Wednesday, August 18, 2010

“Slay It With Flowers” by Kate Collins

This book is the second in the Flower Shop mystery series featuring female-sleuth Abby Knight. And it’s the second book I read on my recent out-of-town trip.

Abby owns “Bloomers” which is located in the small downtown of New Chapel, Indiana. She is a law-school dropout who used the proceeds of her grandfather’s college trust fund to purchase Bloomers. I say ‘purchase’ lightly because Abby has a large mortgage to pay. The trust fund only paid for a down payment.

Abby’s friends and coworkers think she meddles too much in things. She likes to deny this. In her opinion, she’s a curious, caring person who doesn’t like the injustices of the world. She refuses to play politics, just as her father did in his former job on the New Chapel police force. It cost him some promotions, but he always felt like he did the right thing.

Abby’s father is her hero.

“Slay It With Flowers” finds Abby working on her cousin Jillian’s wedding flowers. Jillian is engaged for the umpteenth-time and Abby really hopes this particular wedding is not called off. Mainly because Jillian’s parents are wealthy and the profit from the wedding flowers would help pay Abby’s bills.

However it looks like there may not be a wedding since one of the groomsmen is missing. Eventually another person in the wedding party is found dead, and Jillian begs for Abby’s help to try to solve the case. So Abby does what comes naturally: she meddles.

Abby has always been asked to be a bridesmaid for Jillian’s weddings and she has a closet full of bridesmaid dresses to attest to that fact. For that reason she hopes this wedding goes off without a hitch.

Plus she’s tired of playing those silly games at Jillian’s shower. They always play the one where you have to come up with a sentence or phrase using all the letters in Jillian’s new married name. The best phrase wins a prize. This time it’s Jillian Knight Osborne, and Abby comes up with “Kill no bones in a jig, Ruth”. It doesn’t win any prizes.

And then there is another mystery: the one of the Emporer’s Spa - a new massage parlor in town. Why are no women allowed in the place? Why does an old cruel-looking man guard the door? Do they give more than just massages there?

But Abby’s meddling pays off as she manages to solve both puzzles. Another fun read in the series.

You can buy the book here: