Friday, August 10, 2012

The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose-Susan Wittig Albert

The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose

Susan Wittig Albert

Berkley Prime Crime, Sep 4 2012, $24.95

ISBN 9780425247761

In 1931 Darling, Alabama, the Darling Dahlias garden club members agree to a rose planting alongside of the cemetery to commemorate Confederate Day and bring some joy to the lives of the struggling townsfolk. However, the Dahlias also know that most of their family and friends are not in a festive mood as they struggle to survive the Depression.

State auditors investigate the county’s finances and find missing funds. Indolent county treasurer Earle Scroggins places his employee Verna Tidwell on furlough implying she is behind the $15,000 unaccounted funds. The Darling Dahlias trust diligent Verna who is their club treasurer; so led by club president Elizabeth Lacy begin an inquiry into who stole the money. At the same time historian Bessie Bloodworth and librarian Dorothy Rogers look into the meaning of an enigmatic code stitched into the inside of a family heirloom pillow that belonged to the latter’s late grandma.

This is a great Depression Era regional cozy starring a wonderful cast. Symbolized by a rose is not a rose when its name is hibiscus, fans will appreciate this 1930s Sweet Home Alabama historical (see The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies) enhanced by Depression Era Southern Recipes.

Harriet Klausner

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