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Pushing Up Daisies: A Dirty Business Mystery (Dirty Business Mysteries) [Kindle Edition]

Rosemary Harris
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Meet Paula Holliday, a transplanted media exec who trades her stilettos for garden clogs when she makes the move from the big city to the suburbs to start a gardening business. Paula can handle deer, slugs, and the occasional human pest---but she’s not prepared for the mummified body she finds while restoring the gardens at Halcyon, a local landmark.
            Casual snooping turns serious when a body is impaled on a garden tool and one of Paula’s friends is arrested for the crime.
            Aided by the still-hot aging rocker who owns the neighborhood greasy spoon, a wise-cracking former colleague, and a sexy Mexican laborer with a few secrets of his own, Paula digs for the truth and unearths more dirty business the town has kept buried for years.




Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

in Harris's cozy debut, budding landscaper Paula Holliday turns sleuth after the former documentary filmmaker, a New York City transplant to the suburbs, unearths a box containing a small dead body in the neglected, overgrown garden of the Springfield, Conn., house of the recently deceased Peacock sisters, Dorothy and Renata. Sgt. Michael O'Malley, who looked like he knew his way to the donut shop, leads the crime investigation, but Paula does her share of detecting, supported by such friends as Lucy Cavanaugh, a fellow filmmaker, and Wanda Babe Chinnery, the proprietor of the local diner where all and sundry come to gossip. Harris does a good job developing her characters, their friendships and romances, though the mystery itself borders on the formulaic. Still, the action builds to a satisfying denouement and gardeners will appreciate the author's insider knowledge. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Quirky, original, and captivating . . . marks the debut of a sure-to-please series.”
- Carolyn Hart, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Award-winning author of the Death on Demand series

“Paula Holliday is a sleuth to watch. With an intriguing mix of gardening savvy, sassy wit, and smart plotting, Rosemary Harris has crafted a clever mystery.”
- Susan Wittig Albert, author of the China Bayles herbal mysteries

“Paula Holliday knows her andromedas and her viburnum. Her creator, Rosemary Harris, knows her pacing and suspense. Fast paced and full of garden lore, Pushing Up Daisies is a great read. If rosemary is for remembrance, Rosemary Harris is an author to remember.”
- Barbara D’Amato, author of Death of a Thousand Cuts

“A very enjoyable read and great tips for gardeners as well.”
- M. C. Beaton, author of the Agatha Raisin series

“Get ready to meet a smart, engaging heroine who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty--literally.”
- Brian Freeman, author of Stalked

"I just love it--intriguing mystery, great characters, and very funny."
- Alison Gaylin, author of Trashed


Product Details

  • File Size: 403 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (February 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003JH86ES
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #514,540 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Blooming Good Mystery Debut February 5, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Rosemary Harris' debut mystery, Pushing Up Daisies, introduces a gutsy heroine with an offbeat supporting cast. The first in the Dirt-y Business Mystery is a blooming success.

Paula Holliday is a gardner with a small landscaping business in Connecticut. Her business is struggling, and Paula spends a great deal of time hanging out in the Paradise Diner, owned by her friend, the outspoken "Babe" Chinnery. When the last member of the Peacock family dies, Paula's time spent at the Springfield Historical Society lands her the job of landscaping the family estate, Halcyon. It's just an accident when she digs up a body on her first day on the job.

Paula, a single woman in her thirties, with a dry sense of humor, pushes Sergeant Mike O'Malley to investigate a murder that could be forty years old. Can Paula weed out the killer in a story of past scandals? It takes some help from a retired cop, Paula's friend, Lucy, and the Mexican landscaping community.

Harris has a solid grasp on gardening details that will please many readers. For those of us without any knowledge of gardening, she supplies a well-constructed mystery with likable characters. Here's hoping the "Dirt-y Business Mystery" series flourishes.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wish It Had Pushed Up More with the Daisies June 18, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Paula Holliday has left behind the rat race of television programming for the quiet life of small town Connecticut. And she's indulging her love of gardening by opening a struggling gardening business. It's hard (and dirty) work, but she enjoys it.

