Saturday, December 4, 2021

Petals and Poison by Jess Dylan

 Petals and Poison
Book Summary

Petals and Poison is the second in a colorful cozy mystery series from Jess Dylan, set in a flower shop with a knack for attracting trouble as well as customers.

Sierra Ravenswood has embraced her role as owner of Flower House floral shop and companion to her former boss's pet, Gus the Corgi. Sierra’s team are enjoying their new jobs too. At least until everyone realizes their lack of experience might be contributing to their lack of customers . . .

Sierra decides they need a change in luck, so she creates a special window display featuring lucky bamboo and auspicious flowers. It seems the new arrangement has worked when the shop is flooded with customers the next day, including a van full of college students on a horticulture club field trip. Unfortunately, Sierra doesn't notice that the students’ distracted professor has gone missing until Gus's urgent barking leads her to the storeroom – and the body of the unfortunate professor.

With folks now referring to Flower House as “Poison House” and suspects galore, Sierra fears her new business is doomed before it has a chance to get off the ground. Determined to reverse course and see justice served, she sets out to solve the crime and change her luck once more.

The Flower House is no place for shrinking violets.
My Thoughts

Sierra Ravenswood is busy running the Flower House, a floral shop and preparing for the opening of the new café.  The café will serve food with edible flowers and plants.  Raven is surprised when a van pulls up outside the shop.  Professor Lowry and a few of his students invade the shop for a tour of the orchid greenhouse which had been arranged with Felix before his departure (and he failed to tell Sierra).  The group is quite rowdy and wreaks havoc in the shop.  When things calm down, Sierra finds Professor Lowry dead in the storeroom.  There is no shortage of suspects including Calvin, Sierra’s employee and potential romantic partner.  With the police focused on Calvin, Sierra dons her sleuthing cap once again.  She works on questioning suspects and digging up clues.  Someone, though, is not happy with her sleuthing and attempts to stop her.  Can Sierra expose the killer before Calvin gets arrested or she becomes the next victim? 

Petals and Poison by Jess Dylan is the 2nd A Flower House MysteryPetals and Poison can be read as a standalone if you have not indulged in Death in Bloom.  Petals and Poison contains good writing and developed characters.  Sierra, Denna, Calvin, Granny, Rocky, and Sierra’s parents are some of the residents in this southern town.  I like Sierra’s upbeat attitude and her plans for the business.  Granny is a fun character with her superstitions and folklore.  There are a couple of quirky characters included which is natural in any small southern town.  I like the setting of Aerieville, Tennessee.  It is the type of town where you can relax on your front porch with a glass of sweet tea and chat with your neighbors as they go by.  The mystery was well-plotted with a variety of suspects and good clues.  I like that Sierra actively investigated with help from her friends.  I was able to identify the guilty party early in the story, but I did not know why.  I thought the why was unique for a cozy mystery and it tied in nicely with the theme of the series.  The café with edible flowers and plants was a clever idea.  It was interesting learning more about edible plants.  I could have done with less romance in the book.  Sierra is interested in Calvin, and I thought it took up too much of the book.  Denna and Rocky have a budding relationship as well.  I do not mind some romance as long as the focus is on the mystery.  Petals and Poison is a lighthearted Southern cozy mystery with edible eats, a perished professor, sweet tea, cavorting college students, puzzling poppies, and romantic endeavors.

Petals and Poison is available from Amazon*.  The first A Flower House Mystery is Death in Bloom.  The third A Flower House Mystery is Fatal Flowers which publishes May 24, 2022.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on Monday to share my thoughts on A Plus One for Murder by Laura Bradford.  It is the debut of A Friend for Hire Mystery series.  I hope that you have a relaxing weekend.  I will be working on the inside Christmas decorations.  Our home is small so we have to shift things around to put up the trees (two of them).  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading. 

The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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