Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: very nice
The New York Times bestselling Novel Idea Mysteries make their return with Lila Wilkins, literary agent and "murder magnet," planning a book signing garden party. But things aren't coming up roses when she has to weed out a dangerous killer...
The owner of the Novel Idea Literary Agency is thrilled when former local boy and popular television show host Damian York returns to Inspiration Valley, North Carolina, to launch his new gardening book. But Lila is less than excited about the hubbub when she sees her mounting to-do list. Between planning York's gala and sprucing up her yard for another event, she's spread too thin - especially after she finds a skull buried in her flowerbeds.
As Lila's macabre discovery leads to other secrets hidden in Inspiration Valley's past, a member of the local garden club is found slumped over her prize roses - murdered. Now it's up to Lila to dig through old mysteries and new clues to unearth a murderer before someone else is found pushing up daisies...
Lila Wilkins loves her work as a literary agent at the Novel Idea agency. She loves discovering new authors, reading their books, and finding publishers for them. And now one of their clients, the famous Damian York, has written his new book on gardening and decorating.
Her boss assigns her to help plan the booksigning event and dinner, and has also volunteered her garden for the Annual Garden Walk held by the local gardening club The Dirty Dozen. And they have only two weeks to organize it all!
But when Lila’s son Trey and some of his friends start digging up some dead bushes in her garden, they find a human skull buried there. And when the police take over the digging, they find the remains of a young girl, buried there about many years ago. Lila’s mother, the Amazing Althea, warns her that this is just the start of her troubles, danger is heading her way again.
And when a member of the Dirty Dozen is killed, her son’s car is tampered with, and someone tries to break into her house, Althea was right. If only her boyfriend, local police detective Sean Griffiths had more time to spend with her …
I love this series, at first because the literary agency is fascinating to read about, although there are only some snippets about its workings here and there. But the mysteries are original and very well written. This time though, I had my eyes on the real killer from the start, and the why was not so difficult to discover either, after some revelations about the previous owner of Lila’s cottage.
The secondary characters in this book add so much though; I wish I could visit Makayla in her coffeeshop, Espresso Yourself and meet all Lila’s co-workers. And of course I want a reading of the tarot cards by Althea. I love how protective she is of Lila and Trey, and even brings her shot gun with her when she stays over.
It is a very rich world Lucy Arlington has created, and not only filled with fun and eccentric characters. I love to witness the slow going romance between Lila and Sean, and how Trey has involved from a surly teen into a nice young man in college, working hard.
© 2015 Reviews by Aurian