Book Review: Pleasant Day by Vera Jane Cook

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Pleasant Day

It is always thrilling when I discover a fabulous new author.   Vera Jane Cook’s Pleasant Day is a Southern fiction novel that blends a dramatic slice of life with a satisfying murder mystery. Pleasant Day is Cook’s eighth published novel.

Pleasant Day is one of the sweet surprises that come out of nowhere. The novel focuses on two very different women, fifteen year old Pleasant Day and sixty year old Clarissa Blackwell. Cook grabs the reader’s attention right from the beginning with the murder of Pleasant’s best friend Mille that has some uncanny similarities to a murder fifteen years prior of another young woman who was very close with Clarissa.

A chance encounter brings Clarissa into Pleasant’s life and as their investigation into the murders of these two girls intensifies so does their unusual bond.   Clarissa also has a very unpredictable psychic ability that comes in handy as this unlikely duo hunt for a killer (or killers). This book is filled with wonderful characters that reach out to you from the pages. Family lies and secrets tear the people in the storyline apart but also bring them together at the end. Cook has a flair for making the angst real for her characters touching on many subjects like bullying, and molestation as the cracks begin to widen in this idyllic small town façade.

The book steers the reader through a winding path of twisted plot turns moving steadily like driving on a picturesque country road. Each chapter is more vivid than the one before. As the drama unfolds and each confidence is revealed, you find yourself becoming emotionally invested in the suffering these people. From the simplicity of first love to the devastation of divorce, the reader is taken on an emotional ride. Cook’s writing is sharp and witty as each character confronts their past demons. The chapter with the confrontation between Pleasant and her mother is utterly heart wrenching. I literally could not put this book down; it is one of those novels that you read in a sitting or two. For those who love Southern fiction and mysteries, Pleasant day is right up your alley. It is a quick read that draws you in immediately and doesn’t let go until the last page. For more information, go to


Tony Leggio

Tony Leggio

Tony Leggio is a born and raised New Orleanian. He has over 20 years of event management experience having produced over 5,000 events locally and nationally. Tony has received numerous awards for his outstanding achievements in the hospitality industry. Besides his professional career, Anthony has played an active role in the community.He has served Event Chair of Art Against AIDS for the No/Aids Task Force for the past ten years and was honored as Humanitarian of the Year in 2010 by the organization. He is also a freelance writer who has written for USA Today, as well as several local publications.He also writes a column regularly In Ambush Magazine, plus is part of Gambit’s Big Easy Theatre Committee.Tony is a social butterfly of New Orleans that not only knows how to put on a great event but also knows how to enjoy one.
Tony Leggio

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