Doomed by Blooms: A Josie Posey Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kansas
Level Best Books (February 7, 2023)
Paperback : 188 pages
ISBN-10 : 1685122817
ISBN-13 : 978-1685122812
Kindle ASIN : B0BTTVBB33
Josie Posey, a mature yet ever-feisty big-city crime reporter turned crime solver, has officially retired to a small, touristy town in middle America where she and her posse of friends “unofficially” have their noses in everything.
Josie loves her new life, but a weekly game of mahjong isn’t enough: she itches to get back into the action. She gets more than she bargained for when The Village Gazette asks her to interview their local celebrity, a former NYC prima ballerina.
Then, the ballerina’s husband is discovered dead—face down in the couple’s beloved field of flowers. Now, Josie has the inside track on solving the murder, with her quirky Mahjong Mavens as useful sidekicks.
And if a killer in their midst wasn’t enough distraction, Josie’s matchmaking friends are pushing her to date again—particularly, to pursue an attraction toward a certain local blacksmith, with whom sparks fly.
Josie Posey has retired from her high-pressure job as a big-city crime reporter at the Kansas City Star and moved to the idyllic small town of English Village in Sunflower County, Kansas. She now works for The Village Gazette and they have assigned her to interview another new resident of the village, former New York City prima ballerina, Betty Hamilton. She also meets her husband Robert and their “golden goddess of a dog”, Tinkerbelle. Josie expected Betty to be lovely but arrogant and cool. Betty expected Josie to be a hard-boiled reporter with frown lines etched into her face. They were both wrong. They talk about a variety of things and quickly become friends. Josie’s only concern is Betty’s hovering husband who appears to be pretty controlling.
When Josie’s editor notifies her later in the day that Betty’s husband was found dead, face down in a bed of flowers and foaming at the mouth Josie is shocked. When her editor told her she wanted Josie to get the whole story, her big-city crime reporter and crime-solving skills kicked into high gear. And she is not alone. Her friends, also known as the Mahjong Mavens, are on board to help her solve the case in any way they can. Josie is a little leary about getting them involved but this murder mystery may take their minds off her lack of a love life and their desire to remedy that situation.
I quickly fell for Josie and her “posse of biddies” as Police Chief Marshall called them along with Josie’s fluffy sheepdog Moe. Josie, Kate, Sharon, and Nellie are the Mahjong Mavens and great friends. Nellie and Sharon were school teachers and Kate was in the military. Retired ladies who like to have fun and do good works throughout the community are now ready to help Josie catch a killer which will drive Chief Marshall crazy. While I don’t play Mahjong I would love to learn and hang out with these wonderful characters the author has created.
Ms. St. John plotted out a terrific mystery. While the spouse is always a suspect Josie is pretty sure Betty didn’t kill her husband but she may be involved with someone who did. There turned out to be several suspects. I enjoyed the way the Mavens delved into the case in their own way and they did their best to report their finding to the police chief. They knew they were on the right track when Josie was threatened. That threat got Chief Marshall to admit the “biddies” were onto something and Josie really could be in danger. Tagging along while the ladies tracked down clues had the pages flying. That said, I was kept guessing to the end and taken aback by the motive.
I am surprised that Doomed by Blooms is Anna St. John’s debut novel. The characters were engaging and well-developed. The mystery was very well-plotted and written. It grabbed me from the start. English Village is the perfect setting for a cozy mystery series and the author’s words brought the small town to life. Mahjong, great friends, Naked Ladies, murder, mystery, threats, drama, and a little chaos come together to make Doomed by Blooms a Perfect Escape.
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About the Author
Anna St. John writes cozy mysteries featuring a mature, yet feisty, former crime reporter, Josie Posey, as the amateur sleuth.
A former journalist, award-winning advertising copywriter, and ad agency owner, Anna is married to her high school sweetheart. She writes from her home office in Kansas, with her Old English Sheepdog by her side.
Cindy Bullard, of Birch Literary Agency, represents Anna. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Kansas Authors Club.
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.”