Genre: historical cozy mystery, taking place during the Depression, with beauty tips/recipes and (cheap Southern) food recipes
Cover: I love it, it fits the book perfectly
National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert returns to the small town of Darling, Alabama, in the 1930s—where the Darling Dahlias, the colorful ladies of a garden club, are anything but shrinking violets when it comes to rooting out criminals…
The Texas Star herself—Miss Lily Dare, the “fastest woman in the world"—is bringing her Dare Devils Flying Circus to Darling. Unfortunately, she's also bringing a whole lot of trouble. As the Dahlias prepare for the annual Watermelon Festival—where they will present the famous female aviatrix with her own Texas Star hibiscus—rumors are flying.
Dahlias president Liz Lacy learns from newspaperman Charlie Dickens that Miss Dare has been threatened and her plane sabotaged. Apparently the bold and beautiful barnstormer has made plenty of enemies. And is it possible she may even be involved with the husband of one of Darling's local ladies?
And speaking of wings, the new cook at Myra May's Darling Diner can fry a chicken and whip up a sweet potato meringue pie like nobody's business. But why is she keeping her past such a mystery?
As the Texas Star barnstorms into town, Liz and Verna Tidwell offer to help bring down a saboteur who may be propelled by revenge. Before it's all over, there will be plenty of black eyes and dark secrets revealed…
I really love reading historical cozy mysteries. They paint a very realistic picture of daily life back then, with normal people. Allright, most characters are a bit eccentric, but who knows if that was normal back then.
Darling is a little village in Texas, and times are difficult. Lots of people have lost their jobs. The Darling Dahlias, the ladies of the local gardening club, do their best to help out people who can’t afford to buy foodstuff by giving away the groceries they grow and haven’t sold at the local farmers market. This series focuses on some of those ladies, their daily lives and troubles, and of course, a mystery to solve. And this time, there is no murder! I have to admit, that makes for a nice change of pace and I did not miss it at all.
I really enjoyed reading about the presidential campaign between Hoover and Roosevelt, and no one knew what his New Deal was yet. Amelia Earhart is mentioned in this book, and the main character, Miss Lily Dare, is a female pilot, who used to hold the title of fastest women on the planet, she loves air stunts and has done some stunt work for the movies as well. I have no idea if she was a real character or not.
Opening a book of the Darling Dahlias instantly transports me back to a time I ofcourse only know from reading about it. But I love all the main characters and their struggles to find joy in such difficult times. They all help each other. Yes, there is some romance and heartbreak and marriage problems as well. No love scenes though, it is a cozy.
It is a real nice series, and I heartily recommend it. In the back are recipes for beauty products, for your face and nails and hair, and food recipes as well. All cheap according to that time, and easy to make.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian