Image by KingsbraeGarden via FlickrDead Head:
A Dirty Business Mystery
By Rosemary Harris
Caroline Sturgis was one of Paula Holliday's clients--in fact, she was one of her most important clients who had also become a friend. She had been working with her for three years and had slowly been able to move Caroline's interests from impatiens, marigold and red salvia, into doing some interesting additional plantings. Now, as her children are getting older and Caroline has little to do, she was trying to talk Paula into a business partnership--she providing the money to buy Guido Chiaramonte's nursery, and Paula being the owner and front person. Dead Head by Rosemary Harris is the third Dirty Business Mystery and this time, Paula is even hired to be a private detective! You won't want to miss this one!
It had all started at Babe Chinnery's diner where Paula and she were discussing the use of false lamium in the planters in front, with Paula guaranteeing that a beautiful yellow would be added when the plant flowered. Paula spent a lot of time there and so it was not surprising that when Caroline, along with a number of other friends, stopped by and saw Paula was there, she came in to talk more about the purchase of the nursery.
But when Caroline was leaving, a deadheaded trucker driving back home stopped her and asked if he knew her. Caroline immediately left; she disappeared for days.
And then it was announced she had been arrested and taken to Michigan. The newspapers called her The Fugitive Mom!" And Caroline was not her name...
Caroline's husband is devastated and, seeks out Paula's help to try to find out what the truth was. She argued that she was not a private detective, but when he mentioned how much he would pay her, and knowing that Caroline wanted and needed her help, she agreed.
Starting with the basics, she found out what Caroline's real name was and then began to trace her teenage life. Because it had been as a teenager that she had been accused and found guilty of running a drug operation!" She was a high school senior cheerleader at the time; they gave her 20 years! And during a work release program, she had walked away and...had built a new life, a place in the community and many who couldn't believe the original charges were true!
But somebody was certainly on the trail and Paula was getting in the way as she tracked down the original trucker who had talked to Carolyn and went on from there to hopefully clear her friend's name as well as preventing her from going back to jail!
I must say that Paula does indeed make a great detective and she's even considering a change in career. But then again, she does seem to get into quite a bit of trouble and Babe and Lucy can't always be around to help! This whodunit has everybody under scrutiny, including a new priest to the community! One of the main characteristics in the books by Rosemary Harris, is the subtle throw-ins and one-liners that spark a smile or an outright chuckle in the middle of a serious scene. The overall package of these novels continuously results in a great read, and admiration for Paula, Babe and Lucy just keeps growing! I love these characters!
Book Received Via
BRH from Author
G. A. Bixler