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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage:three and a half moon gifSt. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover), ISBN 0-312-28406-3
In Lilies That Fester, the third book in the Bretta Solomon horticultural mystery series, Bretta takes her show on the road. In charge of the floral design competition at a Branson, Mo., conference, Bretta finds a host of contentious, surly, ambitious, sneaky, underhanded attendees and competition finalists. And that was before the mysterious deliveries, murder and a possible suicide.

Book: Janis Harrison, lilies that festerNewly svelte and truly harried, Bretta feels obligated to look into the happenings after she finds a package slipped under her door. It comes complete with picture of an overweight young woman and a note asking for her help in finding out what really killed the McDuffys' daughter. The couple promised to meet Bretta the next morning, but they never show, no one will admit to knowing their whereabouts.

Bretta begins to sleuth. In the process she meets a handsome man and receives several strong jolts to her hormones. Bretta doesn't consider herself ready for romance (it feels too much like cheating on her dead husband), but sometimes things just happen…or not.

Book: Janis Harrison, Murder sets seedAgain plants, and Bretta's esoteric knowledge of their uses and misuses, play an intrinsic part in the mystery and the solving of same. Bretta and her new sidekick reap some new clues, weave them into a recognizable design and track down the bad seed (villain). But it remains a race, because the villain just might get to Bretta first.

Each book in this series stands alone, but the combination of floral arrangements, a sassy sleuth and plots as tangled as snarl of florist's tape converted me into a fan. Long live Bretta Solomon and the rest of her crew. They never fail to entertain or act predictably -- except in delivering a great read.

Patricia Lucas White

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