Death in Bloom by Jess Dylan
Sierra Ravenswood has returned to her hometown of Aerieville, Tennessee. She is working at the Flower House owned by Felix Maniford. Felix takes off on a geocaching jaunt leaving Sierra to run the flower arranging workshop on her own. The class is going well until a kerfuffle during the break which ends up with one participant covered in coffee and all the treats smashed on the floor. Abe Ranker then clutches his stomach and collapses. Abe is dead before help can arrive. When the autopsy reveals Abe was poisoned, everyone at the workshop including Sierra is under suspicion. Felix, it turns out, will be gone longer than planned and decided that Sierra can purchase the Flower House for the grand some of one dollar. Until the murder is cleared up, though, people are avoiding the quaint flower shop. Sierra needs to resolve the murder if she is going to keep the business.
Death in Bloom by Jess Dylan is the debut of A Flower Shop Mystery series. Sierra Ravenswood wishes to be a country music star, but things did not go well in Nashville. She is back in Aerieville, Tennessee where she works parttime at the Flower House. She has two protective parents and a younger brother named Rocky. There are some interesting characters in this story with my favorite being Sierra’s grandmother, Granny Mae. Granny Mae is a kindly woman known for her home remedies and other special concoctions. It was nice to see Sierra change by growing stronger and more confident. She seemed to be a person at loose ends and unsure of herself at the beginning of the story. The author took the time to set the stage for the series by describing the town (the main residents, shop owners) and giving us Sierra’s background. The mystery needed to be stronger. It is a simple whodunit that can be solved quickly. It was obvious who was going to be murdered (the mean guy) as soon as the person was introduced. The clues needed to solve the mystery are obvious (I wish they were more subtle). The murder happened so early in the book that we did not get a chance to know the victim or the suspects (or their motives). I like how the language of flowers was incorporated into the story (it is fascinating). I loved Gus, the Pembroke Welsh corgi pup that Felix owned, and Sierra took in. He is a cutie that provided smiles and laughter. I like the side story involving Felix and his jaunt. I hope we find out more details in the next book. Death in Bloom is a good start to A Flower Shop Mystery series. I am sure the author will up her game in Petals and Poison. Death in Bloom is an upbeat cozy mystery with a poisoned powder, a cute corgi, a missing manager, a mystery renter, beautiful blooms, and a sleuthing singer.
The Avid Reader
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