Beverly Allan's third book in the Bridal Bouquet Shop series, Floral Depravity starts of the tours.
3rd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (October 6, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
In the latest Bridal Bouquet Shop mystery, florist Audrey Bloom creates an arrangement for a one-of-a-kind wedding, but ends up pruning a one-of-a-kind criminal…
As the co-owner of the Rose in Bloom Flower Shop, Audrey knows how to put together unique wedding bouquets, but this one takes the cake. The daughter of a local historian is getting married in a medieval-themed, hand-fasting ceremony, and Audrey is responsible for providing period-accurate blooms.
But making sure she gets her roses right turns out to be the least of Audrey’s problems. Shortly after the vows are exchanged, the father of the groom suddenly drops dead. When Audrey discovers the man’s death stems from monkshood poisoning, it’s a clear-cut case of murder. Now, faced with a suspect list that rivals the guest list, Audrey needs to root out the toxic killer…
I have been a fan of this series from the start. Barbara does not disappoint as you will see in the third book. Audrey has her hands full with planning the wedding bouquets for a medieval wedding and they want the flowers spot one.Everything goes smoothly until the day of the wedding when the father of the groom is killed. Audrey has to find out what happened and who did it and with as many suspects as there are it will be more challenging than arranging flowers. This book will captivate you from the start. The cast of characters are so well developed and the strong story line makes for some great afternoon reading.
Trauma at the Hands of Paperback
I saw a cartoon a while ago that I really liked, about someone sitting down a book and realizing the whole world was going on normally while the character was experiencing trauma at the hands of a paperback.
Now, normally cozy mysteries don’t have a lot of trauma or angst, except for maybe the victim—and I don’t think Floral Depravity, the third book in the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries, is any exception to that generality. These books tend to be very comforting reads. But as I was writing it, I found myself forced to deal with a sticky area.
See, writers tend to create characters out of themselves and the people around them. And when I was creating the back story of Audrey Bloom, I included some elements from my own. Audrey’s father left her when she was young, and she’s had no contact with him since that point. He simply took off and disappeared. Since I could relate to that, I thought perhaps including that shared experience could bring a little added depth to her character.
Only something odd happened when I was plotting the third book. When I was asking all those what-if questions, (What if it took place at a medieval recreation camp? What if everyone had to remain in costume? What if Audrey got a new cat?) one question kept repeating itself.
What if Audrey’s father comes back? And I knew he had to. It would turn her world upside down, and she’d have to deal with it. (While arranging flowers for a wedding and solving a murder!) And here I entered unfamiliar territory. I know what it’s like to feel abandoned by a father. (Audrey knew hers. I never knew mine.) There’s anger and bitterness. There’s a little jealousy at times and a lot of compartmentalization. Sometimes there’s self-blame which is hard to shed entirely, even though you can reason that it can’t really be your fault. And writing the book dredged up a few of those feelings in me.
But I guess I never learned what it would take to face those emotions head on. So amid all the knights and horses and swordplay (and maybe a subtle Princess Bride reference or two), and the gorgeous flowers, wedding fun, and time spent with all of Audrey’s friends at the flower shop, there’s a thematic element of father-daughter relationships that plays out in the novel. Can she forgive him? Establish a relationship with him?
I guess you’re going to have to read to find out!
About The Author –
Beverly Allen writes cozy mysteries with a healthy dose of comedy and sometimes a splash of romance. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, crafts, home-improvement projects, and spending time with her family and four naughty, but adorable cats. She grew up and still lives, in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY.
Giveaway: One lucky reader will have a chance to win a print copy of Floral Depravity. Leave a comment and email to be entered. Winner will be chosen on October 14th. Do you have a favorite flower?