About the Book
Genre: Cozy Mystery, #1 in A Bridal Bouquet Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: April 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
As the co-owner of The Rose in Bloom, Audrey Bloom creates magnificent flower arrangements for brides to be. Though helping to plan a wedding can be stressful, it’s nothing compared to the groom turning up dead.
A designer of eye-catching bridal bouquets—many of them based on the Victorian meanings behind each flower—Audrey Bloom is used to celebrations that end with happily ever after. In fact, every couple she’s worked with is still together, living in wedded bliss. But her perfect record is about to be broken.
Her childhood friend Jenny Whitney has reeled in the most eligible bachelor in Ramble, Virginia, and she’s hired Audrey to design the bouquet. But before Jenny can walk down the aisle clutching her blend of anemone, scabious, and pussy willow (a floral disaster in Audrey’s mind), the groom is found dead—sprinkled with bits of a bouquet. This is bad for business—not to mention for Jenny, who has become the prime suspect. So Audrey decides to do a little digging herself, hoping she won’t be the next Ramble resident pushing up daisies
This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series, “A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery” and it’s off to a promising start.
Still getting over a broken relationship with her ex, “Brad the Cad”, Audrey Bloom is basking over the success of her bridal bouquet shop, Rose in Bloom, which she owns with her cousin, Liv. The local newspaper even runs a feature on the shop and proclaims that no couple using one of Audrey’s bouquets has ever split up.
When her childhood friend Jenny prepares for her own wedding, she immediately hires Audrey to create her bouquet. However, Jenny’s upcoming nuptials are not as happy as Audrey thinks. Her friend confides that she wants to call the whole thing off. Audrey supports whatever decision Jenny makes, but then tragedy strikes. Jenny’s fiancé is found murdered with the bridal bouquet next to him. She quickly becomes the number one suspect.
Audrey believes in her friend and is determined to prove it to the police. There is no way Jenny would have killed Derek despite the incredible amount of circumstantial evidence piling up. With some help from her cousin and friends, Audrey begins her own investigation.
Audrey is a strong character and leads the way in getting to the bottom of this mystery. There’s even a handsome cupcake baker who may play a romantic lead in her life at some point. I loved the friendships Audrey has with her cousin Liv and their employee Amber.
There are floral facts sprinkled throughout the story. The setting is a perfect one for a quaint cozy series. I do wish the mystery aspect of the story was a bit stronger and played up more. At times I felt as if it took a back seat to the bouquet shop and the flower information. However, it all came to a nice conclusion. It took a few twists and turns I wasn’t expecting.
Bloom and Doom is a great release for April with Spring in the air and flowers blooming. Even the cover is lovely and appropriate for this time of year. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
For reading challenges:
2014 ARC Reading Challenge
2014 E-Book Reading Challenge
2014 My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge
2014 NetGalley Reading Challenge
FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Author Guest Post
Hello, my name is Chester. I’m a gray tabby, and I’m the star of Bloom and Doom.
Now, some might say I’m not actually the star, that Audrey Bloom, my human, deserves that distinction. But they’re wrong…
Not that Audrey isn’t okay. She knows how to operate the can opener, is a grand master at belly rubs, and keeps me in kitty litter and toy mice. But there are a few odd things about her you really ought to know.
First of all, she has this thing for flowers. And it’s not like she does anything normal with them. She calls herself a wedding florist and arranges them in bouquets. And, get this, she has some cockeyed notion that the flowers mean something. She goes on about how daisies symbolize cheerfulness and how foxglove means insincerity. She even spent one sleepless night staring at a vase of snapdragons, debating whether they mean presumption, deception, or graciousness.
Who cares? They were delicious.
Here’s another strike against her: instead of staying home and cuddling on the couch with me, she leaves every day to go to work (whatever that is), abandoning me in the apartment with nothing to do but stare out the window. And there, the best toy of all is just out of reach, sitting in the neighbor’s parking space. Audrey knows I want it. Every time I manage to escape, I run right toward that big, round, black, wonderful circle-thing that feels so nice when I rub against it or stick my claws in its ridges. And why should the neighbor care? There are four of them attached to that silly thing he calls his truck. They could give me one, and I bet the fool thing would still work. But no, as soon as I get out there, the greedy neighbor starts yelling. He’s a bully and Audrey backs down every time.
Are those the actions of a heroine? Hmm?
So I had to take matters into my own hands. Last time I managed to get out, I peed on it. It’s mine now. Score one for the cat!
And then there’s the other men who come around. Brad was okay, even if he did call me Chest Hair. He was pretty regular for a while, he and Audrey licking faces and pawing each other instead of paying attention to me. But he’s out of the picture, and some new guy has been over a few times, some dude named Nick, who calls himself a baker and wears white pants.
Think about it. White pants. Gray cat. Never going to happen.
But lately, even more than flowers, she’s got herself wrapped up trying to figure out who killed her friend’s fiancé. It wasn’t me this time. Honest. Unless the fiancé was a mouse, snake, spider, or fly, and then he’s fair game.
But she’s been gone an awful lot, arranging flowers, going to weddings (apparently a human ritual of chasing tail), and tracking down a killer. Dangerous business. I worry something might happen to her. And she’s barely home to feed me.
But I fixed her. I peed on her pillow, just a little bit, and she hasn’t even noticed. Ha!
But if you need any more persuasion, Audrey is a human, I’m a cat, and Bloom and Doom is a cozy mystery. You can draw your own conclusions. Sure, she’s the one that tells the story--and the one who solves the mystery. But I think I came off incredibly cute. If you still think Audrey Bloom deserves top billing there’s nothing I can do to change your mind.
But you might want to smell your pillow…
How would you like to win a paperback copy of Bloom and Doom by Beverly Allen? Thanks to Berkley Prime Crime Mystery, I have one paperback to giveaway to one lucky winner.
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The giveaway begins on April 8th and ends on April 15th (midnight est).
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