Review: The Begonia Bribe by Alyse Carlson


The Begonia Bribe
(A Garden Society Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Murder
The Berkley Publishing Group (May 7, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Catherine Deeter
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251621
E-Book File Size: 947 KB

Roanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country’s most exquisite gardens, and it’s Camellia Harris’s job to promote them. But when a pint-sized beauty contest comes to town, someone decides to deliver a final judgment …

The Little Miss Begonia pageant comes to town and Cam takes on helping coordinate it in addition to her duties for the Garden Club.  She quickly realizes the cute little contestants come with ultra competitive moms who will do most anything to help their daughters win. But the drama doesn’t end there. The judges include some real winners and when one of them ends up dead it is up to Cam to dig through a flowerbed of suspects because she knows the local police will be picking the easiest of the bunch and they will be wrong again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alyse Carlson has found her cozy voice and brings us a fine follow up to The Azalea Assault.

Cam Harris is a smart and savvy amateur sleuth. Along with her cupcake baking sidekick, Annie, and her reporter boyfriend, Rob, they can uproot the killer much to the dismay of Annie’s boyfriend Jake who just happens to be the local police. These are wonderful characters who just draw us in to their story.

The author gives us so much detail about the park and its gardens that she paints a clear picture in the readers mind. A beautiful setting. 

There was a lot going on in this story in addition to the pageant – infidelity, lies, secrets, babies, graffiti, compromising photos, plus murder. At times it was a little chaotic and  too many weeds among the flowers but by the end it came together nicely.

just you and a friend


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About This Author
Alyse Carlson is the pen name for the author some of you may know as Hart Johnson. She writes books from her bathtub and when she isn’t writing, does research for a large, midwest University or leads the Naked World Domination Movement (your choice).

Check out Alyse’s blog: Confessions of a Watery Tart.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”

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