The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree

Susan Wittig Albert, Berkley Prime Crime, $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-23445-7
A small Southern town blooms into life in Albert's nostalgic first in a new Depression-era mystery series. Darling, Ala., is in the midst of financial upheaval surrounding the Darling Savings and Trust, though the ladies of the Darling Dahlias Garden Club are still excited about their clubhouse, an old estate recently inherited from Mrs. Dahlia Blackstone, whose garden includes a possibly haunted cucumber tree, which might shelter a buried treasure. Also distracting the members—especially widow and probate clerk Verna Tidwell; legal secretary and freelance journalist Elizabeth "Lizzy" Lacy, and Mayor Jed Taylor's wife, Ophelia Snow—are a prison break and the disappearance of drugstore clerk Eva Louise "Bunny" Scott, the town tart. After Bunny turns up dead in a wrecked stolen van, the ladies investigate. Veteran Albert (Holly Blues) combines great period detail with surefooted sleuthing that should satisfy fans and attract new ones. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/10/2010
Release date: 07/01/2010
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