Petals and Poison by Jess Dylan is the 2nd A Flower House Mystery. Petals 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.
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