Everything seems to be coming up roses for Camellia ‘Cam’ Harris until a dead body is discovered causing a lot of thorns in her side.
Cam has gotten Garden Delights, a premier national magazine for garden lovers, to feature a Roanoke garden. They’ve selected the spectacular garden of Neil Patrick, the founder of the Roanoke Garden Society, and his lovely wife, Evangeline, a former Miss Virginia. To top it off, world-famous photographer Jean Jacques Georges will be taking the photographs. Meanwhile, Cam’s sister Petunia is catering the big affair celebrating the magazine coverage.
As it turns out, Jean Jacques Georges is more of a snob than a pleasure to be around. He insults and upsets a number of guests at the welcoming party. The next morning his body is found among the azaleas and the list of suspects quite interesting. However, Cam’s brother-in-law Nick is on the top of the list and it’s up to her to find the killer before the entire event turns to compost.
The cast of characters are well defined and a nice mix of personalities in THE AZALEA ASSAULT. Cam is likeable as the protagonist. She’s well-rounded in her interaction with the other characters. She’s the kind of friend you’d want in a bind or to be with on a fun outing.
Author Alyse Carlson does well in bringing a touch of Southern charm to the story. She draws you in with the easy-going conversation-style writing and holds you spellbound as she weaves in just enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. The story’s pace is smooth and relaxing with moments of suspense.
A glass of sweet ice tea and THE AZALEA ASSAULT are the perfect match for an evening of summer reading on the veranda.
This is the first installment in Carlson’s Garden Society Mystery series. The book contains an added bonus at the back, a sneak preview of the next installment - THE BEGONIA BRIBE, coming soon from Berkley Prime Crime.
Alyse Carlson is the pseudonym for Hart Johnson. The author blogs at Confessions of a Watery Tart.
The Azalea Assault by Alyse Carlson, A Garden Society Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, @2012, ISBN: 978-0425251300, Paperback, 304 Pages
FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
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