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The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsettia Puzzle

The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsettia Puzzle, November 2018
Darling Dahlias #8
by Susan Wittig Albert

Persevero Press
ISBN: 0996904077
EAN: 9780996904070
Kindle: B07FP7711L
Hardcover / e-Book
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"Charming slice of life mystery"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsettia Puzzle
Susan Wittig Albert

Reviewed by Debbie Wiley
Posted December 18, 2018

Mystery Historical

THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE POINSETTA PUZZLE takes us on a leisurely tour of Christmas in Darling and the various intrigues that are going on in town. The mystery from the prior book, THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE UNLUCKY CLOVER, is back in the spotlight as new evidence has Sheriff Buddy Norris investigating once again. Will he uncover more than he expected? Meanwhile, Mildred Kilgore and Earlynne Biddle are opening their bakery, with a few mishaps along the way. And just who is daring to threaten the town's favorite four-year-old, Cupcake? Step back into time as Susan Wittig Albert charms readers with this slice of life mystery.

The town of Darling has captivated me! Susan Wittig Albert weaves an almost magical spell as she takes us back into a different time when the effects of the Great Depression are being felt in small towns like Darling. Despite the bleak economy, residents of the town pull together when one of their own is in trouble. THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE POINSETTA PUZZLE showcases this when it comes to issues involving the beloved child, Cupcake, and the opening of the new bakery, The Flour Shop. The strength of the friendships between the Dahlias is the heart of the story as it's almost impossible not to fall in love with both the Dahlias and the town of Darling.

THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE POINSETTA PUZZLE is the eighth book in the Darling Dahlias series and can easily be read as a standalone. Susan Wittig Albert helpfully provides the reader with enough background information to jump right in (including a brief description of each of the main characters), along with footnotes that reference which earlier book in which the back story is told. As a long-time fan of Susan Wittig Albert's China Bayles series, I'm embarrassed to admit that this was my first foray into the Darling Dahlias series. However, I can guarantee it won't be my last!

Learn more about The Darling Dahlias and the Poinsettia Puzzle

SUMMARY

It’s Christmas, 1934, and the citizens of Darling, Alabama, are unwrapping a big package of Christmas puzzles. Mildred and Earlynne, members of the Dahlias Garden Club, are planning to open a bakery on the square—if they can come up with the right recipes. Charlie Dickens faces two of the biggest puzzles of his career as an investigative reporter, and one of them involves his wife. Cute little Cupcake’s talent as a singer and dancer makes her a tempting target for an unscrupulous exploiter. Lizzy must enlist the Dahlias to protect her, while she herself is confronted by a romantic puzzle. And Sheriff Norris is forced to reopen a mystery that the town thought was solved and follow a string of clues that lead to a deadly situation at the nearby prison farm.

Once again, Susan Wittig Albert takes us to a place where real people have courage, respect for their neighbors, and the dream of doing their best, even when they’re not sure what that is. She reminds us that Christmas is a celebration of friendship, community, and what’s right with the world. There’s nothing puzzling about that.


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