Whether it’s beside a pool in summer or in front of a crackling fire in the winter, there is nothing better than relaxing with a cozy mystery. When you add great food and wonderful gardens to the plot, you have a novel that’s bound to please. ‘Nice murder’ as my best friend calls it.
“The Azalea Assault” is the first of a new series set in Roanoke, Virginia and written by Alyse Carlson under the banner of the Garden Society Mysteries. Camellia Harris or Cam as she prefers to be called is the public relations manager for the Roanoke Garden Society. She scores big time when she manages to get renowned photographer, Jean-Jacques Georges to agree to shoot a spread for a national gardening magazine story featuring some of the city’s most renowned gardens.
Jean-Jacques turns out to be a total jerk-face, so no one is surprised when he gets himself killed, but it becomes a tragedy for Cam when the police arrest her sister’s husband for the murder. Being in public relations, Cam has a nose for news, but when she starts asking too many questions and her main suspect is also murdered, she begins to wonder if she could be next in line.
There’s lots of smart, saucy dialogue to pique the interest, and enough red herrings to distract the most observant wanabee detective from guessing, right up to last few pages. This is a fun read for gardeners, foodies, or cozy fans in general.
Personally, I can hardly wait for the next flower in the alphabet, “The Begonia Bribe.”