Thursday, October 21, 2010
Casual snooping turns serious when a body is impaled on a garden tool and one of Paula’s friends is arrested for the crime. Aided by the still-hot aging rocker who owns the neighborhood greasy spoon, a wise-cracking former colleague, and a sexy Mexican laborer with a few secrets of his own, Paula digs for the truth and unearths more dirty business the town has kept buried for years… -- St. Martin's Press
When I was a kid many years ago, I always loved to read mysteries, especially the Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew ones. I don't read too many of them anymore, but I do still love sitting down with a cozy every now and then. There is just something about reading a fun-themed mystery book with terrific characters. The latest one that I read and really liked is called PUSHING UP DAISIES: A DIRTY BUSINESS MYSTERY by Rosemary Harris.
Paula is a former executive who moves from the hustle of the big city to a small town where she starts her own gardening business. Unfortunately, she discovers a dead body while working on her first major gardening project. Paula most definitely has a talent with plants and gardening, but she also has some skills at solving murder mysteries -- who knew? As she begins to unravel the murder mystery, she discovers quite a few hidden secrets about her new town and its residents.
I have found that good cozies always seem to have a great cast of characters, and PUSHING UP DAISIES was no exception. I really liked Paula and her friends... and her love interests (yes, there was some romance in this book) ; and I thought she showed a lot of spunk and determination in solving the crime. Some of the townspeople were also terrific characters in their own right. I really enjoyed how the author incorporated so much humor into the story through this crazy cast of characters.
As I'm sure you can tell, PUSHING UP DAISIES has quite a few references to gardening and landscaping, so it will certainly appeal to mystery fans who also have green thumbs. That definitely would not be me -- I can't grow anything; however, I still appreciated how the author incorporated all of the information about plants and gardening into the story.
PUSHING UP DAISIES is the first book in the Dirty Business Mystery series, and I thought it was terrific. It was nominated for an Agatha and an Anthony Award for Best First Novel 2008, and I can easily see why. Not only was Paula a great amateur detective and the supporting characters were truly "characters," but I thought the mystery was very well crafted. There were quite a few suspects and there were many twists and turns along the way. I was actually kind of surprised with the direction that the story went towards the end, and I have to say that it was a little more complex than I was expecting from this type of book. For all of those reasons, PUSHING UP DAISIES exceeded my expectations and provided me with a few fun hours of entertainment. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next two books in the series -- THE BIG DIRT NAP (which I already have!) and DEAD HEAD.
If you are looking for a fun book which will definitely keep you entertained, then I recommend taking a look at PUSHING UP DAISIES.
Thanks to the author for sending me a copy of her book.