Death in Bloom: A Flower House Mystery by Jess Dylan #Review

Death in Bloom: A Flower House Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (May 25, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250769515
ISBN-13: 978-1250769510
Kindle ASIN: B08FZ8Y79B

The first in a sweet and colorful cozy mystery series from Jess Dylan, Death in Bloom introduces flower shop owner Sierra Ravenswood.

At the Flower House, every rose has its thorn . . .

Sierra Ravenswood is the new part-time employee of the Flower House, a flower shop in Aerieville, Tennessee. It’s true she didn’t expect to be back in her hometown at twenty-eight years old, but after her dream of making it as a singer in Nashville crashed and burned, she’s just grateful to have found a soft place to land.

Because, after all, Sierra firmly believes in being optimistic and positive about life, so she’s sure she won’t have to work at the Flower House forever. But things take a decidedly negative turn when a customer drops dead in the middle of her new bouquet-arranging workshop at the store. When it’s discovered he was poisoned by a snack at the event, everyone at the workshop, including Sierra, is on the suspect list. To make matters worse, her boss has gone AWOL and left the store to her for the cost of one dollar, leaving Sierra in charge of both his store and his high-energy Corgi puppy, Gus.

The town is on edge, and Sierra knows that murder is something that an upbeat attitude and a bouquet of sweet-smelling roses can’t fix. She’s determined to figure out whodunit before anyone else in town meets an untimely reason for needing funeral flowers.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sierra Ravenswood had hopes of being a singer known across the country but that didn’t happen so she is back home in Aerieville working part-time at The Flower House as she decides what she wants to do with her life next. The eccentric owner of the place has taken off to places unknown and left her the ownership of the shop just as he was scheduled to lead a workshop on flower arranging. Sierra decides to go ahead with the class and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves until one of the participants keels over dead. Sierra assumes the man had a heart attack but soon learns he was poisoned by one of the treats on the snack table. This means everyone at the workshop is a suspect including Sierra.

Trying to decide what she wants to do with The Flower House takes a backseat to finding a killer especially after the store and its greenhouse are vandalized. She is also the new owner of her boss’s Corgi puppy named Gus. Her life is not taking an expected turn but her optimistic nature will not let her back down while Death is in Bloom.

As soon as I saw the cover of this book I wanted to read it. My grandmother had a garden that encompassed most of her lawn with just grass walkways. This cover made me think of her and just brought back so many wonderful memories are spending time in those gardens and learning about flowers from my grandmother.

I really enjoyed meeting Sierra. Many people would have fallen apart by everything she had to handle in this story but she is a strong woman who took it all in stride with only some minor breaks. Her daily affirmations were uplighting both for her and this reader.

Sierra’s family was mostly supportive She really drew strength from Granny Mae. That woman is extraordinary in many ways and a great resource for Sierra. I enjoyed that she reconnected with an old friend, Deena, and made a new friend in Calvin. All the characters felt true to life. Everyone really worked together to keep the shop going and sleuth out clues. I am anxious to see how the characters and their relationships develop as this series continues.

I was taken in by the history of The Flower House and the town of Aerieville. The author added some nice depth to the story with the backgrounds she provided readers and her descriptions of each place she took us within the pages of this book.

The mystery was well done especially for the first book in a series. I always say the first book in a series is a heavy life because the author needs to give readers a great mystery while introducing core characters with enough background to get us invested in their lives. Ms. Dylan did an admirable job at both. I do wish we had gotten to know some of the suspects better so motives would have been more evident.  I was able to solve the mystery way before the reveal but I was totally entertained by the entire story.

Death in Bloom has set this series off to a blooming start. I want to visit Sierra, her friends, family, and The Flower House again soon.

About the Author

JESS DYLAN is an environmental attorney by day and author by night. As Jennifer David Hesse, she wrote the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries, a cozy series, with Kensington Publishing. Born and raised in Central Illinois, Jess now makes her home in Chicago with her musician husband, college-bound teen, and high-spirited Corgi. In her spare time, Jess enjoys yoga, hiking, reading, and movie night with her family.

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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