Thursday, May 19, 2022

Fatal Flowers by Jess Dylan

 Fatal Flowers
Book Summary

Fatal Flowers is the third in a colorful cozy mystery series from Jess Dylan, set in the Flower House—where you’re as likely to find a killer as a chrysanthemum.

As Aerieville, Tennessee’s Flower House finally gains in popularity, Sierra Ravenswood finds herself feeling ready for new challenges. Luckily, the shop has grabbed the attention of the mayor’s daughter, and bride-to-be, Marissa Lakely. Sierra is thrilled, and nervous, to land her most important job yet: providing flowers for the biggest wedding Aerieville has ever seen.
Fortunately, Marissa bucks all stereotypes and is far from a bridezilla—but her wedding planner, Taz Banyan, has apparently taken on the role for himself. He’s uptight, intense, and a little intimidating. But Taz aside, everything seems to be under control...until Sierra makes a startling discovery in the great room: the wedding planner, lying in a heap at the bottom of the stairs, in very bad shape. In fact, he survives only long enough to mutter: "It was the snake." As Granny Mae would say, seeing a snake is rarely a good sign, and this was clearly no exception.
With the town on edge and the wedding up in the air, Sierra refuses to stop asking questions in her determination to put an end to this latest danger—so both Aerieville and the Flower House can flourish once more.
My Thoughts

Fatal Flowers by Jess Dylan is the third book in The Flower House Mysteries.  Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.  I wanted to give this series one more chance.  I found the pacing to be varied throughout the book.  Frequently the pacing was gentle as Sierra went about her days (working, time with friends, walking the dog, breakfast with parents, chatting with her grandmother, thinking about Calvin, spending time with Calvin). I have mixed feelings about Sierra. I wish she was less wishy washy.  I am amazed her business is making any money with her business practices (her website is not updated, went to meeting without portfolio, and does not have updated pictures of flower arrangements readily available on phone are a couple of examples).  Some of the other vendors thought she was naïve, but it is more the matter of Sierra not putting enough thought into matters (too many brain cells occupied with thoughts of Calvin).  I like Deena, Sierra’s employee and friend.  She is a good friend who stands by Sierra.  There is humdrum dialogue and activities.  

The murder of the wedding planner is straightforward.  There are a handful of suspects that include the other vendors for the wedding.   I wanted more questioning and investigating (less of the namby pamby approach).  At a bakery, Sierra had the perfect opportunity to speak with the owner (the woman was in her office with no way to avoid Sierra).  Instead of knocking on the office door, Sierra decides to sit in the café and wait for the woman to come out (so she can keep avoiding her).  I wanted to yell at Sierra to get her act together.  There are some incidents, but the emotions are lacking to make them feel scary or dangerous.  Instead of fury (or anger), Sierra is more “oh my, what am I to do.”  The killer is easy to identify long before the reveal.  I felt that more time is spent on Sierra and Calvin’s romance than on the mystery.  At times, it felt that I was reading a romance instead of a cozy mystery.  I wanted the murder to have a tie in to flowers.  I felt that this was a missed opportunity.  I did like learning about edible flowers and seeing them used in the tasty treats served in the flower themed café. Fatal Flowers has all the elements of a cozy mystery:  quaint small town, friendly residents, a charming shop (flower shop), a murder, and an amateur sleuth.  I just feel the story (the whole series) needs to be livelier with a more complex crime.  I read the book, but I did not get into the story.  I just kept wondering if the story would ever end.  While Fatal Flowers was not for me, I suggest you obtain a sample to judge for yourself.  Fatal Flowers is pretty as a posy with a puffed-up wedding planner, creative cookies, a soothing spa, a missing automobile, an alarming motorcycle, a mystifying murder, a warm mother-of-the-bride, and an interfering florist.

Fatal Flowers comes out on May 24.  Fatal Flowers can be preordered through Amazon*.  You can read an excerpt here.  The first two A Flower House Mysteries are Death in Bloom and Petals & Poison.  You can follow Jess Dylan to receive an email when she has a new release.  Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  Tomorrow I am featuring Buried in a Good Book by Tamara Berry.  It is the debut of By the Book Mysteries.  I hope that you have a glorious day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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