Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Review: Bloom and Doom by Beverly Allen (Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Wonderful characters, tons of fun
Cons: Plot does slow down a little in the middle
The Bottom Line:
Language of flowers
Delightful new characters
Mixed up in murder

Debut That Blooms

I almost passed up Bloom and Doom this spring.  After all, it's a cozy mystery series set in a flower shop, and I'm a guy.  Flowers just aren't my thing.  (Not to mention my allergies to pollen.)  However, I heard such good things about it that I had to give the book a try.  I'm glad I did because this was a completely delightful debut.

Audrey Bloom and her cousin Liz have settled in the town of Ramble, Virginia, and set up a florist shop.  Audrey has learned the language of flowers and uses them to help craft beautiful and meaningful bridal bouquets.  Her latest client is Jenny, a former friend who is now marrying Derek, the most eligible bachelor in the county.

However, two weeks before the wedding, Jenny has decided to call the entire thing off because she’s realized she doesn’t love her fiancĂ©e.  The morning after she does, Derek is found murdered in his car outside Jenny’s apartment.  With the evidence pointing to Jenny, Audrey feels the need to step in and save her former friend.  Derek wasn’t well liked, so the list of suspects is actually long.  Can Audrey find the truth about what happened to Derek?

The thing that really drew me to this book was the characters.  There is already a full cast, and they are all delightful.  I didn't have any trouble keeping them all straight as the book progressed because they were fully formed already.  I'm sorry the book is over because I really wasn't ready to say goodbye to them, which means I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel.

Unfortunately, the plot did slow down a little in the middle, but the characters kept me turning pages.  Once the story picked up again, it didn't slow back down until we reached the logical conclusion.  I had a couple of sub-plots guessed correctly, but I didn't figure out who the killer was until right before Audrey did, and even did I didn't have all the clues correct.

This is all mixed together with a dose of humor.  There are two scenes that are fun and some great lines scattered throughout.  There is plenty on the language of flowers as well, but it is all presented in an interesting way that never detracts from the story.

I'm glad I listened to those great reviews for Bloom and Doom because I really enjoyed this book.  You can bet I'll be lining up for the sequel with no hesitation at all.


  1. Ok, I'm glad you liked the book. But can I confess that I laughed at the "Bridal Bouquet" description. This is definitely not what I was expecting to see and it totally caught me off guard! :D

    1. Yes, occasionally I do read some interesting series like that, but it was well worth it.

      Glad I could provide you with a laugh.

  2. Great review - this sounds like such a fun cozy. It's on my wish list!

    1. It is definitely fun. Bump it on up that wish list.

  3. Thanks again, Mark, for the great review.


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