by Beverly Allen
(A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery)
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Berkley (October 6, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00SI027LY
In the latest Bridal Bouquet Shop mystery, florist Audrey Bloom creates an arrangement for a one-of-a-kind wedding, but ends up pruning a one-of-a-kind criminal…
As the co-owner of the Rose in Bloom Flower Shop, Audrey knows how to put together unique wedding bouquets, but this one takes the cake. The daughter of a local historian is getting married in a medieval-themed, hand-fasting ceremony, and Audrey is responsible for providing period-accurate blooms.
But making sure she gets her roses right turns out to be the least of Audrey’s problems. Shortly after the vows are exchanged, the father of the groom suddenly drops dead. When Audrey discovers the man’s death stems from monkshood poisoning, it’s a clear-cut case of murder. Now, faced with a suspect list that rivals the guest list, Audrey needs to root out the toxic killer…
Kathleen Randolph, the owner of the Ashbury Inn, is helping her daughter, Andrea, plan a very unique wedding. They are getting married during a medieval festival held somewhere way out in the woods. Not only does Audrey have to create the perfect bouquet but she needs to deliver it and all the other flowers to the site. She also has been ordered by Kathleen to stay for the wedding. This means an overnight camp-out in the woods with very little comfort. Those organizing and attending have very strict rules about what can be brought into the camp. No modern conveniences, things have to be as close as possible to the way they back in medieval times. That also includes the clothing worn, so Audrey has to find a costume.
There were a few bumps along the way but Audrey arrives and the ceremony takes place but then tragedy strikes when the bride takes a tumble and the father of the groom tumbles as well. Andrea is helped up and she is fine but the groom’s father, Barry Brooks, is not so lucky. Audrey was hoping her bit of nursing knowledge could help him until the ambulance arrived but the man is soon pronounced dead. The sheriff puts Kane Bixby, police chief of Ramble, in charge of the case and shocks Bixby by deputizing Audrey. Then the real fun…I mean investigation, begins.
So much happens in this story and there are a lot of characters to keep track of but Beverly Allen twines it all together like a beautiful bouquet. The pace is pretty quick as all the players seem to travel between the campsite and town. Audrey and Bixby go back and forth and forth and back several times as they try to dig up clues to catch the killer and eliminate suspects.
There are also some interesting subplots too including one with Audrey, baker Nick and her ex-Brad who just happens to be at the festival too, one with Audrey and the Friar, and Liv’s baby due at any time.
I have enjoyed all three books in this series but this one is my favorite so far. Allen really kicked things up a notch. I do suggest reading this books in order to fully get to know and appreciate these sensational characters and the town of Ramble, Virginia.
About The Author –
Beverly Allen writes cozy mysteries with a healthy dose of comedy and sometimes a splash of romance. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, crafts, home-improvement projects, and spending time with her family and four naughty, but adorable cats. She grew up and still lives, in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY.
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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.”