Petals and Poison: A Flower House Mystery
(A Flower House Mystery #2)
by Jess Dylan
It’s May, which means the Cozy Mystery book club has moved on to the second book in the Flower House series, Petals and Poison. Sierra is finally assimilating to her new role as the owner of The Flower House and is making it her own by designing a lucky plant display in the front window and a cheerful new cafe. Business is still slow, so the excitement when a van full of college kids and their professor pulls up quickly turns to dismay when the professor is found dead in the storeroom and Sierra and her employees are thrust into the middle of a new investigation.
There was the main plot of the dead professor (who was up to no good, so there were plenty of suspects…well, there was a pool of people suspected, but I only had 2 suspects.) The side plot concerning Wanda’s behavior I did enjoy, I felt like I got to know Wanda better than the other characters.
While I enjoyed the plot and I love Sierra and her friends, this one had a slower pace, and in some places, fumbled along blindly until the ending that wrapped everything up a bit too quickly and not entirely satisfactorily, in my opinion. As this is only the second book written by the author, I’m willing to overlook it as a new author perfecting their craft, but I’m hoping to see the plots get tighter and more character development going forward, especially if it’s used to further the plot in place of the many misery porn events in the first 2 books. Oh dear, Sierra got locked in a closet again? That’s the third time this week *yawn* Sierra, get it together girl.
Rating this one is a bit tricky for me; on one hand, the characters (especially Gus the Corgi) are definitely worth 4 stars, but I’d give the plot only 3 stars, so I’ll round it all up to 4 overall, but this would easily be a 5 star read with a little finagling.
Published November 30th 2021 by St. Martin’s Press