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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Bloom and Doom (A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery #1)

Bloom and Doom - Beverly  Allen

A very solid start to what I'm optimistically thinking could be an enjoyable cozy series.  A few things scattered throughout the story had me rolling my eyes enough to detract 1/2 a star but it's far from being a bad read.

 

The book centres on Audrey primarily; her cousin Liv serves as a sidekick as well as her business partner in the flower shop.  The setting is a fictional small-town in Virginia, but the writing doesn't do much for illustrating it in the mind of the reader.  The flower shop is vividly described though - right down to the amount of debris on the floor after a marathon of flower arranging in preparation for a funeral.  I grew up in a family owned flower shop and everything here felt very familiar.

 

The main and secondary characters are all likeable; a few are even endearing.  I disliked the author's choice of making the sheriff...not stupid really... not lazy... but no decent sheriff would act like that if he valued his job or professionalism.  The closest I can come to describing him is somewhat petulant.  Audrey scores points right out of the gate because so far she appears to be endowed with common sense and the ability to not take herself too seriously.  There's a romantic interest, but it's definitely not a focal point of the story.

 

I think the murder plot might have been done well, but I guessed the murderer very early in the story.  I don't think it was because the author telegraphed it so much as a casting issue.  I don't want to say any more than that; it might end up being spoiler-y.

 

Overall, I found a bit of the writing (not the dialogue) overdramatic but well done.  The author veers into waxing lyrical a few times and it just made me roll my eyes, but that is probably more personal taste.  I am hoping that the lack of TSTL moments means this might be the beginning of an enjoyable series.  While I didn't love the read, I enjoyed it and I'll look for the second book when it's published.