Monday, July 11, 2011

Night of the Living Dandelion (Flower Shop Mystery #11) by Kate Collins

Night of the Living Dandelion: A Flower Shop Mystery [Book]

Back of the book Blurb:
Flower shop owner Abby Knight does not believe rumors that Vlad Serban, friend and employee of Abby's fiancé Marco, is a vampire. But how to explain that Vlad is from Romania, has prominent canines, likes bizarre plants such as bloodwort and Dracula orchid, and dresses entirely in black?

When a local woman is found dead, her body drained of blood, the stakes become life and death. With Vlad the #1 suspect, Abby and Marco race to find the real killer, before Vlad's life really starts to suck.

Night of the Living Dandelion is one of those wonderful books that keep you reading late into the night.  The spunky young heroine is a flower shop owner who moonlights as a sleuth, and as an occasional partner to her bar owner/PI fiance Marco.  It is a fast read, with a rapidly moving plot full of likable characters who behave in charmingly odd and extreme ways.
Although the circumstances and people's reaction to them are a bit wacky and unbelievable (some local townspeople form a vigilante group called the Garlic Party in response to the rumors that Vlad is a vampire, Abby's niece and other schoolgirls form a cordon around the bar to protect Vlad), the pace of the plot allows the reader to glide right over the improbabilities and just enjoy the ride.  And the ride is funny.  Abby is a klutz who is a menace, mainly to herself, while temporarily on crutches, her nutty cousin is convinced she is becoming a vampire, and her mother is an exuberant and spectacularly untalented artist.
The murder mystery is a good one, well-constructed and a nice complement to the zaniness of the characters.  I really did not see how this was going to end, which I love.
There is nothing better than discovering a "new" author, and then realizing that she has a long list of books.  I will definitely be looking for books 1-10 in this series.  Although I started at #11, I had no problem keeping up with the characters and their relationships, and this was easily a stand-alone book.

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