18 March 2011
By Kate Collins
First published by Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First printing, April 2011
ARC courtesy of Kate Collins
In book eleven of the Flower Shop Mysteries, we find Abby and Marco drawn into investigating a murder when the body of a local nursing director, Lori Willis, is found in the garbage bin behind Marco's bar.
Townspeople have already been suspecting Marco's friend, Vlad, of being involved in Lori's disappearance because some of her belongings and her car were found behind his apartment building. There have been a lot of rumours concerning Vlad since he arrived in New Chapel; rumours that he is a vampire. He prefers to wear black, has pale skin and dark hair, is from Romania, and has prominent canines. When it is discovered that Lori has died from exsanguination, Vlad becomes the number one suspect.
A hilarious sub-plot to the crime investigation is when Abby's cousin, Jillian, has concluded she has been bitten by a vampire. This compels her to roam the streets dressed in a dark cape and to consume raw meat. If you've read previous editions of the series, you know how funny it would be to see Jillian in such a state, and Collins writes it well and humourously.
Another plotline - although not so funny - is the fact that Marco has been called back to the Special Ops division of the US military, which is devastating news to both him and Abby. They know they are living on borrowed time and must make the most of what they have at the moment. Marco wants to make sure Vlad's name is cleared, so he keeps giving Abby tips on how to become a better private investigator. While Abby appreciates the help, she would rather have Marco with her than off on a secret mission in an undisclosed part of the world.
If you haven't read any Flower Shop Mysteries you can still enjoy this book on its own. If you're already a fan, you'll love this addition to the series. Kate Collins has written another clever, interesting mystery and has further developed Abby and Marco's love story which, let's face it, is one of the main reasons we keep coming back!