Evidence in the Echinacea – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 5 By Dale Mayer

Evidence in the Echinacea
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 5
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Riches to rags … Controlling to chaos …
But murder … well maybe …

Doreen’s success at solving murders has hit the newswires across the country, but all Doreen wants is to be left alone. She has antiques to get to the auction house and a relationship with Corporal Mack Moreau to work out, not to mention a new friendship to nurture with Penny, Doreen’s first friend in Kelowna, and Doreen doesn’t want to ruin things.

But when a surprise accusation won’t leave Doreen alone—about Penny’s late husband George’s death and made by one of the men Doreen helped put away—she thinks that maybe it can’t hurt to just take a quick look into her new friend’s past.

Before Doreen knows it, she’s juggling a cold case, a closed case, and a possible mercy killing … along with cultivating her relationships with Penny, Mack, and Doreen’s pets: Mugs, the basset hound; Goliath, the Maine coon cat, and Thaddeus, the far-too-talkative African gray parrot. And while Mack should be used to Doreen’s antics by now, when she dives into yet another of his cases it’s becoming increasingly hard to take …

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I absolutely love this series. It’s fun, adventurous and full of laughter and surprises.

Doreen made a friend in the last book, Penny. Unfortunately the bad guy from that one has cast suspicion onto her with an accusation that Doreen can’t get out of her head. But with other things going on she hasn’t spent too much time thinking about it.

One of my favorite things in these books is the relationship between her and Mack, the detective is handsome and honorable. He’s helping Doreen in many ways but the best is teaching her to cook.

This is a favorite scene.

Sunday Late Afternoon …

Back at her place, Mack drove up as she stood on the front step. Corporal Mack Moreau, the most interesting man in town and the most infuriating. He followed the legal line, even when she wanted him to bend it just an itsy-bitsy bit. Still, she had to admire him for that stance.

He did know right from wrong, and that was more than her devious ex had understood. As Mack walked toward her house, he lifted the small bag he carried.

“Did you bring everything we need? Because I’m starving.”

“You’re always starving,” he said, striding forward to the kitchen. “I’ll get started. You can make coffee.”

Obligingly, she was happy to do that as she finally had confidence in her ability to make a good cup of coffee. As she watched Mack, he first washed his hands, and then he took the cold pasta from the fridge. “What’s in the bag?”

“Artichokes,” he said with a smirk. “As ordered.”

She gasped in delight and watched as he popped the top off the jar and pulled out four of the oddest-looking things she’d ever seen. Her smile fell away. “I don’t know what those are.”

He stopped, looked at her in surprise. “Artichokes?”

She shook her head. “I’m not sure if we’re talking about the same thing here,” she said delicately. “Because the artichokes I know look like a pine cone.”

He chuckled. “Absolutely, whole artichokes do look like that. These are artichoke hearts.” He said, “Surely they didn’t put the artichoke leaves into your pasta.”

She frowned and said, “I don’t know. What do the leaves look like?”

“Pine cone petals,” he said bluntly. “Could you eat them? Or did you scrape them through your teeth?”

She shook her head. “No, I ate them as part of the dish.”

“Then what they gave you were the artichoke hearts.”

“Oh,” she said, and, then in a small voice, she asked, “Why do pine cones have hearts?”

He looked at her, and she watched his mouth work as he tried to hold back his mirth. She glared at him, her hands on her hips, and warned, “Don’t you dare.”

But it was too much. He sagged into the nearby chair, his arms wrapped on his chest, and then, like a balloon that had been blown up too tight, he howled with laughter. She stomped toward him and swung her arm back, but he leveled a look at her and said, “Don’t you even think about it.”

She snorted and stepped back and said, “How did you know?”

When he saw the glass of water in her hand, he just stared at it. “You wouldn’t really have dumped that on me, would you?”

She just watched him with the same level look, and he chuckled again. “I don’t know if pine cones have hearts or not. Artichokes do,” he said. “Next time, if I think about it, I will bring a whole artichoke, and we will dissect it.”

“Okay,” she said, happy with that. “You’d have made a good teacher, you know that?”

“It was my second career choice,” he said, “so thank you.”

“The public school system lost out when you went into the legal side of things.”

“Let’s hope I’ve caused more damage to the criminal world,” he said, “than I would have caused to those young vulnerable minds.”

She thought she knew what he meant but wouldn’t worry about it. Because, all of a sudden, she saw a piece of artichoke that looked almost like what she was used to. She picked it up and delicately put it between her lips, tasting it. And then she beamed. “Oh, my goodness, this is it.” And she ate the whole thing. He cut several more and moved them off to the side. She picked up one that had more leaves than the soft-heart part. She asked, “Can you eat all of this?”

He nodded. But she could see which part was the soft heart and which was the start of the inside leaves. She ate that one too, and, after it was all gone, she said happily, “That’s divine.”
Dale Mayer. Evidence in the Echinacea (Kindle Locations 259-292). Valley Publishing.

In spite of having the appraiser from Christie’s preparing to transport some of the antiques in her home, she does find a way to start investigating Penny.

The clincher is finding a journal in Penny’s garage as she helps make the front of Penny’s house ready for the relator’s pictures.

Lots of fun with Thaddeus, the parrot, he starts calling her by name in this one! Mugs and Goliath are hoot as well. Her grandmother Nan also manages to be a bit of trouble too as the folks in the home start betting on Doreen and Mack having a relationship.

Plenty of suspense, laughs and so much more. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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.

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