On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
My reading schedule was all messed up last year
and I was unable to read and review this book then.
Played by the Book (A Novel Idea Mystery)
4th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 3, 2015)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Art by Julia Green
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK52O
The owner of the Novel Idea Literary Agency is thrilled when former local boy and popular television show host Damian York returns to Inspiration Valley, North Carolina, to launch his new gardening book. But Lila is less than excited about the hubbub when she sees her mounting to-do list. Between planning York’s gala and sprucing up her yard for another event, she’s spread too thin—especially after she finds a skull buried in her flowerbeds.
As Lila’s macabre discovery leads to other secrets hidden in Inspiration Valley’s past, a member of the local garden club is found slumped over her prize roses—murdered. Now it’s up to Lila to dig through old mysteries and new clues to unearth a murderer before someone else is found pushing up daisies…
Lila Wilkens has my dream job. I would even love to do a bit of sleuthing.
We return to Inspiration Valley for the 4th time and Lila is helping to organize a grand affair to help launch Damian York’s new gardening book. As part of the event Lila’s own garden is to be featured but when she is pulling out some old shrubs she makes a terrible discovery. A human skull, thought to be a young woman. As if that isn’t enough across town another woman is found dead/murdered in her garden. So in addition to her workload Lila now needs to get down and dirty to solve an old mystery and a new one.
The first three books in this series were written by a writing team of Ellery Adams and Sylvia May. Susan Furlong becomes Lucy Arlington for this story and I truthfully didn’t notice much of a change in writing style, which is good, but not an easy feat, so kudos to Ms. Furlong.
I really enjoyed the behind the scenes look at an book agent’s job and the joy Lily has when she can tell an author she has sold their book to a publisher. Then the way she helps their stories shine with some really good advice and nurturing. In a time when big publishers are cutting back on their cozy mystery contacts Lila gives us insight to the publishing process. I just hope this series continues to survive the cuts.
I really treasure the relationship Lila has with her son Trey. I will not lie, it made me miss my son Kris a lot.
In addition to the mysteries there is some romance with Sean and Lila and Makayla and Jay. Sean may not be moving fast enough in the direction Lila would like but Jay has pulled out all the stops to move his relationship with Makayla forward.
The mysteries themselves are very interesting. Are the connected in some way? or is it just a coincidence that the skull/skeleton was found as another murder happened. Lila wants to get justice for the young girl buried on her property but she is also invested in finding the killer that left a garden club member smelling her roses for the last time.
I was completely captivated by this cozy. We are given just a little tease for the next what to expect for Lila in the next installment. The good thing about reviewing this book right now is that Off the Books was released this past February and it on my shelf calling me. I see some juggling in my reading schedule happening soon.
About This Author
Lucy Arlington is the pen name of Susan Furlong. The concept for the Novel Idea Mysteries was originated by the New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams and Sylvia May. Together, they penned the first three novels of the series. Susan continues their legacy with the new books in the series. Susan also writes the Georgia Peach Mysteries.
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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.”