Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to feature Mums and Mayhem today!
Mums and Mayhem: A Magic Garden Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Scotland
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07TW1XV6D
A famous fiddler has been kilt. A magic garden’s left to wilt. Does Fiona Knox’s father hold the guilt? Will florist Fiona’s blood be spilt?
World-famous fiddle player Barley McFee arrives in blustery Bellewick, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, for a grand homecoming concert organized by jeweler Bernice Brennan. Fiona Knox, the owner of the Climbing Rose Flower Shop, is starting to regret volunteering to help with the concert. Bernice is an exacting taskmaster, and Fiona has enough tension dealing with her parents, who have traveled from Tennessee to visit Fi and her younger sister, Isla, and to reveal a secret about Fi’s birth. But when Barley is found dead in his trailer during the concert’s intermission, and his death is shockingly tied to Fiona’s father, Fiona discovers there are more secrets surrounding her family than she realized.
Much to the chagrin of handsome Neil Craig, Chief Inspector of the County Aberdeen Police, Fiona delves into the case to clear her father’s name. To make matters worse, Fiona learns that Duncreigan, the magical garden that she inherited from her godfather, is dying. At some point during the concert, someone broke into the garden and cut the centuries-old climbing rose–the source of the garden’s magic–from the standing stone.
The stakes are higher than ever and Fiona could lose all that she’s grown unless she’s able to dispel this terrible curse and dig up the truth–fast.
Secrets on top of secrets are revealed within the pages of Mums and Mayhem.
Fiona’s parents arrive from the States for a visit while she has her hands full with her flower shop, her magic garden, and helping with a concert to welcome back Barley McFee. Barley is a fiddle player known around the world but calls Bellewick, Aberdeenshire, Scotland home. Sadly his concert comes to an abrupt halt when he is found dead. Fiona’s world is rocked when she learns her father is the prime suspect in his death.
To add to her troubles someone broke into her beloved Duncreigan, the magic garden she inherited along with her cottage from her godfather while she was at the concert. She has been entrusted with the garden’s care and some thief has taken the source of the magic and everything is dying.
Will Fiona be able to save her father and her garden? or will the killer come after her next?
I really enjoy these escapes to Scotland and while under dire straights I was happy the garden took more of a leading role in this story than the last. The author’s descriptive writing style clearly paints pictures of the whole area but especially Duncreigan. The turmoil of the dying garden brought tears to my eyes. Something so beautiful and magical struck down was truly heartbreaking. I felt so bad for Fiona.
Speaking of Fiona, she is an incredible protagonist. She continues to find her way in Scotland and learning about the precious gift she has been given. In this book, she has many things thrown at her at once but in the end, she perseveres. The relationship with her sister continues to immerge. They are as different as night and day. Fiona is the responsible one, Isla is more by the seats of her pants. I love the way they banter. Having their parents in town brings a new twist especially because they have a history in this town. Also, Fiona’s relationship with Chief Inspector Neil Craig continues to evolve but with her dad in the hot seat, romance could be pretty difficult.
To bring together all the many facets of this story the author has to be steadfast with a clear plan. Her plotting twists all the plotlines together in a way that grabs the reader right away and holds them in her grasp until the final word. She provides plenty of suspects and plants clues precisely making it so much fun to follow each seed right along with Fiona. I was kept guessing until the very end when all the clues come together to bloom.
Well-crafted characters and an exciting mystery make Mums and Mayhem a compelling cozy. One I thoroughly enjoyed. Mums, mystery, mayhem, and magic make for a marvelous read. A Perfect Escape!
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About This Author
Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.
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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.”