For Whom the Bluebell Tolls by Beverly Allen is the second cozy in the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery Series featuring flower shop owner and amateur sleuth Audrey Bloom (available January 6th, 2015).
It was nearly a year ago, while reading the fun cozy mystery Bloom and Doom by Beverly Allen that we first met Audrey Bloom and her cousin and business partner, Olivia, co-owners of the Rose in Bloom flower shop in Ramble, Virginia. While teaching us about the meaning of flowers, Audrey also managed to solve a murder and meet a nice guy named Nick, who might possibly help her forget all about her former fiancé Brad, known as Brad the Cad. So you can see why I was anxious to hang out with Audrey and Liv and the other folks in Ramble once again.
At the very beginning of For Whom the Bluebell Tolls, Nick has just escorted Audrey home from a dinner date, and she is hoping for a solid goodnight kiss, but her house phone rings and Nick takes a step back, saying, “I should let you get that. Good night, Audrey.”
I carried the receiver so I could stand in front of the roaring air conditioner, then lifted my ponytail so the chilled air hit the back of my neck. “Hello?”
“Audrey, where have you been? I’ve been calling all night.”
Letting my hair fall, I jerked into my full and upright position. “Hey, Brad.” Where I’d been was none of his business. Brad the Cad had blown his chance with me. I really needed to get caller ID.
My brain started turning. I’d seen bell-shaped vases that might work. Maybe campanula, also known as bellflowers, or any other flower varieties that resembled bells. Or was that too literal?
The meanings were suitable. Bellflowers signified constancy, a great meaning for a marriage and the small white ones meant gratitude. Of course the bluebell also could signify sorrowful regret, but maybe I could steer her away from that color.
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Well Read, Then Dead, the first mystery in Terrie Farley Moran's beachside Read 'Em and Eat cozy series will soon be followed by Caught Read-Handed to be released by Berkley Prime Crime in July 2015. Her website is www.terriefarleymoran.com.
Read all of Terrie Farley Moran's posts for Criminal Element.