Sunday, April 6, 2008

Flower Shop Mysteries

Kate Collins, aka Linda Tsoutsouris

I have been meaning to sit down and get this post on my blog since last, Sunday. I will just say in my defense that there is bit of a {{{MAMMOTH}}} size project going on here around the Honeycomb house, and I have been quite a buzz with it all, and blogging has suffered some. So a week later, here it is.

A week and a half ago, I went to Barnes & Noble's, in hopes of finding a a book by the author Susan Sallis, titled Searching For Tilly. Ms. Sallis, is an accomplished and loved British fiction novel author. From what I can gather, she has given the world twenty novels with a new one due to release sometime this year , two novellas, and a four book family saga series called, The Rising Family Saga, all of which are successful works. I have knowledge of her only because of a dear friend in England, and her blog. I went to our county library and they had six of her books, only the first one in the Rising family saga, and none of the others I thought I might like to start with, and no Searching For Tilly. My local town library had not a one of her books. So, there I was at Barnes & Nobles, hoping they carried them. I figured since Searching For Tilly, was her newest release they would have it if they carried her at all. They did not have a single book by, Ms. Sallis. However.......

I was looking for this book in part as a way to branch out into something a little different than I had been reading. Enter the serendipitous find of the "Flower Shop Mysteries". You may have noticed, I added "Flower Shop Mysteries" to my "Cozy Murders" list about a week and a half ago. While in Barnes & Nobles, turning to leave the fiction section, I spotted a display at the end of an isle that said, Local Authors. My interest piqued, I took a minute to peruse the books displayed. The display was devoted to one author and several of her books. They were... you got it, cozy little murder reads. Hummm... definitely interested. Reading the description on the backs I discovered they took place in a little city here in northwest Indiana, I lived in for several decades. Hummm..... which book was published first? For those of you that know me, you know I read books in the chronological order they are published in. In the case of The Chronicle's of Narnia, the order C.S. Lewis wrote them in is how I read them since they are not the same. In looking for publication dates, I spotted the authors real name. She publishes these under a pseudonym, Kate Collins. I recognized her last name, but could not place her. Upon just a little further investigation, which simply entailed a stroll through her website, I discovered she was in fact married to an attorney that is very well known, respected, and an integral part of the cities legal system, and someone I had the pleasure of meeting many years ago. I was amazed! The things you don't know, eh?

So, because it is late and I have just sat through three hours of class, I opt to see research publication dates at home, see if the library carries the books, check out the first one if they have it, read it and decide whether to pursue another. If the library did not have it, I would come back and buy which ever turned out to be the first in the series. Good news! The library in town had them all. Wow!! So, I check the first one out and what a wonderful read. This lady is an amazing writer, and the queen of cliff hangers. I would tell myself I would put the book down as soon as I finished the chapter I was reading. But, the end of the chapters were the most pivotal for wanting to go on. Bother! I finished that book in no time! So, I took that book back and check out the second. I stuffed it in my purse and off to Bed Bath & Beyond, in search of an electric hot water kettle I go. Hurrying, since I really want to get home and start the. next installment. Okay, one guess... who do you think was in Bed Bath & Beyond? I turn a corner and there was the attorney I knew to be this delightful authors husband. And oh yes, I have never been the "groupie" type, but thoroughly embarrassed myself here. Now keep in mind, I had just minutes before checked out book two, and am rushing to get home to read it. This is what I have on my mind, especially since there was no electric hot water kettle I was interested in at this store, and there Kate Collins (Linda Tsoutsouris), is! There I am, behind her husband and say, "Jim." He turns around, smiles and says, "Yes." Remember, I respect and like this man. But instead of, "Hi” or "How are you?" or anything courteous or intelligent, I say, "This must be, Linda." Ugh!!! I would not have been like that if I hadn't just discovered her books, and wasn't thinking about them at that very moment. Anyway, although the heroine in these books is very spunky and when needed feisty, Linda was one of the most gracious, classy and warm people, I have met in a quite a while. We spoke for a few minutes, she gave me a book mark, and that was that really. What a treat. I had wished at that moment that I was carrying my own copy of the book in my purse instead of the library's. I could have asked her to sign it. Ugh!! again.

Well, I found something truly enjoyable to read that was different than what I had been reading. These are good books and if you like cozy murders, I think you will enjoy these. If you like a thriller that keeps the average person up at night, or something with detailed gory forensics, these are not for you. These are rich in relationship, exciting in story line and just plain ol' good cozy who dunits!

Here are the books in the order they are presented in the series.

Mum's the Word (Nov. 2004)
Slay it With Flowers (Mar. 2005)
Dearly Depotted (July 2005)
Snipped in the Bud (May 2006)
Acts of Violets (Mar. 2007)
A Rose From the Dead (Dec. 2007)
Shoots to Kill (Due out, Aug. 2008)

Try one, and enjoy!


Barbara said...

Have you tried Amazon for Searching for Tilly?
I have my last chapter up now (Sorry)
Thanks again for your encouraging comments.

Teresa said...

Hi Barbara,

Yes, and I could purchase it through Amazon. I finally requested an interlibrary loan. My library was able to get Searching For Tilly, from the library in Round Lake, Illinois. I started to read it but, I have a question for you about the book. I will do that in an email.

I am on my way to your blog right now. I read your last chapter right after you posted it. I had so much I wanted to say that I chose to just regroup my thoughts so as not to write a novella.

You have been so encouraging to me. But, you are very welcome if I have encouraged you.

Barbara said...

Pub lunches - well just about anything. Always good hearty meals plus things like Ploughmans if you don't want a hot meal. Ploughmans being crispy bread rolls with cheese or ham and pickle and a little salad.#

I see you have left me a message here. I would never have thought of coming back here so would n ot have seen it.