Rose and her human, Charles Stone, are back in Jo Perry’s newest release, Dead Is Beautiful. Both Rose, a sweetly soulful and silently wise dog, and Charles, a large man who never amounted to much more than a disappointment, are dead and stuck in the empty space between realms. When Rose is threatened by a ghost, Charles finds himself unraveling a tangled web of murder and land development. The mystery leads him into territory too close to home for comfort.
Jo Perry’s writing is as sharp as an unexpectedly-placed tack and as blunt as a blow to the head. The author pulls no punches with a literary flair that harkens back to the modern experimentalism, and a writing style that is in turns Hemingway-esque and Faulknerian. Perry paints a vivid portrait of the polarization of Los Angeles, from the homeless encampments to the mansions of Beverly Hills. Charles is a sadder character in this tale, more melancholy than bitingly cynical as he questions why there is death and suffering and ponders the fragility, sadness, and treachery of life. As always, Rose is his gentle guide.
Profound, irreverent, and darkly funny, Dead Is Beautiful is an existential romp that is part noir, part mystery, and part comedy. This is an engaging tale that makes for a swift read. And like Charles, we “keep hoping that death will help [him] figure things out—especially love.”
Highly recommended for fans of dark humor and mysteries blended with the supernatural and the philosophical