Night of the Living Dandelion by Kate Collins is the 11th book in the “Flower Shop” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian (Penguin), April 2011
When a stranger comes into my flower shop and orders bloodwort, Dracula orchid, devil’s tongue, and strangleweed, I can’t help but wonder is there a vampire in town?
After spraining an ankle, flower shop owner Abby Knight is forced to get around on crutches. But what will she do for emotional support now that her fiance, Marco, is being called back to active duty? Before Marco leaves, he’s determined to clear the name of his old army buddy Vlad Serban—who everyone thinks is a vampire…and responsible for the death of a local nursing director Lori Willis.
Lori’s body was found drained of blood. And Vlad is from Romania, has prominent canines, likes bizarre plants, and dresses in black. Abby herself has doubts when the evidence against Vlad piles up. But, as the women of New Chapel either swoon over Vlad or picket to throw him out of town, and Abby’s cousin becomes convinced Vlad has turned her into a creature of the night, Abby realizes she’s got to trust Marco’s judgment about his friend. Soon, the stakes become literally life or death as Marco and Abby race to shed light on who killed Lori, before Vlad’s life starts to really suck.
Abby’s first impression of Marco’s friend is one of interest because of his orders of exotic flowers and he resembles a vampire. When a dead body is found outside of Marco’s bar drained of blood, his friend Vlad becomes the prime suspect since the evidence all point to him. Believing in his innocence, Marco with help from Abby digs deeper to find the killer before Vlad is burned at the stakes. This was a fun read. With the possibility of deployment, this case came at the perfect time for Marco and Abby to spend more time together and find the murderer. Sifting through the clues with Abby and laughing at the antics of Jillian made this a very good read that had me quickly turning the pages in this endearing mystery. This charming series boast a small-town feeling with great characters where you wish you could call your home. The dialogue was very entertaining and I look forward to the next chapter in the lives of the residents of New Chapel.
FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book