Flowerbed of State by Dorothy St. James

Cover Illustration
by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design
by Olivia Anderas

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group

A White House Gardener Mystery
First in a New Series
ISBN-10: 0425240576
ISBN-13: 978-0425240571

Release Date: May 3, 2011

Casey Calhoun is not your typical assistant gardener at the White House.  She was brought in by the First Lady to make the gardening at the White House more organic, more earth friendly.  Casey is also very organized, observant and detail oriented.  While getting the grounds ready for the annual Easter Egg Roll she is also developing a plan to present to the Grounds Committee for implementing her new organic ideas.
Fighting back a case of the nerves about her presentation she ventures out to weed one of the park’s gardens.  While there she is attacked from behind and ends up face down in the garden.  As she comes to and is explaining what happened to a Secret Service Agent, she notices some broken limbs on a tree. When she works her way over to the damage, it leads both her and the agent to make a shocking discovery.  A dead woman that has been stuffed into a trash can.  Casey can’t help herself from digging into case and trying to root out the killer.  Doing so she puts herself not only in danger from the assailant but also may lose her job before she even has a chance to bloom.
A wonderful start to a new series!! Casey Calhoun is a gutsy, full of life character, who is not afraid to get her hands dirty.  Her character develops perfectly throughout this story.  You couldn’t have a more perfect setting and the plot is entertaining and fast paced. A friendship that may bloom into love is also planted that I cannot wait to see flower in future editions.  

Flowerbed of State is the perfect Springtime read.  It also includes information on how to keep our yards and gardens blooming in more earth friendly ways as Casey prepares her presentation and fights for at least gradual change. I can’t wait for the next book in this series to see where Casey takes us. 

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Flowerbed of State (A White House Gardener Mystery)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime, A Division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.