Flowers and Foul Play
A Magic Garden Mystery
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Fiona Knox lost her fiancé and her flower shop—but when she flies to Scotland to inherit her godfather’s cottage and possibly magical walled garden, she may lose her life as well when she’s swept into a murder investigation.
Florist Fiona Knox’s life isn’t smelling so sweet these days. Her fiancé left her for their cake decorator. Then, her flower shop wilted after a chain florist opened next door. So when her godfather, Ian MacCallister, leaves her a cottage in Scotland, Fiona jumps on the next plane to Edinburgh. Ian, after all, is the one who taught her to love flowers. But when Ian’s elderly caretaker Hamish MacGregor shows her to the cottage upon her arrival, she finds the once resplendent grounds of Duncreigan in a dreadful shambles—with a dead body in the garden.
Minutes into her arrival, Fiona is already being questioned by the handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig and getting her passport seized. But it’s Craig’s fixation on Uncle Ian’s loyal caretaker, Hamish, as a prime suspect, that really makes her worried. As Fiona strolls the town, she quickly realizes there are a whole bouquet of suspects much more likely to have killed Alastair Croft, the dead lawyer who seems to have had more enemies than friends.
Now it’s up to Fiona to clear Hamish’s name before it’s too late in Flowers and Foul Play, USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower’s spellbinding first Magic Garden mystery.
An enchanting cozy mystery
Flowers and Foul Play by Amanda Flower is the first installment in A Magic Garden Mystery series. Fiona Knox is having a rough time. Her fiancé has left her for their cake decorator, her flower shop has folded up after a discount floral chain opened nearby, and her godfather has passed away. When Fiona receives the call from Alastair Croft, her godfather’s solicitor, that she has inherited Duncreigan, she hops on the next flight to Scotland. Duncreigan is the ancestral home of the MacCallister clan and Ian MacCallister was the last of his line. Fiona is happy to see Hamish MacGregor, the caretaker, upon her arrival and he takes her to see Ian’s pride and joy—the walled garden. Unfortunately, everything in the garden is dead including Alastair Croft. Chief Inspector Neil Craig is in charge of the investigation, but he sets his sights on Hamish as the culprit. Fiona knows Hamish would not harm a soul, and she sets out to find other suspects for the handsome inspector. It turns out that Alastair was not well liked in Bellewick. Fiona also discovers that Duncreigan has a secret and she is the key—well, technically the Keeper. Come along for an enchanting adventure in Flowers and Foul Play.
Flowers and Foul Play is a delightful new cozy mystery. The setting is beautiful. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of Bellewick, Duncreigan, and the walled garden. Fiona is a charming main character. She is engaging, smart, personable, inquisitive and open to magic (what a joy). Fiona is not going to let Hamish go to jail for a crime he did not commit. She immediately goes to the village to meet the locals and do some subtle questioning. Hamish is a gentle giant who the perfect counterpart for Fiona. Duncan, the red squirrel, is adorable and I look forward to finding out more about him (I bet there is something special about him). I hope we see more of Presha (from the tea shop) in the next book. I bet there is more to her story. I found Flowers and Foul Play to be well-written and have a nice steady pace. The mystery was intriguing, and I always love when buried treasure is included. I just wish that it had been harder to solve. I did find the background details on Fiona to be light. I am hoping we will get to know her better in Death and Daisies. There are other pieces of information missing from the story (cheating fiance’s last name, where did they find the treasure and what did they do with it). I want to know why Fiona is tied to the stone when she is not a MacCallister. Flowers and Foul Play is a whimsical, magical cozy mystery. I am rating Flowers and Foul Play 4 out of 5 stars. I am eager to return to Scotland in Death and Daisies.
Southern Charm meet Scottish Magic
Fiona’s life in Tennessee seems to be falling apart so when she is notified of her Godfather’s passing and that he left her his cottage in Scotland she headed to there to decide what to do with her life. Fiona thought she would most likely start her life over in Scotland, but after she discovers a dead body in the garden of her newly inherited cottage she begins to have second thoughts. Fiona can’t help but get involved in the investigation when it seems the elderly caretaker and her Godfather’s best friend is the main suspect.
This is my first book by Author Amanda Flower. Having heard good things about her other series, I jumped at the chance of reading the first book of her new series. I found that I really enjoyed her storytelling. The main character Fiona is a relatable character as her life isn’t perfect but she is determined to keep going no matter what life throws at her. The secondary characters are a mixture of different ages, ethnicities, and personalities. Most of the characters and likable and entertaining both human and animal. The setting in Scotland plays well into the magical garden aspect of the story with its green countrysides and ancient histories and folklore. I really enjoyed the unique combination of Fiona being from Tennessee and speaking with a southern accent while most everyone else spoke with a Scottish accent. The mystery had it’s twist and turns and red herrings to keep you guessing up until the end. I thought I had the murderer figured out but there were some clues I didn’t pick up on so I was pleasantly surprised at the end. I am really looking forward to seeing how this series progresses with the magical aspect, possible romance, and new friendships.
I would recommend this book to cozy mystery fans. I received an ARC of this book in hopes I would give an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and have in no way been influenced.