Series: Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery #1
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Published by Berkley on 1 April 2014
Reading Challenges: 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Audrey Bloom, one half of The Rose in Bloom florist shop, is thrust into a murder investigation when her former school friend, Jenny, becomes a prime suspect. Audrey knows there is no way Jenny would have murdered her fiancé Derek as she is far too retiring and besides, she had just told Audrey she planned to break up with him.
Audrey was a warm and engaging protagonist who moved methodically in both her investigation and the running of her business. It might sound like a really minor thing but I loved the little bit of realism Allen injected. Audrey often wanted to get out and investigate but she had to focus on filling orders for the funeral. Luckily, many people wanted to send flowers for Derek’s funeral so she had a legitimate reason for snooping around his nearest and dearest.
Interwoven around the mystery is a secondary crime, a possible romance for Audrey and lots of info on the meaning behind flowers. The different aspects worked well although I found the last part particularly interesting. I knew a couple of meanings thanks to Ophelia in Hamlet, who talks about rosemary for remembrance and of course pansy for thoughts when she has gone mad with grief, but not much more beyond that. Allen clearly did her research and thankfully presented the info in an engaging manner without ramming it down readers’ throats. There are a variety of suspects and the red herrings are nicely placed.
This is charming cozy which is well worth your time.