but in a perfectly reasonable way. She’s constantly bombarded with sensory information. And although Mr Hara helps her figure out how to use her gift to her advantage, it takes time and she makes plenty of mistakes along the way.
Wallace Grominsky, the narcoleptic ex-roadie who becomes Tara’s security guy, was inspired by the guys who hang out in shadows at live band gigs. They’re kind with the band, but not really, and usually they’ve got a whole lot of history that you don’t want to know about.
I had always intended that Tara’s love interests, Nick Tozzi and the lovely Edouardo, wouldn’t be quite the right fit for her. Nick is older, more well-travelled, married, and inclined to be a bit self-centred. Ed is a little too young, too beautiful, and too malleable. If she could mix them together, she’d probably have the perfect partner, but life doesn’t usually serve up perfection, and Tara has to figure out who she is before she makes any kind of love choice.
Tara’s BFF, Jane Smith, is based on a dear friend of mine, who of course she is nothing like, except that they’re both called Smitty.
And the character of Cousin Crack, the motorbike whisperer, is based on one of my relatives. I spent many hours watching (read: yawning) while he repaired bikes in his bedroom. He knows who he is… 😊
So there’s some insider information… just for Jen Med’s readers!
The third novel in Marianne Delacourt’s series of paranormal crime novels about unorthodox PI Tara Sharp, ‘Too Sharp’, launched this week. The novel is available from all online retailers, including Twelfth Planet Press and Amazon. Readers new to Delacourt’s Tara Sharp series can spark their addiction with ‘Sharp Shooter’, the ebook of which is available for free for a limited time to celebrate the launch.
Too Sharp by Marianne Delacourt is the third book in the Tara Sharp series about a Private Investigator with an unusual gift – she can see people’s auras.
This time Tara takes on a case as a favour to her security guard Wal that sees her leave her usual stomping ground of Perth and fly to Brisbane to work for a music promoter. This is not the sort of case that she usually takes on but needs must and the money is good… the chance to escape her mother’s watchful eye is an added bonus.
When she gets there she soon realises that the case is not quite straightforward as she has to deal with the odd habits of the talent she is hired to look after and his even stranger fans who will stop at absolutely nothing to get close to their idol. Without Wal (who seems to have gone missing) to help her she ends up relying on Bon Ames a local Biker for hire she met on the flight to Brisbane to help with security and protection. As the assignment progresses it looks like once again Tara is going to go head to head with Johnny Viaspa.
Then there is the drama she left behind… best friend Smitty thinks her husband is having an affair and wanted Tara to follow him to find out what was going on and her Aunt Liv is badgering her to find out what has happened to Wal.
I have to say that this series is definitely growing on me and I read the whole book in just over a day. Taking Tara out of her comfort zone of Perth and her usual entourage gave this book a bit of an edge. Once again she gets in some hilarious situations and the scene where she beats up her attacker with a dead duck really did make me chuckle. This time you get to learn a bit more about Wal’s back story and it would seem that his links with Johnny Viaspa go back quite some time.
On/Off boyfriend Ed is on the scene as he has a job that also sees him in Brisbane, but once again the timing is not good as the job keeps getting in the way. I do feel sorry for Ed as he genuinely seems to have feelings for Tara but she seems unwilling to commit to him, partly due to her very chaotic life but mainly due to her feelings for Nick Tozzi although she knows that that will go nowhere while he is still married.
You do get the sense that Tara is a very loyal person and will put the job before her own safety, but as a couple of instances show, she is more than capable of taking care of herself and quite good at thinking on her feet.
The introduction of new characters such as the neurotic rapper who has screaming fits if a fan gets too close allowed for some fun moments although I was not a fan of him constantly calling Tara “bitch” especially after she had seen him at his worst. Its one thing for him to be like that to his fans after all they may come to expect it but I can’t believe for one minute even the most hardened rapper is like that with those closest to them in real life especially those who are employed to protect them. Then there is her temporary Landlady – a clairescent (a clairvoyant who can read smells)… now I was sceptical of Tara’s ability to read auras but this one is on a whole different level and I am really not sure that this is an actual thing or if it really is just the author finding a way to help the plot along.
This time there is a bit of a cliff hanger that centres on her tangled love life that means surely there will be a book four, as I for one want to find out what happens next. I am also hoping that the next book is set back in her usual stomping ground for as much as it was good to explore Tara’s character away from her crew I am still holding out hope that more will be made of Mr Hara and his disapproving wife.
Once again Marianne Delacourt manages to produce a fast paced book that is more chic lit than hard core detective novel but I would recommend it to anyone who wants a good holiday read that will make them chuckle in places. Too Sharp can be read as a stand-alone book as you can work out where everyone fits in without having to have read Sharp Shooter and Sharp Turn, however you will miss out on the fun if you do.
With thanks to author Marianne Delacourt, Miriam Rune and publishers Tweltth Planet Press for providing the copy of the book for review. Too Sharp is available to purchase now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Author MARIANNE DELACOURT is the alter ego of award-winning, internationally-published Science Fiction writer Marianne de Pierres. Renowned for dark satire in her Science Fiction, Marianne offers lighter, funnier writing under her Delacourt penname. As Delacourt, Marianne is also the author of Young Adult fiction series Night Creatures (Burn Bright, Angel Arias and Shine Light). She is a co-founder of the Vision Writers Group and ROR – wRiters on the Rise, a critiquing group for professional writers. Marianne lives in Brisbane with her husband and two galahs.
Make sure to check out the other blogs taking part in the tour.