Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 321pp
(Received for an honest review from Obsidian)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Kate Collins on the WEB: website, facebook, twitter
Books in the series: Mum's the Word (2004), Slay it with Flowers (2005), Dearly Depotted (2005), Snipped in the Bud (2006), Acts of Violets (2007), A Rose from the Dead (2007), Shoots to Kill (2008), Evil in Carnations (2009), Sleeping with Anemone (2010), Dirty Rotten Tendrils (2010), Night of the Living Dandelion (2011), To Catch a Leaf (2011)
Excerpt from To Catch a Leaf
THEIR FAMILY TREE IS ROTTEN TO THE ROOTS.
Flower shop owner Abby Knight is aglow with happiness now that she's officially engaged to her longtime beau, Marco Salvare. Nothing will dampen her joy - not a new dent on her beloved Corvette, nor her future mother-in-law's micromanaging of her wedding.
Then wealthy dowager Constance Newport is killed, and Abby's assistant, Grace Bingham, is left a hefty sum of money, making her the prime suspect. But while questioning Constance's relatives and staff, Abby and Marco find that everyone has a shady past and wants a piece of the fortune. The plot thickens when they stumble upon mysterious stolen art and a missing cat - all part of an elaborate heist. Before Abby can throw her bouquet, she'll have to throw a killer and a thief in jail...
The 12th book in the Flower Shop Mystery series by Kate Collins, To Catch a Leaf, takes readers back to New Chapel, Indiana and to Abby Knight's flower shop, Bloomers. Fans of the series will be delighted with this latest addition to the series, as old characters return and new ones enter. Abby is finally ready to take the plunge and marry her hunky boyfriend, Marco, if she can come to terms with his mother on the wedding preparations, but first she has to clear her best friend of murder!
Abby's friend and employee Grace finds herself in hot water in To Catch a Leaf. When she finds her wealthy friend Constance at the bottom of the stairs, a house full of suspects that are also the victim's children and missing cat, it's up to Abby and Marco to figure out whodunit! Kate Collins once again brings readers a interesting plot with lots of twists and turns. There are so many logical suspects in this one, it will be hard for the reader to figure it out. The hallmark of a good mystery writer!
Collins does an excellent job of providing a motive for everyone living in Constance Newport's house and I think readers will love the way that Collins fits it all together. Abby has so much on her plate in this book, what with planning her wedding, running the flower shop and investigating a murder. Grace is the most logical suspect and the police are sure she did it considering the wealthy woman left everything to Grace, as the guardian of "Charity" her cat. But the cat turns up missing! And everyone seems to have a reason t have wanted Constance dead. I loved the way Collins built up the suspense of the mystery, while still giving a lot to time to Abby, her wedding and her family. Collins balanced both aspects of the book very well.
This is a series that new readers could get into very easily. Readers don't have to go back and read the entire series to be satisfied that they understand what's going on. Collin's gives just the right amount of back story without divulging the plots of previous books. I think new readers to the genre would find this series a good starting place as well. This cozy is light, humorous, and full of great characters that readers will fall in love with. It's clean and doesn't give off the heavy feeling that some main stream mysteries and thrillers carry.
Abby is a great heroine. She is spunky, very insightful and though she has had cold feet where Marco is concerned in the past, their romance has finally taken off and her wedding will probably be a great highlight in a future installment in the series. I think readers identify with the characters in this series and this book in particular, because they seem like everyday people you might meet in your own hometown. They are realistically drawn and some of them are down right funny. Marco adds a lot of sex appeal and heat to the series and he is a very good investigator. I like Abby and Marco as a team, they work well together an are good at uncovering clues and figuring out exactly how they fit together. Constance Newport's family is a real trip in this book. I found them so fun to read about, and I was constantly changing my mind as to which one of them committed the crime. Collin's had me right where she wanted me, glued to the pages!
I recommend this one to cozy fans and readers who might want to broaden their horizons and break into a new sub-genre. The Flower Shop mystery series is full of fun and some really great whodunit's. I think To Catch a Leaf is probably my favorite in the series to date. It seemed like everything came together in such a great way with this one. I can't wait to read the next one!
To Catch a Leaf is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Kate Collins grew up in a suburb of Hammond, Indiana, one block from the family home of author Jean Shepherd, who luminous stories inspired Kate at an early age. After a stint as an elementary school teacher, Kate wrote children's short stories and historical romance novels before turning to her true passion, mystery. The author of the popular Flower Shop Mystery series, she lives in northwest Indiana and Key West, Florida.
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