Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Rose From The Dead - Kate Collins

A Rose From The Dead
A Flower Shop Mystery
Kate Collins


In an effort to generate more income for her flower shop, Bloomers, Abby Knight (last seen in ACTS OF VIOLETS) agreed to attend a mortician’s convention. Actually, she’s going halves on a booth with local funeral directors Max and Delilah Dove. Abby assumes that a convention of morticians will be dull. She is so wrong. For a start, there are Jess and Ross, sons of a straitlaced scion of the business, who think that everyone needs to lighten up about death. To that end, they perpetrate endless pranks including locking Abby in a coffin-shaped phone booth and attaching signs to the skirt of Sylvia Blount, organizer of the event.

Sylvia doesn’t see the humor, either. She sells (and wears) funeral makeup. Her trademark is a red rose behind one ear. She’s known for being a man-eater, and makes a pass at anything in pants. Including Marco, Abby’s boyfriend. When Sylvia ends up dead in a coffin meant for the “theme coffin” contest, the suspects are myriad. Except for Angelique, a harpist who claims to capture the music of departing souls, Sylvia was roundly disliked. But when suspicion falls squarely on Delilah’s head, Abby knows she can’t trust the authorities to clear her friend.

Getting Abby out of her hometown and into a convention full of relative strangers makes this entry in the series quite interesting. Those who have been reading from the start may be surprised to find that a mere six months have elapsed since Abby went into the florist – and murder – business. There’s only so long a small town setting can credibly sustain that kind of pace. The nature of the convention guarantees that there will be a wide variety of characters, including some oddballs, and they work perfectly with the slightly tongue-in-cheek feeling of the narrative. This is an entertaining entry in a fun cozy series.

Rating: 7 ½
December 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-22241-1 (paperback)


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