Suspense on the Vine - Kate Collins - Dark Streets
Flower Shop Mystery author KATE COLLINS!
Another favorite series of mine is the Flower Shop Mysteries, written by NYT bestselling author KATE COLLINS!
An Indiana native, Kate graduated from Purdue University with a master's degree in education. She taught elementary school for six years, but after the birth of her first child, gave up her teaching career to pursue a writing career . After writing short humorous stories for children’s magazines and working part-time as a legal secretary, she sold her first historical romance novel in 1995.
Her books have made the Barnes & Noble mass market mystery best-sellers’ lists, the Independent Booksellers’ best-seller’s lists, as well as booksellers’ lists in Australia and England. She is best known for her bestselling series, The FlowerShop Mysteries.
The series revolves around a law school dropout, Abby Knight. Abby uses her trust fund to purchase a small flower shop, which she runs with the help of a retired law secretary (whose boss she clerked for in law school) and the former owner of the shop. A redhead with an inquisitive mind, Abby’s penchant for being nosy leads her into mysteries – and trouble – which she manages to get out of with the help of her hunky ex-cop turned PI/bar owner boyfriend, Marco Salvare. There is a wide cast of supporting characters which include Abby’s cousin Jillian, a self-absorbed little rich girl, her ex-fiance, Nikki her roommate, her mother, who is always dropping off objects d’arte for her to sell in the flower shop, and her ex-cop father to name just a few.
The mysteries are well thought out and engaging…take the first volume, MUMS THE WORD. We’re introduced to Abby Knight as she takes over the hometown flower shop, but a new low-cost competitor is killing her profits-and a black SUV just rammed her vintage Corvette in a hit-and-run. She's determined to track down the driver, and eventually does so – and gets into hot water – but is rescued in the end by Marco Salvare, setting the tone for their relationship throught the series.
Another I particularly liked is NIGHT OF THE LIVING DANDELION (possibly because I like anything vampire related). Abby does not believe rumors that Vlad Serban, friend and employee of Abby's fiancé Marco, is a vampire. But how to explain that Vlad is from Romania, has prominent canines, likes bizarre plants such as bloodwort and Dracula orchid, and dresses entirely in black?
When a local woman is found dead, her body drained of blood, the stakes become life and death. With Vlad the #1 suspect, Abby and Marco race to find the real killer, before Vlad's life really starts to suck.
In SHOOTS TO KILL, the author tackles a popular theme – identity theft. Eight years ago, Abby Knight babysat for a problem teen named Elizabeth. Today, Elizabeth’s back, with a new name (Libby) and a whole new life (stolen)—namely, one that already belongs to Abby. Libby’s even trying to steal Abby’s boyfriend, Marco. But imitation really becomes the sincerest form of trouble when Abby finds herself the accused dupe in a bizarre murder plot.
In 2013’s SEED NO EVIL, Abby Knight’s wedding is in less than two weeks, and everything is going wrong. The cooler in her flower shop is leaking, her neck has swollen to unnatural proportions, her groom is acting distant, and she still doesn’t know where she’s actually getting married!
But things go from bad to worse when the director of her favorite charity, Protecting Animal Rights, is murdered, and Abby’s mother becomes the main suspect. Abby’s wedding worries will have to wait until she—along with her fiancé, Marco, and an adorable mutt named Seedy—can nose out who wanted the animal activist put to sleep. But they’ll have to sort through the long list of suspects quickly, or her mom may be tossed in the slammer before Abby tosses the bouquet....
Which brings us to this month’s release: THROW IN THE TROWEL!
Abby’s just returned from a romantic honeymoon with the man of her dreams. There’s no reason for the bloom to be off the rose just because she and Marco are returning to normal life. But when Marco discovers a skeleton buried in the basement of his bar, it is a bit of a mood killer.
When the body is identified as a carpenter who went missing back in the 1970s, Abby and Marco decide to cultivate the clues to solve the cold case. What could be more romantic? But the deeper they dig, the more desperate the murderer grows. And if Marco and Abby don’t unearth the killer’s identity, they may not live to see their first anniversary.
If you like suspense blended with comedy, I urge you to check out this series. It will not disappoint!
The Flower Shop Mysteries
Throw in the Trowel
Seed No Evil
Nightshade on Elm Street
To Catch a Leaf
Night of the Living Dandelion
Dirty Rotten Tendrils
Sleeping With Anemone
Evil In Carnations
Shoots to Kill
A Rose From the Dead
Acts Of Violets
Snipped in the Bud
Slay it with Flowers
Mum's the Word
Toni LoTempio – By Toni LoTempio – admin by day, writer by night, Toni is the author of several paperback and e-books of paranormal suspense – her latest, SOAPSUDS, SEX AND SILVER BULLETS, will be released from Entangled Publishing July 2014. As T. C. Lotempio, she pens cozy mysteries, debuting with the upcoming Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkeley Prime Crime. (MEOW IF IT’S MURDER, Fall 2014). She and her cat ROCCO do fundraising for Nathan Fillion’s charity, KIDS NEED TO READ, when they aren’t interviewing authors on ROCCO’s blog! You can keep up with all the latest interviews and news (including her 2014 releases!) at www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com