Genre: cozy mystery
Me, Abby Knight, an entrepreneur! Who would have guessed when I flunked out of law school a year ago that I’d be standing here today in front of Bloomers, my very own flower shop? Even though I may be penniless, I am soundly devoted to my new profession … whether it means arranging a bouquet of flowers – or unearthing the seeds of murder.
Abby’s latest gig is the perfect marriage of her talents. Not only does her bride-to-be cousin, Jillian, want Abby to be a bridesmaid – she also wants her to sign on as a floral designer and sleuth…
Though nearly once a year Jillian has agreed to marry a different man, she has yet to make it to the altar. But this time, it’s cold dead feet that may stop the wedding. Before the couple says “I do”, one of the groomsmen disappears and another member of the wedding party is found dead. Luckily for Abby, she has plenty of help – including her brassy been-there-done-that assistant, a hunky bar owner with a penchant for love and justice, and her own family. Together, they aim to unveil the truth … and make sure the bride still gets her day to shine.
Abby has promised not to meddle anymore, after she nearly got killed the last time. She doesn’t think she is meddling though, she is solving crimes.
Life has become awkward for Abby when her cousin Jillian is engaged to Claymore, the younger brother of her own ex-fiancée. When she flunked lawschool, she was not good enough anymore for his family. And now the dreaded friday family dinners at the country club, have gotten worse when she needs to interact with Pryce and his family again. Jillian wants her to be one of her bridesmaids, and Abby has no choice but to accept. She will be the odd duck out though, as the bride and the other bridesmaids are all gorgeous and tall, while she is short and has a mop of unruly red hair. Then one of the bridegrooms goes missing, and another one ends up murdered. Jillian asks Abby to investigate, as the police think that the first one murdered the second one. This wedding has to go through, as Abby has already ordered a truckload of Callas lilies, and she needs the money she will make out of it.
So she sets out to question the other bridesmaids and the accused, and to find out more about Punch, the nasty murdered one. Did he really have a secret girlfriend he called his Passion Flower?
And how does this all tie together with the sleeze massage parlor nextdoor to a beauty shop, where only men are welcome? Men who sneak around, trying to avoid being seen? With young and pretty Chinese girls working there, who are watched all the time by an old and nasty Chinese man?
I did not really like the first book in the series, so it took me a while to pick up the second book. But as I had bought the entire series, I will have to read them to make room for a new series. But I am glad to report that this one is better than the first book.
Abby has gotten smarter, and the plot was not as easy to figure out. I like Abby a little bit better now. She still does some very stupid things she really should think about first, but in the end she can safe herself, which I like. I really disliked Jillian, a very self-centred beauty, who can think of nothing else but herself, and her wedding, and has no regard at all for the fact that Abby has to make a living and is not at her beck and call 24 hours.
Some great secondary characters are of course Marco, the handsome bar owner / former private detective next door, and the two ladies who work for Abby in her flower shop / coffeeparlor. Then there is her roommate, who is a really good friend, and her cat Simon, who loves to play fetch with straws and rubberbands. Abby’s mother is also a real character, desperate to move up in the world, which she can do thanks to both of her doctor sons. Her husband was “just” a cop, but his former colleagues and friends sure make life easier for Abby.
It was not easy to figure out the mystery, Abby kept being focused on one of the bridesmaids, whom, I have to admit, was a very likely candidate. I will read the rest of the series, perhaps one a month.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian