NIPPED IN THE BUD
Paige Turner has secured her first landscaping contract, sprucing up the city park for the upcoming Pickle Fest. But the day after a confrontation with the city manager, she finds him dead in a mound of mulch. With no alibi for the time of death and, according to the police chief, with plenty of motive to carry out the murder, Paige must dig her way out of the mess by finding the real killer. Attorney Hayes aids in her search as he works hard to keep her out of jail -- and his heart.
THIS COZY MYSTERY IS A LIGHT AND FUNNY READ. SLEEMAN DID A GREAT JOB OF SETTING UP THE MYSTERY, INTRODUCING A VARIETY OF CHARACTERS IN THE FIRST CHAPTER BUT ALL WERE SO UNIQUE IT WAS EASY TO KEEP TRACK OF THEM.
THE ROMANCE IS A SECONDARY THREAD, JUST HINTING AT DEVELOPING INTO SOMETHING WONDERFUL. BUT IT'S THE MYSTERY AND PAIGE TURNER'S (HER MOM WAS A LIBRARIAN -- GET IT?) DRY WIT THAT TAKE PRECEDENCE THROUGHOUT NIPPED IN THE BUD.
I LOVE PAIGE!!!! HER QUIRKINESS KEPT ME SMILING EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS INVESTIGATING A MURDER. PAIGE COMPARES EVERY PERSON SHE MEETS TO A PLANT:
TO ME, RACHEL WAS A PETUNIA, PRETTY AND INNOCENT ON THE OUTSIDE. WHEN YOU GOT CLOSE AND NIPPED OFF THE FLOWERS, YOUR FINGERS CAME AWAY STICKY AND HARD TO CLEAN. WHEN YOU CAME AWAY FROM BEAUTIFUL RACHEL, NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRIED TO GET RID OF THE PAINFUL THINGS SHE OFTEN SAID, THEY STUCK TO YOU FOR THE REST OF THE DAY.
HOW FUN IS THAT??????
EACH CHAPTER IS INTRODUCED FROM AN EXCERPT OF PAIGE'S RADIO SHOW, THROUGH THE GARDEN GATE. THESE ARE HYSTERICAL 'AMELIA BEDELIA' STYLE SNIPPETS WITH PAIGE'S AVID LISTENERS WHO ALL SEEM TO TAKE HER MUCH TOO LITERALLY.
NIPPED IN THE BUD IS A FUN ESCAPE READ AND DEFINITELY A GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR THE GARDENER/READER ON YOUR LIST!