Slugfest (Dirty Business Mystery #4)
Minotaur Books, April 2011
I’m a sucker for books about gardens and gardeners, especially if they have a smart, intrepid female sleuth involved. Slugfest qualifies on all counts.
This adventure, the fourth in the series, finds Paula Holliday, owner of a Connecticut gardening business, agreeing to manage an exhibit of garden sculptures for a friend. While expecting to have a good time at the New York City flower show talking gardens and making connections, (as well as selling her friend’s work) getting drawn into a murder is a surprise. Which one of her fellow exhibitors is guilty? Plenty appear to have had the opportunity, but who has the motive?
Paula makes some new friends in Slugfest whom one hopes will reappear in the next book. Rolanda Knox, the straight arrow security guard has a surprising sense of humor; J. C. Kaufman, ready with wine, food, or a weapon, is there to “watch your back”, and of course Lucy, is delightfully zany.
Author Harris’ characters are what keeps one glued to the story. She has created a marvelous cast to people this gardening series.
Reviewed by C.K. Crigger, July 2011.