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Petals and Poison: Flower House #2    by Jess Dylan order for
Petals and Poison
by Jess Dylan
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2021 (2021)
Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle

Petals and Poison continues the adventures of Sierra Ravenswood as the new owner of Flower House. Sierra has worked hard to banish the reputation of her establishment after the murder that occurred in the shop. She had planned an expansion by adding a small eating area adjoining the flower shop, where patrons could sample delicious goodies created by her helper, Deena, and the grand opening was scheduled to occur in just a few days. Sierra was surprised when a small bus stopped in front and a number of young people got out, accompanied by an older man.

Sierra and her friends watched as the man was accosted by Bart (her flower delivery man) and her grandmother's friend Wanda. She knew that Bart had been forced off the road by the bus, which accounted for his anger, but she didn't know why Wanda was upset. She could tell by the identifying letters on the bus that the seven young people were students at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and shortly met the man, who identified himself as Professor Lowry. He demanded to know where the former owner was, since apparently he brought students to town on a field trip every summer. Sierra hadn't been told about this, but she attempted to welcome the group, although she found both professor and students difficult to please.

When her shop's second murder occurred it was at first assumed to be an accidental death. Sierra was horrified when the police declared that the dead person had in fact been killed by person or persons unknown, and her shop's nightmare designation as a poison house resumed. We are entertained through all the twists and turns of the investigation as Sierra's employee Calvin is suspected by the police and she does everything in her power to find out the identity of the real murderer. She is certain that Calvin could not be guilty, although there are enough complications to make her wonder. This delightful cozy mystery provides hours of enjoyment to a reader trying to follow Sierra's lead and find the killer.

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