USA Today Bestselling Author
Doreen Montgomery’s new life in Kelowna was supposed to be a fresh start after a nasty split from her husband of fourteen years, plus a chance to get her bearings and her life back on track. Instead her first week in her new hometown was spent digging up dead bodies, chasing clues, and getting in Corporal Mack Moreau’s way.
But now that the old cold case has been solved, and the murderer brought to justice, Doreen believes things might go her way this week. When Mack hires her to whip his mother’s garden into shape, it seems like a second chance, both for Doreen’s new beginning in Kelowna and for her budding relationship with Mack.
But, instead of digging up Mrs. Moreau’s struggling begonias and planting them in a better location, Doreen discovers another set of bones … and another mystery to solve. As the clues pile up, Mack makes it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want or need her help, but Doreen can’t resist the lure of another whodunit. As she and Mack butt heads and chase red herrings, Doreen’s grandmother, Nan, sets odds and places bets on who solves the crime first.
I love this series! I start off laughing, and then enjoy every word as the mystery plays out. I love Doreen, she doesn’t know how smart and strong she really is. Her pets are atrociously amusing. Thaddeus is the absolute best with the words he keeps picking up and Mugs and Goliath have become quite the pair.
In the first book, Mack asks Doreen if she would work on his mother’s garden. She is unable to give it the attention it needs and she’s worried about her begonias. They don’t seem to be doing well. This book opens with them going to work on that garden.
This is a favorite scene and started me giggling.
He shook his head. “I’ll take a rain check on that. I stopped by to ask if you could come to my mother’s house. She’s got a patch of begonias she’s fretting about. I don’t know if you can fix them. But, while we’re there, we could discuss what to do and when.”
Doreen donned her expert gardener face. “Of course I know how to deal with ailing begonias. I have begonias here that need to get into the ground. They were dug out when your department came and removed the body. The first one.”
He nodded. “And since I mentioned that begonias had been pulled out here, my mother has been fretting over the begonias in her garden.”
“When do you want to go?”
He hesitated. “I don’t want her to worry, so would you mind coming with me now, just to take a quick look? We’ll come up with a plan on what we can do with them.”
Excited, Doreen said, “Absolutely. Let’s go.”
They walked around to the driveway. Ignoring the people standing and staring outside her house, not saying a word to anyone, Doreen hopped into his truck, Mugs trying to follow her. “Okay if Mugs rides with us?”
Only it wasn’t just Mugs as Goliath raced toward them, Thaddeus squawking from the porch before soaring in their direction.
“Everyone? Really?” Mack sighed and allowed time for Doreen to pick up her menagerie. When they were all in the vehicle, he reversed out of her driveway and drove the five minutes to his mother’s house. It was close enough to walk, but then they would have been accosted by all the curious onlookers.
As they got out of his vehicle, he said, “She should be napping still. I left her ready to go to sleep and came straight to your place.” They slipped around to the back, and he pointed out a large patch that wasn’t doing very well.
Doreen sighed. “If these are begonias, they’ve definitely seen better days.” She wandered the large six-foot-plus patch and then bent down on her hands and knees, plunging her fingers into the dirt, checking and testing the soil. “I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with them. Is there a shovel handy?”
He brought over a small spade. She dug in close to the roots on the first bush, pulling up some of the dirt so she could see the root system. After scooping away several spades full, she stopped, brushed off some of the dirt against the tubers, and took a closer look. “They’re definitely not happy. How often are they getting water?”
“There are sprinklers and soaker hoses on timers. So they should be getting plenty.”
She nodded and shifted her spade back a little bit, so she could pull out more dirt. Some perlite was all around the base of the plant, but the black dirt was decent. Although plenty of clay was here too, it appeared to be absorbing enough water. As she pulled up another handful, she froze.
Mack bent down beside her. “What’s the matter?”
She plucked up something white, dropping it in his hand. She turned to look at him. “Is this what I think it is?”
He frowned, shook his head, but his mouth opened, and then he froze. “I sure as hell hope not.”
“It would be fitting,” she said in a dark tone.
“How?” he barked, his gaze on what was in his hand.
She snickered. “Bones in the begonias, anyone?”
Dale Mayer. Bones in the Begonias (Kindle Locations 247-273). Valley Publishing.
I’m not sure if I feel sorry for Mack or not. Doreen listens but doesn’t, and she has more than her fair share of problems with the house and money.
Her struggles are real and when her pets find more stuff at the creek she delves even deeper in to the mysterious disappearance of a young girl.
I couldn’t put this book down. Between Doreen’s comments to her stove and her pets. Add in Mack’s frustration with her investigating and you will be intrigued, laughing and turning the pages.
There is definitely an attraction between these two, that I’m sure her Nan wants to see come to fruition as well.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
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Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.