Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review: Pushing Up Daisies

Summary: Meet Paula Holliday, a transplanted media exec who trades her stilettos for garden clogs when she makes the move from the big city to the suburbs to start a gardening business. Paula can handle deer, slugs, and the occasional human pest—but she’s not prepared for the mummified body she finds while restoring the gardens at Halcyon, a local landmark.

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.

9 comments:

S. Krishna said...

I thought this was a fun read as well. Nice review!

diaryofaneccentric said...

I don't read too many cozies, but this sounds fun! And I like the cover.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I loved the Nancy Drew books! I still have almost the whole collection. There is something about a little fun cozy and this one looks good!

marthalama said...

I do love a good cozy, I think their a nice why to spend a rainy evening or weekend, which we've been having so this should be perfect.

Tribute Books Mama said...

Sounds good, thanks for the review.

justpeachy36 said...

I love a good cozy! And I've seen this one around a bit... Looks like something I really would enjoy reading...

Karlie said...

Sounds like a good one!

bermudaonion said...

I don't have a green thumb either, but I do love a good cozy. This sounds fun!

Beth F said...

Oh this sounds fun! I love cozies and I like the gardening theme.