Author Julie Seedorf

Monday, August 17, 2015


THE AURORA TEAGARDEN MYSTERIES: Volume 1 
REAL MURDERS and A BONE TO PICK 
by Charlaine Harris

THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE SILVER DOLLAR BUSH
and
THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE ELEVEN O'CLOCK LADY
 by Susan Wittig Albert

THE AURORA TEAGARDEN
 MYSTERIES: Vol 1
REAL MURDERS and A BONE TO PICK 
by Charlaine Harris


NOW IN ONE VOLUME—THE FIRST TWO AURORA TEAGARDEN MYSTERIES

The acclaimed author of the phenomenal Sookie Stackhouse novels, Charlaine Harris introduces a Southern librarian whose bookish bent for murder gets her involved in real-life mysteries…

Real Murders
Georgia librarian Aurora “Roe” Teagarden belongs to a club called Real Murders, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. But after she finds a member dead, killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss, Roe has to uncover the person behind a terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime suspects—or potential victims…

A Bone to Pick 
When a deceased acquaintance names Roe as heir to a substantial estate, which includes money, jewelry—and a house complete with a skull hidden in a window seat—Roe concludes that the elderly woman has purposely left her a murder to solve. She must identify the victim and figure out which one of Jane’s ordinary-seeming neighbors is a murderer—without putting herself in deadly danger…

MY REVIEW


I didn’t read the stories in this book when they were first published, but after seeing the Hallmark Channel movie based on the second book in the series, A BONE TO PICK, I knew I had to read them. I’ll do each review separately.

REAL MURDER
I enjoyed this first story in the Aurora Teagarden Mystery series. REAL MURDERS was fast paced and entertaining.

Lead character Aurora “Roe” Teagarden is a lot like a grown up Nancy Drew. She can’t turn her back on a good mystery, especially not when it involves the murder of a fellow member of the Real Murders club.

Aurora’s investigation is not an easy one for her, or for the reader. With so many twists and turns I wasn’t anywhere close to making a guess at the killer. I was blown away with the reveal.

After reading REAL MURDERS, I was even more excited to start that second story.


A BONE TO PICK
Having seen the Hallmark movie of A BONE TO PICK, I of course already knew the outcome of this story, but that didn’t take away from the fun of it. As in most cases, this book was better than the movie.

Author Charlaine Harris has a wonderful writing style that simply pulls you into her stories. You get a real sense of being involved in it all.

In this story, Aurora “Roe” has an old mystery to solve when she finds a skull in the window seat of the house she inherited from an acquaintance. Suddenly the excitement of owning a new house and everything else that was left to her is overshadowed with trying to solve the mystery of the skull.

I will say, of all the cozy mystery protagonist I’ve read, Aurora is a little more zealous and reckless in her investigating. I hazard from being a member of the Real Murder group no doubt. But to me it just added to the fun because I kept saying things out loud like “Seriously! You’re going to do that? You’re just asking to get yourself caught and killed!” Yes, I do talk to the characters when I read. Don’t you?

All in all, this was a wonderful, well written story that was hard to put down. And now after reading the first two books, I’m really looking forward to getting caught up on the whole series.

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THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE 
SILVER DOLLAR BUSH 
Book 5 in the Darling Dahlias Mystery series 
by Susan Wittig Albert


The New York Times bestselling author of the China Bayles Mysteries takes readers back to Darling, Alabama, in the spring of 1933—where the women of the Darling Dahlias’ garden club are betting their bottom dollar there’s going to be trouble…

When the local bank suddenly closes, the small town of Darling is caught short on cash. To avoid disaster, town leaders hatch a plan to print Darling Dollars. The “funny money” can serve as temporary currency so the town can function. But when the first printing of the scrip disappears, the Darling Dahlias set out to discover who made an unauthorized withdrawal.

