Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book Review: Floral Depravity by Beverly Allen (Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters, interesting mystery and setting
Cons: I wanted to see more of some of the series supporting characters
The Bottom Line:
Medieval wedding
Makes another fun setting
For this great series

Life in Medieval Times was Murder

I must admit that I wouldn’t have expected to find a medieval theme in a book about a flower shop.  Somehow, I just don’t see that two are going together.  And yet that is exactly what we get in Floral Depravity, the third in the Bridal Bouquet Flower Shop mysteries, and it’s a great book.

Every year, there is a medieval encampment just outside of the small Virginia town where Audrey Bloom lives.  No, this isn’t one of those Renaissance Fairs that is more about entertaining the guests than historical realism.  Instead, it’s about being historically accurate.  That provides a bit of a challenge for Audrey when her shop, Rose in Bloom, is asked to provide the flowers for a wedding that is to take place during this year’s encampment.  Still, she manages to find some historically accurate but meaningful flowers.

Audrey is at the encampment for the wedding when tragedy strikes.  The father of the groom collapses after the ceremony.  Audrey quickly suspects he was poisoned, and a search of the nearby woods confirms her suspicion when she finds the plant used in the crime.  The victim is rumored to have a secret life, but what is that life?  Did it somehow lead to his murder?

I have enjoyed the first two books in this series, and this third one was no exception.  The characters are absolutely wonderful.  Audrey is a smart and capable heroine, and I loved seeing this next chapter in her life.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with the support staff at the florist shop she co-owns with her cousin Liv, and I love them, so I missed them.  However, the new crop of characters are interesting, and working the supporting characters into the story probably would have just slowed it down.

The plot does move forward at a steady pace, providing us with great clues and red herrings along the way.  Aspects of this case hit very close to home for Audrey, so we get some great character development as the plot unfolds.  I did have some idea where things were going before we reached the end, but I completely missed the clues or motive until Audrey figured it out.

Since Audrey’s interest is in the language of flowers, there is some talk along the way about what various flowers mean.  However, I never felt like it slowed down the book.

I got a kick out of the medieval camp set up for this story.  The way the various characters either insisted on perfectly keeping the time period accurate or tried to sneak modern stuff in created some very fun moments.

Beverly Allen is three for three when it comes to fun mysteries and wonderful characters.  If you’ve missed this series, fix that today.  And if you are already a fan, be sure to pick up Floral Depravity.  You’ll love it.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Thursday, October 15th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 10/15.


  1. Thanks for the great review! Now I understand more about that medieval tagline that's on the cover! Thanks for the chance to win, too! I am looking forward to reading this.

  2. Thanks so much for hosting, and for the great review!

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this. I've read the first two in the series and really enjoyed them. I used to get frustrated in Agatha Christie books because quite often there was a clue in the Language of Flowers. Allen does a great job of integrating the information into the story.

  4. Love this series!!! Thank you for the chance to win!
    afarage at earthlink dot net

  5. Sounds like a fun read! Whether I win or not, this series is going on my list to check out. Thanks, Mark! chris.wolak(at)yahoo

  6. Fab review. I'm reading the second one in the series right now. Can't wait to read this one!

  7. Great review! I've been wanting to read this series. I bought the first one but not gotten to it yet. It sounds by this review that the series will be around awhile.

  8. I really enjoyed your review. I really like this series and can't wait to read this one. Thanks for the chance to win.

  9. Great giveaway. Thanks

  10. Great review! This sounds like a book I'll really enjoy reading. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Floral Depravity.

  11. I was drawn into this book from the minute I saw the cover. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  12. Thanks for a chance to win. My birthday is the 16th!

  13. I enjoyed the first two too. Glad the 3rd is just as good. Thanks for the review

    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

  14. I thought I had read all of the "wedding Planner" series or ones set in bridal shops but I have completely missed this one. Thanks for the chance to win!

  15. Book sounds great. I am interested in the language
    of flowers and would like to see how that is worked into the story.

  16. Thanks for this delightful feature and intriguing giveaway. What a lovely cozy. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  17. Thanks for the giveaway. This sounds like a series that I would really enjoy.

  18. Thanks for the chance to win. Sounds like an interesting series.