Saturday, October 6, 2012

"Slugfest The Flower Show Murders" by Rosemary Harris Book Review

 Anthony and Agatha Award-nominated Rosemary Harris is back with her fourth Dirty Business mystery featuring amateur sleuth/master gardener Paula Holliday! Welcome to The Big Apple Flower Show where more than just the plants are dying. Paula Holliday reluctantly agrees to man the exhibit booth for a reclusive garden sculptor at a legendary northeast flower show and she expects a quiet weekend sharing garden tips. She doesn't expect to be knee-deep in jealousy, rivalry, horticultural sabotage, beheaded gnomes and something the loose community of gardeners has started referring to as the Javits Curse! The mishaps start out small but the uneasiness intensifies when an overeager attendee is found floating in the river and Paula realizes she accidentally holds the clue to his identity and the reason for his murder. And so does the killer. That's when the garden gloves come off and this flower show turns into a real Slugfest! This time out Paula is joined in the sometimes crazy (and neurotic) subculture of conventions and the "show" circuit by a colorful cast that includes Rolanda "Fort" Knox, a no-nonsense security guard, Guy Anzalone, Brooklyn's Tumbled Stone King and his wife Connie whose fake nails and high heels don't keep her out of the garden, J.C. Kaufman, a feisty senior who never leaves home without her weapon of choice, some snooty garden club ladies who never get dirty and a slick marketing guy hawking the hottest new product at the flower show - Slugfest, a foolproof pest repellant that people and companies are dying to get their hands on. Making cameo appearances are Paula's friends from the first three books in the series, former rock and roller and owner of The Paradise Diner, Babe Chinnery, and best pal, Lucy Cavanaugh, who lends Paula a memorable red dress that keeps getting her in and out of trouble!

Some time ago, I posted a spotlight for this book, and I have finally finished reading it!

Slugfest (Dirty Business Mystery #4)Slugfest by Rosemary  Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Once in a while, I read a mystery book that just does not capture my attention and imagination the way I hoped it would.  I never see it as the author's fault--I just see it as one of those things.  Unfortunately, this is such a book.  No doubt it is well-written and has a good mystery story to it, but I found myself and outsider and uninvolved.  I just could not connect with the story nor the characters.

The first problem is possibly the setting.  I have virtually no interest in flower shows, so maybe I shouldn't have picked it up in the first place.  Clearly, one would not think that a heinous crime would be connected with such a docile setting, but indeed it is in the book.  Sometimes I can look past the setting, but I just was not able to in this book for some reason.

I will say that I suppose I got a glimpse into what a flower show is, and I don't think any of the characters in the book had ever experienced so much action at a simple flower show.  That made this book somewhat intriguing, and I might find that a reread would make me enjoy it more.  I don't think I fully understood and appreciated some of the terminology and events in the book, so this is something I am indeed open to.

I am grateful that the profanity was mild and that there were no sex scenes.  There certainly are unexpected issues and the typical "who done it" interest.  The author writes fairly well, but I was unable to engross myself in the story.  My recommendation would be that if you have an interest in flowers and mystery books, this may be the book for you.  And since this is in a series, maybe I missed out by not reading the other books in the series.  I wish I could give it a higher rating because it is truly not a bad book, and it is clear that many people enjoy it.  I just didn't happen to be one of them.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews


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