When Audrey Bloom is commissioned to provide flowers for a medieval-themed wedding, she finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery when the father of the groom drops dead. With her knowledge of plants, she quickly identifies the murder weapon as a monkshood plant, but finding the killer will prove a much greater, and more dangerous, endeavor.
Having never read a Beverly Allen cozy mystery, I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m so glad I took a chance on FLORAL DEPRAVITY. I loved the first person point of view style of the story, and Audrey Bloom is a fun character and amateur sleuth to follow around on her unexpected adventures. Most of all, I loved how richly the characters in the story were drawn. Audrey seemed so real that I feel as though I know her personally. It makes me want to read the first two books in the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery series, but it also made me miss her when this story ended. And it’s not just Audrey that charmed me. Her cats, her co-workers, her love interests, her clients, and even the humorous sheriff in town, all lend to the color and vibrancy of the story.
I adored the historical-themed wedding plot in this one. It made for fun dilemmas and an unexpectedly tangled mystery. Also interesting was the way that Allen threaded in the traditional meanings of certain flowers and plants. The fact that Audrey is a nursing school dropout and also has extensive knowledge of plants makes her an intriguing sleuth. In this story, her botanical knowledge is essential to solving the crime, and I closed the book feeling that I’d been thoroughly entertained and educated a bit more about flowers at the same time.
Allen’s dialogue is fresh and funny, and her characters are complex. Some of the cast might have been more likeable than others, but all of them are interesting and practically leap off the page in terms of believability. The mystery itself held my interest from beginning to end, and I’ve rarely read a mystery where an author did such a great job of balancing the crime and clues with a deepening of the main character’s ongoing story. I highly recommend this fantastic cozy to anyone who enjoys mysteries.
In the latest Bridal Bouquet Shop mystery, florist Audrey Bloom creates an arrangement for a one-of-a-kind wedding, but ends up pruning a one-of-a-kind criminal…
As the co-owner of the Rose in Bloom Flower Shop, Audrey knows how to put together unique wedding bouquets, but this one takes the cake. The daughter of a local historian is getting married in a medieval-themed, hand-fasting ceremony, and Audrey is responsible for providing period-accurate blooms.
But making sure she gets her roses right turns out to be the least of Audrey’s problems. Shortly after the vows are exchanged, the father of the groom suddenly drops dead. When Audrey discovers the man’s death stems from monkshood poisoning, it’s a clear-cut case of murder. Now, faced with a suspect list that rivals the guest list, Audrey needs to root out the toxic killer…