Meanwhile, County Treasurer Verna Tidwell questions whether she can trust the bank’s new vice president, Alvin Duffy—or the feelings he stirs up inside her. And Liz Lacy learns her longtime beau may be forced into a shotgun wedding. Seems other troubles don’t just go away when there’s a crisis. There’ll be no pennies from heaven, but if anyone can balance things out, folks can bank on the Darling Dahlias…

INCLUDES SOUTHERN-STYLE DEPRESSION-ERA RECIPES!

MY REVIEW


I just took my first trip to Darling, Alabama in the 1930’s. I had a delightful time, so I’m going again! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE SILVER DOLLAR BUSH, was my first book in this historical mystery series, but not my first book by author Susan Wittig Albert. I started reading her China Bayles books a few months. Wittig Albert is an exceptional writer. Her words seem to flow effortlessly from her pen/keyboard. At least, that’s how they read to me.

I enjoyed getting to know Liz Lacy and the other ladies of the Darling Dahlias’ gardening club. These ladies prove that the women of the 1930’s were no shrinking violets. These ladies made this story feel a bit more character driven than some books. Indeed’ this book read a bit more like a “women’s fiction” than a mystery. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t mean that as a negative. I just wanted to point out that it transcended genre barriers and I think many readers will like that. 

The mystery was done very well and it was interesting to see how everything was resolved.

And just for something I personally enjoy…the author included a character list at the beginning and she named each chapter. I just love that. ;-)

There are also several southern-style depression-era recipes included at the back of the book.

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THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE 
ELEVEN O'CLOCK LADY 
Book 6 in the Darling Dahlias Mystery series 
by Susan Wittig Albert


New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert transports readers to the summer of 1934, when a sensational murder shakes up the small Southern town of Darling, Alabama—and pulls in the ladies of the Darling Dahlias’ garden club, who never let the grass grow under their feet when there’s a mystery to solve…

The eleven o’clock lady has always been one of garden club president Liz Lacy’s favorite spring wildflowers. The plant is so named because the white blossoms don’t open until the sun shines directly on them and wakes them up.

But another Eleven O’Clock Lady is never going to wake up again. Rona Jean Hancock—a telephone switchboard operator who earned her nickname because her shift ended at eleven, when her nightlife was just beginning—has been found strangled with her own silk stocking in a very unladylike position.

Gossip sprouts like weeds in a small town, and Rona Jean’s somewhat wild reputation is the topic of much speculation regarding who might have killed her. As the Darling Dahlias begin to sort through Rona Jean’s private affairs, it appears there may be a connection to some skullduggery at the local Civilian Conservation Corps camp. Working at the camp, garden club vice president Ophelia Snow digs around to expose the truth…before a killer pulls up stakes and gets away with murder.


Includes Southern-style Depression-era Recipes

MY REVIEW


Having read this book on the heels of the book before it in the series, THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE SILVER DOLLAR BUSH, I will say I liked ELEVEN O’CLOCK LADY more.

The Darling Dahlias are back and planning on enjoying a wonderful summer. But they didn’t plan on the murder of the town’s lady with the “somewhat wild reputation”. 

With rumors sprouting up all over and the suspect list growing like weeds, THE DAELING DAHLEAS AND THE SILVER DOLLAR BUSH was a well plotted mystery that captured my attention at the very beginning and held me captured until the end.

I really like all the ladies in the garden club. In real life, one or two of them would be sort of hard to get used to. However, between the pages of this book, they are a lot of fun to read.

With it’s 1930’s setting, this isn’t your typical cozy mystery. That being said, this series shouldn’t be over looked by cozy readers.

And be sure to check out the back of the book where you will find The Dahlias’ Household Magic tips, and wonderful southern style depression – era recipes! 

THE AURORA TEAGARDEN MYSTERIES Vol 1 
is available now

The Darling Dahlias titles are both available 
September 1!


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2 comments:

  1. These all sound great. Thanks Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Lisa! Yes, it is going to be a great week and you have been a busy reader! I need to start reading Susan Wittig Albert's "Darling Dahlias" series before I can never catch up!

    ReplyDelete