Saturday, January 19, 2008

No Snow (again!)

O.K., I thought I would be home this weekend wrapped in a blanket reading by the fireplace as snow lazily drifted outside my window. Well, so far all we have is rain, and I'm at work with no fireplace and no cozy blanket. However, I do have lots of books (one of the perks of working in a library!). Hopefully, the snow is on its way. But we've had several false alarms here of late, and I'm losing what shaky faith I had in the art (or is it science?) of weather prediction.

This is the third Early Reviewers book that I've received from LibraryThing. I actually read this one and got the review posted on LibraryThing in a timely fashion. At first glance, I put this book into the same category as Carolyn Hart's Death on Demand series and Maggie Sefton's Knitting Mysteries. In this type of mystery, the author intermingles details regarding a particular hobby such as reading in Hart's books and knitting in Sefton's books in with the mystery. The comparison is fair because this book contains a mystery or two and is intermingled with descriptions of plants and gardening.

Paula Holliday, originally from New York, is a thirty-something single woman who is starting a new gardening/landscaping business in Connecticut. Of course there is the usual murder and mayhem you would expect to find in any mystery book. In her first big job, Paula stumbles upon the preserved corpse of a baby in the garden of one of the town's most respected citizens. Of course, she sets about trying to solve this mystery much to the dismay of the local police. But, it doesn't end there. The sleazy owner of a nursery in town winds up murdered, and Paula thinks the body she found is connected to the murder in some way. As she investigates, strange things begin to happen, and she finds herself in trouble with the police and possibly in danger herself.

I really wanted to like this book as much as I've enjoyed the books by Sefton and Hart. Unfortunately, I didn't. The book was pretty good, and I probably would have liked it better if I were the least bit interested in gardening. As my yard will attest, I usually find other things to do with my time (usually reading and knitting). But, I found some problems with the book. Some of it was simply not believable for me. The actions of the characters didn't ring true and sometimes seemed forced.

I think anyone who likes gardening and this type of amateur sleuth mystery would probably enjoy this book, but don't expect too much. Hopefully, the books that follow in the series will get better.


Lesley said...

Just a quick note to say I spent the day doing exactly what you wished for, sorry but I couldn't resist rubbing it in as I'm amazed the snow actually fell this far south! But I hope it melts tomorrow - with no salt or sand trucks, it's not safe driving, but I wanted to make a trip to the bookstore this weekend!

Lisa said...

lesley, it's really funny. Not thirty minutes after I posted that yesterday, the rain quickly turned to snow. I left work early and got home in time to enjoy some knitting and reading time while watching the snow fall. Unfortunately, we didn't get very much accumulation because it was a good bit warmer than they'd thought, but it was really pretty while it lasted. Glad you got to enjoy it and hope you make it to the bookstore!

Anonymous said...

It's funny how we all feel differently about snow. We have had almost two weeks of uninterrupted rain here in the UK and the only thing I've been thinking is thank goodness it hasn't been snow because we do snow so badly over here. Just a couple of inches and everything grinds to a halt, people become stranded and accidents proliferate. Mind you, we've now had so much rain that people are having to move out of their houses because of flooding so you can't win either way really.

Lisa said...

table talk, I know what you mean about not handling snow very well. We don't get very much here in the southeast U.S., but I would really like to have one big snow where everything did grind to a halt, and I could have a legitimate excuse to not leave the house for a week!

Danielle said...

It was supposed to snow here today, but it hasn't. I think it must be too cold. I mostly enjoy snow when I am cozy at home and can watch it happen outside my window--not so much when I have to slog through it. Although I love msyteries, I really don't read any that revolve around a hobby--I know there is a series with a needleworker. I've just never been drawn to them. I always wonder what the quality will be like--this is surprising as I tend to be pretty forgiving with books, but I rather stick with historical mysteries or straight police procedurals.

Lisa said...


I like historical mysteries, as well. The Death on Demand by Carolyn Hart and the Knitting Mysteries by Maggie Sefton are well written as far as mysteries go. I really enjoy them. But, I'm sure loving books and knitting, that helps, too.