The Marigold Mafia
Five Star, Apr 2009, $25.95
In London, American public relations executive Lucille Anderson is walking in the perfectly manicured garden of the stately English home of Sir Montague Taylor-Scott when she sees the grotesque sight of a man’s head hanging from a trellis. Initially she thought or perhaps hoped some idiot was playing a dumb ruse on the Yank, but upon closer inspection she realizes her host is hanging from his trellis.
Freelance reporter Richard Meek implies to a shook up Lucille that eco-terrorists dubbed "the Marigold Mafia" for stealing priceless seedlings from an African tribe to sell them on the black market is probably behind the homicide. Meek also warns Lucille that this insidious group is going after her client Allgood Foods for allegedly doing genetic product modification; her lover Braxton “Brack” Clark is the CEO. She questions Brack who warns her not to get involved as he claims this group is deadly, but the feisty Yank encouraged by her lover’s sister Caroline and disturbed by his reaction ignores him. Her inquiries take her from London to Cornwall where immigration agent Patrick Bourne tells her to be careful even as he shows an interest in her.
The second Anderson American in England cozy (see NO JUST DESSERTS) is a fun entertaining whodunit as Lucille investigates the murder, the stolen seeds, and the group that connects all the dots. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Lucille sees the grotesque sight and never slows on the sleuthing or personal fronts. Sub-genre readers will enjoy this fun amateur sleuth though may be a bit taken aback from some profanity; though they fit the characters and situations still shocked me to see curse words in a cozy.