When the mansion and gardens of Halcyon, a local landmark, are left to the historic society, Paula gets the job of restoring the grounds to their former glory. It's a mammoth project, but Paula is excited about the prospect. That is, until she starts digging the first day and finds the remains of a baby. Suddenly, old mysteries are rising to the surface. Who were the parents? Was it one of the spinster sisters who lived at Halcyon? Will digging up old rumors cause fresh pain?

This book had some entertaining moments, but for the most part it was rather bland. About half a dozen of the characters were interesting and memorable; the others were bland and tended to blend together, making it impossible for me to remember who was who.

The plot dragged for the first half, leaving us time to talk about gardening instead. When it did get going, it was interesting. Even then, it wasn't well developed as Paula had a habit of making wild, accurate statements out of nowhere. I kept scratching my head trying to figure out how she reached these correct deductions.

This book had an interesting premise. But it needed more time to put down roots. Instead of being in full bloom, this book was published as soon as it sprouted.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a good start, but..... April 21, 2008
Format:Hardcover
I picked up this book as I am a gardener in Southeastern Connecticut where the story, according to page two, is supposed to take place. Later, the same town is transported to southwestern Connecticut. Then it goes back and forth between the two areas, but it is the same town all along. Except in one part where the name of the town changes for some inexplicible reason. One character goes from Anna to Ann. The main character, Paula, goes for a run through UConn, which is in the Northwestern part of Connecticut, yet she is still in the same town. Finally, one character is supposed to be a Congressman representing the 53rd district for Connecticut, which is rather difficult as the 53rd district is in California.

The story was engaging and I liked the characters. I would probably read another book by Rosemary Harris, but she, and her editor, need to pay a little more attention to the details, as they were very distracting.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Start to a New Mystery Series February 5, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Pushing Up Daisies by Rosemary Harris is a delightful cozy mystery. Paula Holliday has given up her life in New York City to come to Springfield, Connecticut to start a gardening/landscaping business. Getting her first big job, that of reviving the gardens of a mansion recently inherited by the local historical society, Paula uncovers the mummified corpse of an infant. Of course, as in any good cozy mystery, Paula embarks on finding out who buried the infant, much to the dismay of the local police.

I truly enjoyed this mystery. Paula had the requisite wise-cracking friend, actually two of them, her friend Lucy from New York City and Babe, the owner of the local diner. I found the characters well fleshed out and the banter was witty and amusing. Paula's exchanges with Sergeant Mike O'Malley were fun to follow and I'm hoping their relationship develops in the next installment of this proposed series. Because I am from Connecticut I particularly enjoyed this book and found references to things I am familiar with enjoyable, particularly her reference to Dunkin Donuts coffee, one of my favorite things!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone! February 17, 2011
By Maria
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Even if you aren't a regular mystery reader you will love Rosemary Harris's books. Her main character, Paula, is so real she quickly becomes a close, quirky friend and you will want to keep in touch to see what she's been up to! Pushing up Daisies (and its sequels) are funny, fun, entertaining reads, guaranteed! I work in a library and love to recommend Rosemary's books. Everyone loves them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good vacation read
This is a cute mystery with interesting characters. It is a good mystery with a horticultural bent. I didn't figure out whodunit while the end (last chapter or so). Read more
Published 6 months ago by Beverly Clyde
4.0 out of 5 stars Another "cozy" mystery, but very likeable characters.
Perfect for lovers of estate sales and garden tours. The mystery kept my interest and the writing is very friendly to an older reader of many things.
Published 12 months ago by Kathy Jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Gardening Cozy
Rosemary Harris is a great addition to the mystery genre with her quirky sleuth Paula Holliday. She has left New york City and the world of television production to move to... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sarah Vaughn
5.0 out of 5 stars A Slam dunk!
This was my first Dirty Business mystery and I loved it. From the beginning I'm brought into the main focus for the mystery which I loved. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Ellen Rappaport
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring and poorly written pretty much sums it up...
Another so-called "sleuth" with a law enforcement boyfriend who solves a mystery by doing nothing more than driving around town and chatting up potential suspects at the local... Read more
Published on March 6, 2012 by Itsthetruth
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Mystery
If your book club is looking for a light mystery to read, you might enjoy this book. Our library mystery book club read this and everyone enjoyed it. Read more
Published on January 17, 2012 by L. M. Keefer
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Pushing Up Daisies: A Dirty Business Mystery

