Tuesday, July 06, 2010

THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE CUCUMBER TREE by Susan Wittig Albert (Berkley)

For years, I've enjoyed the Southern novels by Fannie Flagg and Lee Smith. Now, Susan Wittig Albert has drawn on her own Southern heritage and given readers the beginning of a new series that will delight fans of both authors. People around Darling, Alabama aren't seeing too much difference in their daily lives in the midst of the Depression—few of the folks have ever been wealthy, and they've always had to "make do."

When the members Darling Garden Club inherit a house from their founder, Dahlia Blackstone, they change the name of the club to "The Darling Dahlias." Naturally, there's controversy from the Blackstone family about the bequest; the resident Confederate ghost is sighted on several occasions; there's trouble at the local bank; people begin whispering about the mayor's visits to a cousin's young wife; an escaped convict is at large; and, the wreck of a stolen car reveals a death. Members of the garden club pool their various clues to reveal the culprits.

Unbelievably, for a mystery, solving the crimes is not the best part of this novel. The people and their time star in the wonderful story. I can't imagine a better way to spend a hot summer day than visiting with the Darling Dahlias!

FTC Disclosure - This book was provided by the publisher.

2 comments:

Catherine A. Winn said...

I love her China Bayels series and had no idea she started this one. Thanks for mentioning it--I'm off to the bookstore!

karen said...

How wonderful that Susan has a new series. I loved the Robin Paige series. The historical research she does brings her books to life.