Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Rose from the Dead by Kate Collins

I have the head cold from hell right now so I just took a couple of benedryl's and figured I'd better get this dish posted before I was too loopy to do it. I have a very low tolerance for medicine in any form, but benedryl in particular. So, if I start to be incoherent, leave me a comment and tell me to get thyself to bed.

A Rose from the Dead by Kate Collins

Why did I, Abby Knight, agree to attend a convention of funeral directors? I was desperate to drum up more business for my flower shop, Bloomers. What I got instead was murder...

Who knew death could be so much fun?

Abby is amused by the black humor of the usually somber "death professionals" who are attending the Midwestern Funeral Directors Association's regional convention. Even organizer Sybil Blount - known for her cutthroat business practices and the signature rose she wears in her wig - isn't what Abby expects...especially when her corpse is found in a casket. When Abby's friend Delilah Dove becomes a suspect, Abby shifts into full investigation mode and learns that Sybil's enemies included the prankster sons of a big-time funeral director, an eco friendly purveyor of "green burials," and a strange Goth girl who captures the "music" of departing souls on her tape recorder. It's up to Abby and her boyfriend, Marco, to look beyond the trappings of death and find out who really loved Sybil - and who loved her not.

I'm really starting to get annoyed with the BCC's of the books I've been reading, because I really can't find anything to really complain about. I know, that's what I've always been after, the good BCC to become commonplace, but if this keeps up, I'm not gonna have much blog fodder.

I've been with the Flower Shop Mysteries since book one, and I absolutely fell in love with them. Abby Knight is such an endearing character, and I've sat here trying to figure out how to sum up how she became a flower shop owner, and finally, I'm calling calf rope and am just gonna quote Abby herself from the book -
"Half a year ago, while I was busy flunking law exams, being dumped by my finace and my insurance company, and crossing off my dream to become the success my brothers were, Lottie's husband developed serious heart problems, starting a cascade of financial difficulties the threatened to sink her ship - er, shop. Since we were both looking for a life raft, Lottie suggested what seemed like a crazy idea at the time. And now, one ginormous mortgage later, I owned a flower shop and she worked for possibly the best employer in the whole country."

The books are filled with a great cast of characters, Abby's mom who likes to make, shall we say, interesting craft projects, her dad who is a retired policeman who was wounded on the job, Grace an employee who's british and has a quote for every occassion, Lottie the former owner of the flower shop who is the mother of quadruplets and has a great big heart, Nikki her roommate and best friend, and Marco the sexy owner of the bar down the street Down the Hatch. Marco is also a P.I., former Ranger, and ex-cop.

In the first book of the seies we find out that Abby is a meddler, and hates injustice. Abby will go to the extreme to right a wrong, so it was a real shame, in her opinion, that she flunked out of law school. But, in each book, Abby gets to try her hand at righting a wrong, and solving a puzzle.

I'm not going to go into a big lengthy rundown of the book, because frankly, the BCC did the job reall well. For the most part, ARFTD is a wonderful book. I really enjoy the cozy mystery genre and it's because of books like these. I laughed out loud several times and had a seriously hard time putting it down for any amount of time.

I did notice though, that the pacing seemed off. The book takes place over the span of just two days that the convention takes place in, and this is probably my problem. The normal large cast we see in the books was absent, and I missed them. A lot happened in just those two days, and at times it felt rushed and other's the pacing seemed to slow down to a very slow pace. I don't know though, if it's the pacing that was the problem, or the short time-frame for events. I would read something and think, wait a minute, we're still on the first day? So, I guess the problem was really more that I was having trouble with how much Abby was able to get done in just one day, especially since the dead body doesn't show up until the end of the first day.

I also don't know if I've just gotten really good, or if this mystery was an easy one to solve. I had it figured out really fast. Collins is good though, she almost had me changing my mind, and that was fun, but I stuck firm to my culprit and I was right. Well, mostly right, my motives were a bit off.

If you're a fan of the cozy mystery genre, or a first time reader of it, I have to recommend this one. You really don't have to read the books in order, though I highly recommend that you do, if you start with this one, be prepared to go back and buy the rest of the series.

Collins voice is clear, her characters real and endearing, her humor excellent, and she'll have you turning the pages faster and faster arriving at The End wanting MORE!

At the back of the book is a teaser chapter for the next installment, and OH how I wish I hadn't read it, because it's not out until August, and I. Don't. Want. To wait. That. Long! Who do I need to petition to get on the ARC list? Can someone please tell me this!

Collins is a must buy, and if you haven't tried her yet, do, she'll have you hooked from line one. Abby is wonderfully funny and endearing, and you'll wish you worked in Bloomers and were part of this great world.

Take Care


Marg said...

I've read the first 3 books in this series and really like them. I really must start reading them again.

Chari-Dee said...

I love the series Marg. I think we've talked about them before. What I like best is how easy and fast they are to read :) I just wish they'd come out faster!

RachaelfromNJ said...

I have this book in my review pile. Can't wait to read it now. :)