Wednesday, May 26, 2021

ARC Review: Death in Bloom by Jess Dylan

Death in Bloom

Jess Dylan
Series: A Flower House Mystery
Publication: St. Martin's Paperbacks (May 25, 2021)

Description: The first in a sweet and colorful cozy mystery series from Jess Dylan, Death in Bloom introduces flower shop owner Sierra Ravenswood.

At the Flower House, every rose has its thorn . . .

Sierra Ravenswood is the new part-time employee of the Flower House, a flower shop in Aerieville, Tennessee. It's true she didn't expect to be back in her hometown at twenty-eight-years-old, but after her dream of making it as a singer in Nashville crashed and burned, she's just grateful to have found a soft place to land.

Because, after all, Sierra firmly believes in being optimistic and positive about life, so she's sure she won't have to work at the Flower House forever. But things take a decidedly negative turn when a customer drops dead in the middle of her new bouquet-arranging workshop at the store. When it's discovered he was poisoned by a snack at the event, everyone at the workshop, including Sierra, is on the suspect list. To make matters worse, her boss has gone AWOL and left the store to her for the cost of one dollar, leaving Sierra in charge of both his store and his high-energy Corgi puppy, Gus.

The town is on edge, and Sierra knows that murder is something that an upbeat attitude and a bouquet of sweet-smelling roses can't fix. She's determined to figure out whodunit, before anyone else in town meets an untimely reason for needing funeral flowers.

My Thoughts: Sierra Ravenswood is back at home in Aerieville, Tennessee after her music career in Nashville suffered some set-backs. She's working part-time at the Flower House and planning her future using lots of positive affirmations.

Things go terribly wrong when her boss Felix takes off on a geocaching trip leaving her in charge just before the first flower arranging class. She certainly didn't expect that one of the attendees, garden shop owner Abe Ranker, would drop dead during their snack break. He is an abrasive person commonly known as Dishonest Abe, and many of the other attendees had motives for wanting him dead.

Flo and Richard run the bakery café next door to the Flower Shop and have had run-ins with him. So has Valerie who runs the local dance studio. Sierra's friend Richard who's the local handyman while also working at the bank has had issues with him too. So has Letty Maron who is a shy, local elementary school teacher. The only one who lacks a connection to Abe is Deena who was also a classmate of Sierra's and who has just returned to town. 

Between Abe's death and Felix's disappearance leaving his puppy Gus behind, Sierra is finding it hard to conjure serenity despite her affirmations. Add in Calvin Foxheart who arrives the next day saying that Felix had agreed to rent him the apartment above the Flower Shop, and who is a sort of suspicious character in his own right. She also has to deal with her family who want her to dump the Flower Shop and come back to work at Dumbbells which is their fitness center, and who love her but don't understand her.

Sierra, Deena, and sometimes Calvin begin trying to discover who killed Abe. They uncover lots of secrets and resentments along the way. Sierra also discovers her future with friends and a canine companion. 

This was a fun story. I liked positive-thinking, but sort of naïve, Sierra. Gus was a great canine character. Her new friends - once she cleared them of suspicion - were interesting people.

Favorite Quote:
Gus had been asleep earlier when I'd slipped outside to meet Deena in the driveway. He was awake when we returned and about as worked up as a worried parent: happy I was home yet not above letting me know about the angst he'd been through. There were newspaper shreds all over the living room floor.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.


  1. This looks fun- I always thought geocaching would be a fun thing to do as well.

  2. It looks so much fun. Like the cover too.


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