Tuesday, December 15, 2015

BLOOM AND DOOM by Beverly Allen

Publisher:    Berkley
Published:   April 1, 2104 
ISBN:       978-0425264973
Genre:    Cozy Mystery
Format:   Print   
Obtained via:  Publisher via Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com


Florist Audrey Bloom has a reputation as, for lack of a better word, a catalyst for happily ever after weddings.  At least that’s why co-owner of her florist stop, Liv, has told the reporter sitting there interviewing Audrey.  But once such a proclamation is made, it seems life throws some curves. First Audrey is set to provide the flower arrangements for her old friend, Jenny and her groom Derrick.  Audrey can’t see what Jenny sees in Derrick, but she hasn’t really spent time with her for several years, ever since Jenny fell in with the “gym crowd.”  And Jenny’s mother seems to be more thrilled about the wedding than the bride to be.  As Jenny and her mother leave after selecting Jenny’s arrangements Audrey has a feeling that this could be the wedding the breaks the string of happily ever afters.  But then Audrey has a surprise visit from Jenny who has decided Derrick is not the guy for her.  But no one expected Jenny would break off the engagement by killing Derrick.

Or did she?
In BLOOM AND DOOM, the first of Beverly Allen’s Bridal Bouquet Mysteries the author delivers a really good mystery.  With interesting, fully developed characters she presents an interesting mystery with some solid suspects.  I enjoyed how Audrey weaves the meanings of the different flowers and their colors in the story’s telling.  It doesn’t come across as a lecture but a natural part of the story telling. 

And I had a few good chuckles at Carolyn and her “peaches” wedding theme.  There were a few other scenes that had me smiling and starting to laugh out loud as well.

Allen also touches on some serious issues, such as gambling and alcoholism and how these and other addictions can adversely affect not only the individual but their family and other relationships as well.  She does it with sensitivity and makes the issues an integral part of the story without making it about them.

If you are new to cozy mysteries or curious about choosing one to read this is an excellent one to start with.  Allen is a cozy mystery writer at their best.  If you are already a fan then this is a definite “must read” for your TBR.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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