Actually a 2 1/2 star would be appropriate. I didn't hate it, but it wasn't quite okay. Read more
Published on April 19, 2011 by S. Kempf
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but error on first page!
Think this is a good book - little predictable with the characters but like it all the same. Glaring geography error in the early paragraphs - very disapponted and hoping that it... Read more
Published on March 31, 2011 by Melissa6943
5.0 out of 5 stars Great debut mystery
Paula Halladay mixes the urban and suburban and the earth with the dirt. A funny and hip sleuth relocated to suburban Connecticut. Read more
Published on February 22, 2011 by J. B. Santo
4.0 out of 5 stars Gardening and mayhem
Pushing Up Daisies is the first in the Dirty Business series by Rosemary Harris. Paula Holliday gives up her media exec career to move to CT to start a gardening business. Read more
Published on February 20, 2011 by Mary R. Fairchild
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More About the Author

The author of Pushing Up Daisies, Dead Head and Slugfest, Rosemary Harris writes contemporary novels that have been called "quirky, original and captivating" Carolyn Hart, "a wild and funny ride" Crimespree Magazine, "one of the best first fiction titles of 2008" Library Journal, "a nifty puzzle" Publishers Weekly and "hilarious" Kirkus Reviews. Julia Spencer calls them "a must read for cozy readers!"

Her newest book is a standalone novel called The Bitches of Brooklyn (available August 2013) Four friends await the arrival of a fifth at a Cape Cod bungalow where they spend an all-girls weekend every summer. But this time the fifth woman doesn't show. instead she sends a note that reads "I've run off with one of your men."

Fast, funny and filled with Harris' trademark snappy dialogue, The Bitches of Brooklyn are colorful women forced to reevaluate their friendships, their marriages - and their memories.

The four books in the Dirty Business series feature amateur sleuth Paula Holliday. In her debut novel, PUSHING UP DAISIES, Paula - a transplanted city girl who moves to the suburbs - finds a mummified body. That book was inspired by a real mummified body found not far from Rosemary's home in suburban Connecticut and was nominated for both the Agatha and the Anthony for Best First Novel of 2008.

DEAD HEAD, asks the question, "How well do we really know our neighbors?" when one of Paula's clients, a well-liked and respected member of the community is discovered to be a fugitive from the law.

NPR (CT) called it "..a perfect summer read" and RT Magazine gave it "4 Stars!"

Slugfest, The Flower Show Murders, takes place at a fictional flower show where more than just the plants are dying. RT Booklovers gave it 4 Stars and called it "an absolute treat."

Rosemary is past president of Mystery Writers of America NY Chapter and past president of Sisters in Crime New England. She is a member of CAPA (CT Authors and Publishers and RWA, Romance Writers of America.

When she's not writing or reading, Harris finds time for gardening, hiking the national parks and volunteering at Habitat for Humanity. She and her husband have been on numerous HFH trips including builds in New Orleans, Cambodia, Mexico, Tanzania, El Salvador, Trinidad and China. With the help of many friends in the book publishing industry, they have founded a community library in central Tanzania. They live - with a large golden retriever - in NYC and Fairfield County, CT.

Visit her at www.rosemaryharris.com

TEN THINGS YOU PROBABLY DON'T KNOW ABOUT ROSEMARY
SHE..
1- OWNS 500 COOKIE CUTTERS (AND LOVES TO BAKE)
2- IS A MASTER GARDENER
3- MADE IT TO THE TOP OF MT. KILIMANJARO
4- PRODUCED A VIDEO ON SIGN LANGUAGE FOR THE DEAF
5- HAS MET THREE FIRST LADIES
6- KISSED PETE TOWNSEND
7- TREKKED TO EVEREST BASE CAMP
8- WISHES SHE COULD SING LIKE PATSY CLINE AND PLAY TENNIS LIKE ROGER FEDERER
9- COLLECTS UGLY LAMPS FROM THE 40S AND 50S
10-LETS HER DOG SLEEP ON THE BED EVEN THOUGH IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE UNHEALTHY

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