Saturday, November 24, 2012

Book Review - Nightshade on Elm Street

Nightshade on Elm Street: A Flower Shop Mystery

By: Kate Collins
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: November 2012
ISBN: 978-0451238504
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: Novmeber 24, 2012

Pryce Osborne II, corporate attorney, residence New Chapel, Indiana was a pain. Once upon a long time ago he had dumped Ms. Abby Knight just before their wedding and he was up to his old tricks again. This time he had dumped Melissa Hazelton. Granted, she was one of the worst interior decorators on the planet, but she didn’t deserve to be clunked any more than Abby did. Fortunately Abby recovered in due time (almost immediately) and found love instead of money. Abby and Marco Salvare, owner of Down the Hatch Bar and Grill and a private investigator, were very much in love and engaged to be married. Abby’s bridal shower was in five days and things couldn’t be better ... that was until Pryce called.

Pryce insisted it was “exceedingly urgent” that Abby get in touch with him and had called Bloomers, her flower shop. He claimed a “friend” was missing, but in reality it was his darling ex-fiancĂ©, Melissa. She thought it was going to be a cold day in Indiana before she and Marco took on that case, but she had to consider her cousin Jillian’s feelings. She’d married Claymore, Pryce’s brother, and family ties came first, even if Jillian was a “drama queen” supreme. Case closed, they’d take the case. Apparently they’d had a “disagreement over a personal matter” and Melissa had disappeared. Once Abby and Marco started to interview people, it looked like more than a few people could have been suspect in her disappearance.

The case of the lost fiancĂ© looked rather simple on the surface, but it wasn’t long before Abby and Marco uncovered a web of secrets and lies that was proving to be extremely difficult to unravel. Orabell had accused Lily of stealing her precious timepiece, a Piaget Altiplano, while everyone else seemed preoccupied with their neighbor’s bedroom decor all the while feigning innocence. “Nobody,” claimed Jillian, “can freeze out a person with a killer glance like you can, Abby.” She would have to try to use that glance on those suspects to try to ferret out a killer when a woman’s body washed up on the sands in front of Pryce’s house. Abby was definitely on to something when someone holding a knife began to chase her across those very sands. It looked like she just might be missing her bridal shower and attending a funeral instead ... hers!

This highly intriguing and tightly woven mystery will pack a punch with readers. It was mystery all the way once Abby and Marco started investigating. When they started to examine the facts, it seemed as if everyone in New Chapel had a motive to drown the victim. It was as if fingers were pointing every which way and, as a result, it elevated Nightshade on Elm Street into a real whodunit. I changed my mind with each chapter as the suspects, their motives, and lives came into view. Little snippets such as a peek through a window would raise my eyebrows as suspects either came on the list or went off. Every glance seemed to add a new conundrum to the plot. If you want the killer to jump out at you on the first few pages, you should look elsewhere. This is a cozy mystery that even Sherlock Holmes would put his stamp of approval on!

Quill says: If you like your mysteries hot, spicy, and rip roaring good, the Flower Shop Mysteries are just the ticket!

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