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The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose (Darling Dahlias Mysteries) Hardcover – September 4, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for the Darling Dahlias novels:

 

“[Albert] hits all the right notes…The plot’s believable, the Southern color brims with authenticity, and the characters are charmingly and realistically drawn...Here’s hoping the ladies have many more opportunities to dig into crime.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch

“As always in any Susan Wittig Albert’s series including this one, the reader feels transplanted in time and place as the meticulous interwoven tidbits bring to life late 1930.”

The Mystery Gazette

“This sweet book captures the true tone of a small town.”

Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

About the Author

Susan Wittig Albert grew up on a farm in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. A former professor of English and a university administrator and vice president, she is the author of the China Bayles Mysteries, the Darling Dahlias Mysteries, and the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. Some of her recent titles include Widow’s Tears, Cat’s Claw, The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose, and The Tale of Castle Cottage. She and her husband, Bill, coauthor a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries under the name Robin Paige, which includes such titles as Death at Glamis Castle and Death at Whitechapel.
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Product Details

  • Series: Darling Dahlias Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; First Edition edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425247767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425247761
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,146,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I live in the Hill Country of Central Texas, on 31 acres, where I write, garden for food (passionately), raise chickens, and practice the fiber arts. I am concerned about issues of global warming, energy depletion, and food production. You can find out more about my life in my memoirs: Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place; and An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days.

I'm traditionally published as a mystery author with Berkley Prime Crime. I have two continuing series: the China Bayles Herbal Mysteries and The Darling Dahlias, about a Southern garden club in the 1930s. You might also enjoy my eight-book series, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and the series that my husband Bill Albert and I coauthored under the pseudonym of Robin Paige.

I'm also an author-publisher. A WILDER ROSE is a novel about the mother-daughter team that produced the Little House books, based on the diaries and journals of Rose Wilder Lane and the letters of her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder. (There's an extensive READER'S COMPANION for this book, available at www.aWilderRoseTheNovel.com.) The book is now available from Lake Union Publishing.




Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
77%
4 star
18%
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See all 61 customer reviews
It's a wonderful historical cozy series set in small town Darling, Alabama in the late 1930's.
S. Schwartz
Susan Wittig Albert, books have always meant all my expections, I have read all her China bayles mysteries and Darling Dahlias series.
rosie
The characters were well developed and the story of the history of the Confederate Rose character was most interesting.
Lois P. Newman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on September 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Susan Albert is one of my favorite authors and I wait with eager anticipation for each new book. The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose does not disappoint. As the third book in the series I was hooked from the first page. Her injection of a little history makes her books seem very realistic. The Dahlias are a great cast of characters and you will want to know them all. If you decide to read this book I recommend you read The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree first, the first book in the series as it will help you to get to know the Dahlias. I have read all of Susan Albert's books and some twice. I think if you choose any of her books you will enjoy them as much as I do.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on October 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Wittig Albert's Darling Dahlia series is a winner. It's a wonderful historical cozy series set in small town Darling, Alabama in the late 1930's. This recipe for success is as follows:

Mix some old time Southern charm with half a peck of nefarious deeds, half a peck of elderly southern belles, half a peck of great depression gardening and cooking tips. Then a pinch of southern civil rights in the 30's, a pinch of wonderful eccentric personalities, maybe more than a pinch of crafty criminals. Mix all this up in a big giant bowl and top with believable characters and you have the Darling Dahlia series. She even seasons with some true southern historical facts.

The ladies of Darling are back in this book and they are all trying to help their friend Verna who is under suspicion of embezzling funds from the County Commissioner's office. With Myra May and Violet on the switchboard, and an old newshound by the name of Charlie Dickins, and their own southern common sense the Dahlias have all they need to put an end to this threat to one of their own.

These books are just so much fun to read. I can't wait for the next one. With this series and the China Bayles series, Ms. Wittig Albert is one of my favourite cozy writers right now. She ranks right up there with M.C. Beaton and Carolyn Hart in my opinion.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chicago Susan on September 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This series is set in the South around the Depression and I love reading about women who garden, raise vegetables and interact with their friends and neighbors during hard times. They cook, they work and they are lovely and so much fun to read about. I'm always sorry when Susan Wittig Albert's books end. It's a time with values which are so wonderful!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ann Barton on September 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I fell in love with the Darling Dahlias with the 1st book and anxiously awaited the release of #3 - 'The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose'. Maybe in a former life, I lived during that era and in the south because I feel like I belong there. Ms. Albert weaves a wonderful, intriguing story while incorporating the lives of the townspeople, the surrounding area and gives the reader a glimpse into life during those years. I loved the story-line and could not wait to hear more about the Confederate Rose. It grabbed my attention from the beginning to the very end and I couldn't put it down until I finished it - and that happened way too soon. I'm ready for the next adventure of the Darling Dahlias!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Commenter77 on October 28, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a delightful series and very interesting. Its various plots and subplots flow well and give much entertainment. The oddities are quite possible in small town life. There's a convincing mix of characters, who really grow on you. This is small town done right, especially for the era, being a kinder, gentler world as far as the common man's solid ethics and mores being the rule. There never were any good old days, they say, and I think it is true. Each generation or era has its trade-offs, with inconveniences being balanced by a closer knit sharing society as in this time frame. We today are able to accomplish more, easier and faster and be more independent, but have to deliberately seek incorporation with others. This was a most enjoyable reading experience.

I think one of the richest nuggets in these for modern readers to note is a group of ladies who don't give up on one another, even the irritating ones. Their overall caring for others accounts for their being so ongoing and overall successful in their gardening club and community efforts and their lives. Quitting on people and pulling away from them doesn't come into the option list when there are problems, even chronic ones, or when things get tough. And they are happier and better adjusted for it.

Think of Bessie sharing her family home with such a disparate group and thriving in it while making a difference to those whose lives she touches. If she hadn't cared, a "weak entry" like Miss Rogers wouldn't have had such a transformation in her life. Think of Beulah and her mission of beautifying women, which is not about herself, but the women around her. Overall, there are more givers than takers in this mix, which always creates an inviting scene.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F. Yoder on September 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the third book in The Darling Dahlias series by Susan Wittig Albert. I love all of Albert's series'. I like that they are all set in different time periods and have such wonderful characters and she is a fantastic story teller.

The Darling Dahlias takes place during the depression in Darling, Alabama, a delightful small community.

The Darling Dahlias Garden Club had inherited a Victorian house from Dahlia Blackstone and they are still busy bringing it back to it's original beauty. The have a nice vegetable garden that provides the members with fresh vegetables, with enough left over to sell at the farmers market on Saturdays. The are also busy, right now, propagating the Confederate Rose, which Miss Rogers is quick to point out, is really a Hibiscus mutabilis, which they plan to plant around the cemetery to honor the Confederate soldiers that buried there.

But really concerns them at this time is that Verna Tidwell, manager of the office of the County probate clerk and treasurer, has been asked to take a leave of absence. The state auditors have done an audit of the counties treasure's accounts and have found that $15,000 is missing. The previous treasurer recently passed away and his death was called from natural causes. But the word also going around is that he had had alcohol and being as he was a teetotaler, this is thought to be suspicious. The ladies of the garden club aren't sure who they can trust, so set off to get to the bottom of the story and save Verna's reputation.

And other reputation that are being, possibly, ruined would be Beulah Trivette. Beulah owns Beulah's Beauty Bower, the premier beauty salon in Darling. It seems that Angelina Biggs, whose husband manages the hotel in town, has been on a terror lately.
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