Title: Natural Thorn Killer
Author: Kate Dyer-Seeley
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Page Count: 321
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
Cut down among the flowers . . .
Britta Johnston might be a late bloomer, but after leaving her deadbeat husband and dead-end job, she’s finally pursuing her artistic passion at her aunt Elin’s floral boutique, Blooma, in Portland, Oregon. It’s on the banks of the Willamette, in a quaint district of cobblestone paths and cherry trees. The wine bar featuring Pacific Northwest vintages is a tasty bonus, offering another kind of bouquet to enjoy. But things aren’t as peaceful as they look.
For one thing, someone’s been leaving dead roses around—and a sleazy real estate developer who wants the waterfront property has put a big-money offer on the table. Then, after a contentious meeting of local business owners, he’s found on the floor of the shop, with Elin’s garden shears planted in his chest. And before the police decide to pin the crime on her beloved aunt, Britta will have to find out who arranged this murder . . .
Natural Thorn Killer by Kate Dyer-Seeley is the first book in the new cozy Rose City Mystery series. The series is set in Portland, Oregon where Britta Johnston has returned home to the aunt that raised her and taken a job in her floral boutique, Blooma, along the banks of the Willamette which gave the setting a lovely small town feel to it.
Britta had just found out that her husband had been cheating which gave her the push to leave the marriage that she knew she hadn’t been happy in for quite a while. Working at a dead end job and supporting her husband had really brought her down so Britta takes the opening to return to her aunt and a job that allows her to showcase her artistic talents.
However, shortly after Britta returns and begins to get herself established in her new life she finds a rather huge shock when walking into the shop to find the same sleazy real estate developer that had been trying to buy up the area dead. With a rather charming detective on the case Britta finds herself jumping in and trying to find the killer herself.
The setting in this first installment of the series was a rather lovely one with the quaint village that the flower shop is set in giving a everyone knows everyone small town vibe. The author also seems to know her way around floral arrangements as far as I can tell not knowing too much in that area myself.
The one thing I found however that really bothered me a bit was adding in a budding romance for Britta when the book starts off with her leaving her marriage. Had the author perhaps joined the Britta say six months or so after her move and simply filled readers in on what had brought her to the west coast it might have set better with me but I kept thinking it was just too soon to worry about dating or love. In the end I’d give this first installment to the series 3.5 stars and hope that as it goes on I’ll feel Britta finding love along with solving murders a bit more believable.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Kate Dyer-Seeley is the author of Scene of the Climb, Slayed on the Slopes, Silenced in the Surf, First Degree Mudder, and In Cave Danger in the Pacific Northwest Mystery series, as well as the memoir Underneath the Ash. Her writing has appeared in Climbing Magazine, The Oregonian, The Columbian, Portland Family Magazine, and The Vancouver Voice. She is an active member of the Willamette Writers Association and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. Visit her website at katedyerseeley.com.