Bloom and Doom

bloomandDoom

Bloom and Doom (A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery #1) by Beverly Allen

Audrey Bloom and her cousin Olivia have opened up a bridal shop in their hometown of Ramble.

Double double yay

What makes their shop stand out from others is that they specialize in the meaning of flowers. Once something that crucially studied in the Victorian era but has died out today; the Bloom cousins have decided to bring it back.

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After a newspaper interview declares that the Bloom sisters have a 100% success rate in their marriages, they are chosen to do the flowers for two big weddings. The first being the wedding of the Mayor’s only daughter to her sweetheart, and the second being Jenny Whitney with the most eligible man inn town, Derek Rawling.

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Jenny and Audrey used to be friends back in the day; garage sale buddies, hanging out every Saturday. One day Jenny dropped her, lost weight, and joined the popular crowd; sayonara Audrey.

See ya!

See ya!

But as Jenny comes into the shop to choose her flowers, Audrey notices that she is not as excited and unlike most brides doesn’t have a single idea what she wants in a bouquet. Strange.

Very suspicious

Very suspicious

Even weirder, as her mother is the one making the decisions, they pick flowers that mean forsaken and other bad omen type flora. Doesn’t look good one bit.

Not-Good

A few days later Jenny calls Audrey canceling everything she ordered. She has decided that she will not be getting married after all as she doesn’t really love Derek, but instead was just seeing him because her mother wanted her to. She isn’t sure what she will do next with her life as she hasn’t been trained in anything, besides the early days when before her dad died when they owned a restaurant.

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Audrey takes pity on her and offers her a trial job working at the shop.

gotthis

Jenny tries but sucks at cutting and trimming the flowers. While everyone else thinks it is a bad idea, Audrey gives her a bag with the floral scissors to practice at home.

Meanwhile, every day the new bakery owner, Nick, has been coming in to purchase flowers. Audrey thinks he is pretty cute, but since her fiancé jilted her for a “more interesting” New York City, she has been wary. However, maybe this guy…

Very fishy

Maybe.

The next day, Derek is found dead.

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He was discovered in his car, murdered with the floral scissors. The police arrest Jenny as they believe that she killed him.

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Now Audrey, is eager to prove her friend is innocent; armed by her cousin, the new baker, and the rest of the floral staff.

gotthis

To make matters even worse, Chief Bixby is in charge of the investigation, and he hates the Bloom cousins. Not only did he arrest Jenny but he is also trying to pin the murder on Blooms as well.

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Thoughts After Reading:

So I really enjoyed this mystery. I thought the characters were fun, the knowledge of the flowers were actually interesting, and I was eager to read more.

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However, there were a few things I didn’t like. Like Bixby trying to pin everything on the Bloom cousins because of his allergy to flowers?

really?

Or when he confiscates every set of scissors because the murder weapon is a set of floral scissors. Why? It make no sense? He already had the murder weapon in his possession.

seriously

But otherwise it was a great read. I’m ready for the sequel.

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For more Southern Mysteries, go to Sew Deadly

For more books revolving around Weddings, go to ‘Til Death Do Us Purl

For more mystery reviews, go to The Postman Always Purls Twice

 

The Alchemy of Murder

The Alchemy of Murder

The Alchemy of Murder (Nellie Bly #1) by Carol McCleary

So this is a historical fiction mystery, with the main character being based on the real life reporter Nellie Bly.

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The year is 1889. The place, Paris France;  the capital of Europe. Paris is hosting the World’s Fair, having unveiled the Eiffel Tower, (at the time thought ugly but then became a permanent part of the skyline and one of the biggest tourist destinations.)

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But while people are celebrating man’s accomplishments, a serial killer stalks the area and a plague is striking Parisians by the thousands.

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Nellie Bly is convinced that both the killings and the epidemic are connected. She travels down to Paris to hunt this killer, “The Alchemist” as she calls him.

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Along her search, she enlists the help of Jules Verne, Oscar Wilde, and Louis Pasteur.

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Thoughts after Reading:

I bought this book a couple of years ago as the synopsis intrigued me. Historical fiction, mystery, some of my favorite literary writers. I thought it would be like Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder: A Mystery, but this book was horrible.

IDon'tlikeit

I know it is supposed to be in the Victorian era, but having your main character be cold and emotionless isn’t endearing to the reader. It was horrible to get into and boring. I need my character to have character.

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Not only was Nelly bland, but she seemed so out of tune with her time period, not that she was from the future or past, but just as if she didn’t belong.

Not-Good

For me it fell flat.

horrible

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For more historical fiction mysteries, go to The Harlot’s Tale

For more books featuring investigative reporters, go to A Change of Fortune

Gorgonzola Cream Cheese Log

Victorian-Christmas-Traditions

So this is our last Christmas recipe. It has been some fun times and I hope you have tried and enjoyed the recipes as much as I have.

So today’s recipe, I had thought about doing something Victorian, because I reviewed Charles Dickens’ mystery, but changed my mind. Instead I wanted to do a recipe I thought was really tasty.

Thoughts before cooking:

So when I was planning the Christmas reviews for this blog I kept trying to figure out what would be a good thing to end on? What was something we could all enjoy. Then I was invited to a Christmas party, and as I tried to think of what to bring, it hit me. I could do this cheese log my sister made years ago. It was the best cheese log I had ever tasted, so I signed up to bring it.

Weeks later as I searched and searched for the recipe, it turned out to be missing.

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I asked my sister if she remembered what went in it or what it was called or what magazine/website she got it from. She could remember zilch.

So I combed the web searching for something, anything that seemed vaguely familiar. I sent her the recipes but she responded with a negative. None of them were right.

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I found myself giving up. I had resigned myself to have to try to find something else when she found it. She found the perfect recipe. Thank goodness.

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But now the question was, was it really as good as I remembered it?

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Ingredients:

  • 16 Tablespoons of Chive and Onion Cream Cheese
  • 16 Tablespoons of Gorgonzola or Other Blue Cheese
  • 8 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 8 Tablespoons of Chopped Pine Nuts or Walnuts, Toasted
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Crackers

Directions:

  1. Stir together cream cheese, gorgonzola, butter, and nuts.
  2. Arrange in a one-inch diameter log.
  3. Wrap in plastic and chill for one hour or until firm.
  4. Serve with crackers of your choice

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cheeselog

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Thoughts After Reading:

It still was as delicious and posh as I remembered. I absolutely loved it and couldn’t stop eating it.

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So that’s it for now. Merry Christmas everyone!

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For more Christmas recipes, go to Sand Tarts

For more appetizers, go to Misdemeanor Mushrooms

For more recipes, go to Gingerbread Men Cookies