Sleeping with Anemone
Obsidian, Feb 2010, $6.99
At a home and garden show sponsored by Uniworld Food, Bloomers Flowers owner Abby Knight circulates a petition against the host firm opening up a dairy farm in which the firm uses bovine hormones to increase milk production by nine times. The hormones get into the milk people drink and harm the animals. Her efforts anger the company’s district manager Nils Raand who has her removed from the exhibit hall.
Back at her florist shop, Abby finds a broach in a box or orchids she ordered from Hawaii. Her mother makes duplicates to be sold at the shop. Abby is missing an order of anemones that the vendor says he sent to her. Although she is annoyed over the mix-up she becomes frightened over the attempted kidnappings of her roommate Nikki, cousin Jillian and niece Tara. Kate and her lover former Ranger boyfriend turned private investigator Marco believe Nils is behind the terrorism crimes. A brick inside burning paper is tossed through the shop window. However, Kate reconsiders whether Nils is the culprit or someone else from Uniworld whose corporate values can be found in the sewage system though she also wonders why a large influential corporation would violently go after a minor league gnat.
Readers will thoroughly enjoy this amateur sleuth tale that uses family humor in between some dangerous escapades. The heroine is strong willed and at times resents Marco trying to protect her as she is no lilting violet. Their families want the duo married, another item that upsets her as she feels they should mind their business. Marco is a saint for putting up with the female Oscar the grouch. However what refreshes the latest Flower Shop mystery is the issue of whether hormonal induced products are safe in the long run vs. the immediate starvation around the world.