Review – Keeping Mum by Alyse Carlson

keeping mum
Keeping Mum
(A Garden Society Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Catherine Deeter
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252062
E-Book File Size: 1539 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 political fundraiser turns deadly, everyone’s a candidate for murder…

Camilla has been asked to help plan a gala for a candidate running for Senate. With Annie’s help they come up with the perfect plan.  A murder mystery themed silent auction where the guests bid on who will be the night’s “victim.” What could  go wrong? Well when the first body is found and he was not the “designated victim” and he is really dead you know things are not going well.

Turns out not too many people are sad that local financial tycoon Derrick Windermere is dead.  This leads to plenty of suspects and as police start to sort things out one of those suspects has disappeared. Annie’s dad, a former state senator is missing.   Cam quickly finds herself trying not only to find Annie’s dad but a killer. These two things just have to be connected.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is the 3rd book in this series and all my favorite characters are back. Cam, Rob, Annie, Jake, Petunia and Nick, plus more. There are a lot of characters in these stories. This time the Garden Society wasn’t the host of the event so some of those members were replaced by some politicians and other very interesting people. Sometimes it was a little hard to keep everyone straight but as the very intriguing plot played out things came together nicely.

Alyse Carlson has created a very current story using the political arena for her theme.  Nothing good seems to happen when a group of politicians with opposing views get together, even if they are surrounded but acres of beautiful flowers. I am surprised there aren’t more mysterious deaths as people are very passionate about their politics.

Cam, Annie and Rob dig right in to solve both mysteries with just a bit of help their favorite officer, Jake. With Annie’s father missing this personal for all of them.  The secrets they uncover that may help catch Windermere’s killer are just an added bonus until they see where those secrets are leading them and then they can’t let go even if it means putting themselves in danger.

Carlson has a very descriptive way of writing that not only brings her characters to life but the settings as well. From the beautiful bountiful gardens or the deep dark woods or the sailboats in the marina, the are all in vivid color in our minds. She includes those little details that help us “see” the story.

I was sad to see the alphabet series end after The Azalea Assault and The Begonia Bribe, but no matter what they are titled I am a fan of Alyse Carlson captivating cozies. Chrysanthemum may have just been too long for a title 🙂

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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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