Natural Thorn Killer (A Rose City Mystery)
by Kate Dyer-Seeley
by Kate Dyer-Seeley
Thank you so much for having me on as a guest today! I’m so excited to share this new series The Rose City Mysteries with the release of the first book, Natural Thorn Killer. My inspiration for the book stems from my childhood memories.
When I was growing up my grandparents owned a half an acre in the city where my grandfather spent nearly every waking hour cultivating his urban farm. This was long before the slow food movement or farm-to-table dinners that have become so popular in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the country. I remember spending many summer afternoons running through rows and rows of corn and stopping to pick cherry tomatoes straight from the vine. Strawberry season came in June which meant hand-churned strawberry ice cream and the sweetest, juiciest berries that would stain my lips pink.
My grandfather always smelled like the earth. He encouraged me (along with my siblings and cousins) to dig in the dirt and get my hands muddy. Family gatherings at my grandparents’ house involved everyone pitching in to yield the latest crop. From cucumbers the size of my head to deep red raspberries everything that he touched grew in abundance. As a kid, I was convinced that my grandfather had a special gift—a true green thumb.
What I’ve come to learn as an adult is that he did have a gift, but not in the magical sense that I created in my mind. His gift was hard work and dedication, with a hefty sprinkling of love mixed in. The hours he spent tilling the soil, yanking weeds, and pruning created his green thumb. He told me once that no two seasons were ever alike. Every year and changing weather pattern brought new challenges. He had to learn to adapt, with many fails along the way.
When my son was born, I wanted to impart the same passion for gardening that my grandfather had instilled in me. However, we didn’t own an acre or even much of a yard. Not to mention the fact that I had no idea where to begin when it came to planting a garden, and had killed my fair share of house plants. My husband came up with the idea of building a large raised bed. While he built the foundation my son and I headed out in search of seeds. The first year we planted tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and herbs. We would watch progress every day as the seeds started to sprout. I remember the delight on my son’s face the first time he pulled a carrot from the ground, and the way his eyes lit up when he tasted his homegrown tomato.
Since our first garden we’ve moved a few times, but in every house we’ve found a tiny plot of land to carve out an urban garden. My son has learned over the years that gardens take tender care and a watchful eye. I think it’s a fabulous lesson for life. I know my grandfather would be proud that I’m passing on his green thumb, and I hope you get a taste how connecting to nature can be transformative in the book!
About the Book
Natural Thorn Killer (A Rose City Mystery)
Kensington (March 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Digital ASIN: B073NPHX8Z
Cut down among the flowers . . .
Britta Johnston might be a late bloomer, but after leaving her deadbeat husband and dead-end job, she’s finally pursuing her artistic passion at her aunt Elin’s floral boutique, Blooma, in Portland, Oregon. It’s on the banks of the Willamette, in a quaint district of cobblestone paths and cherry trees. The wine bar featuring Pacific Northwest vintages is a tasty bonus, offering another kind of bouquet to enjoy. But things aren’t as peaceful as they look.
For one thing, someone’s been leaving dead roses around—and a sleazy real estate developer who wants the waterfront property has put a big-money offer on the table. Then, after a contentious meeting of local business owners, he’s found on the floor of the shop, with Elin’s garden shears planted in his chest. And before the police decide to pin the crime on her beloved aunt, Britta will have to find out who arranged this murder . . .
About the Author
Kate Dyer-Seeley aka Ellie Alexander writes multiple mystery series, all with a Pacific Northwest touch. She lives in the PNW with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.
Review of Natural Thorn Killer
Review (5 Stars): Britta is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after leaving her cheating husband and decides to move back to Portland to help her aunt, Elin, run her new floral boutique. Excited to have this new opportunity, she can’t wait to unveil their hard work to the other members of the community at their local business meeting, but things don’t go exactly as planned. Britta’s aunt is keeping secrets and a local real estate developer seems to have everyone on edge. When the developer is found dead with Elin’s shears as the murder weapon, Britta must do more than help with floral arrangements to keep her new career from coming to a screeching halt.
This is the first book in a brand new series and I love all of Ms. Dyer-Seeley’s books. Being set in Portland, gives this book a charming location and I can see how Britta has fallen in love with the city. Britta is a delightful heroine that you will instantly love and the quirky cast of characters make this a fun mystery addition. Natural Thorn Killer was a well-written and entertaining read, giving me insight into the magical world of floristry, which has brought this great mystery to life. Can’t wait to visit Britta and Elin in the next wonderful installment of this series.
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