You have to imagine a C, as in Chrysanthemum, so that Carlson’s third novel can be set as part of the A, B, C series featuring flowers…darn publishers! What you don’t have to imagine though is a story as Carlson has done that for you. Three books into the set and she has really found her stride.
Once again, Cam Harris and her best friend Annie, with their reporter and cop boyfriends in tow, stick their noses into places they didn’t need to be and end up finding a body. Roanake, Virginia’s Hunting Hills Country Club, is once again at the center of murder and mayhem when local millionaire, Derek Windermere, ends up dead at none other than a murder-mystery themed silent auction.
A look into his past shows Windermere had a few foes, all of who could want him dead; however, the main suspect is missing, who also happens to be one of the series reoccurring characters, Annie’s father. We know what a loveable old coot he is, so to the reader half the mystery is solved. We know he didn’t do it, so who did? Like a walk down the garden path, Carlson keeps us guessing with so many characters that you need a 3x5 card to plot out all the people and their relationships, but after having had the pleasure of reading all three in the series, so far her style is becoming catching and the maturity in her craft is peeking out from behind the azaleas.
Keeping the society’s reputation intact and averting a scandal are becoming Cam’s full time job; so what’s next, daisies or dahlias?