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Shoots to Kill (Flower Shop Mysteries, No. 7) Mass Market Paperback – August 5, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
Book 7 of 18 in the Flower Shop Mystery Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A great mystery read!" -- Maggie Sefton

About the Author

Kathleen Collins has a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Wayne State University, an M.F.A. in Theatre Arts/Television Writing from UCLA, and over 12 years of teaching experience at the community college level. She has written for Southwest Regional Laboratory for Educational Research and Development and co-written a course for parents of hearing-impaired babies for the John Tracy clinic.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Obsidian (August 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451224744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451224743
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Beverly L. Archer VINE VOICE on January 27, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When she was younger Abby Knight was Elizabeth's babysitter. Back then Elizabeth, frustrated Abby by trying to be just like here. Elizabeth, now known as Libby is back and mothering has changed. In fact it's worse. Not only has she changed her name to resemble Abby's, but she seems bent on stealing Abby's identity as well. She's even after Abby's boyfriend Marco. But imitation really becomes the sincerest form of trouble when Abby finds herself the accused dupe in a bizarre murder plot. It's up to Abby to find the real killer and shine the light on Libby's scheme.

It's been a while since I read a book from this series. I don't know how I managed to lose track of the new books because this is a series I truly enjoy. Abby is a strong and likeable character. She even has a good relationship with her mother (though not a perfect one - anyone would find it difficult to handle the crafts that Abby's mom keeps creating for Abby to sell in the flower shop.) Abby's hunky love interest, Marco, is a delight to read about.
Even though I enjoyed this 7th installment in the series, at times it was a frustrating read - not because Collins isn't a masterful storyteller. She is. It's just that I felt Abby's frustration over the fact that everyone, including Marco and Abby's mom seemed to think Libby was harmless - that Abby should be flattered by Libby's attempts to be like Abby. Gracious people! Libby fits the bill of a horror movie stalker.

I have to admit there was some humor to the situation (though identify theft is a serious matter.) That's what I like so much about this series - the humor and light heartedness. Yes, Abby is constantly finding dead bodies or being accused of murder.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Abby Knight is not thrilled when Elizabeth Blume returns to town. Abby babysat Elizabeth years ago which was not a happy experience and Abby doubts Elizabeth has changed much over the years. Sure enough, Elizabeth soon changes her name to Libby, dyes her hair red, and imitates Abby in many other ways. All of this is irritating, but when Libby seems to come between Abby and boyfriend Marco, Abby is furious. Even worse, Abby is a chief suspect when there is a murder. Now Abby has to solve the murder, try to win back Marco, and get Libby out of her life, all this while trying to run her flower shop!

I always enjoy my visits to Abby and her flower shop and "Shoots to Kill" is no different. This is the seventh book in the Flower Shop cozy mystery series and the characters feel like old friends at this point. It's nice to see Lottie and Grace, Abby's helpers in the flower shop, also help Abby solve the mystery, although I was less thrilled that Abby was helping Marco in his private investigating - it felt too much like Stephanie helping Ranger in Janet Evanovich's books. There is a nice sense of humor throughout the book (Abby's mother and her artistic endeavors provide most of the humor) mixed in with a sense of seriousness (Libby's brother Oliver is very troubled). Unfortunately, while author Kate Collins does her best to breathe fresh air into the plot line of someone stealing someone else's identity, (and it does provide some good plot elements involving Abby's relation with Marco), the plot line is limiting. Collins does do a good job of providing several suspects, but it's pretty easy to figure out who the killer is and it becomes a matter of figuring out how and why.

"Shoots to Kill" isn't the best book in the Flower Shop cozy mystery series, but it's still an enjoyable read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Very few people are as happy as Abby Knight is. She gets on great with her family; her developing relationship with private investigator Marco Salvatore is strong and intense; and she loves working in her florist shop Bloomers.

Elizabeth "Libby" Blume returns to town to Abby's horror as she knows how treacherous the woman is since she babysat her as a child and tried to steal her identity. Libby asks for a job at Abby's store, but Abby says no. Instead Libby opens up an art store up the block from Bloomers that is almost identical in looks; she also manages to make herself look like Abby's twin. She interferes with Abby's relationship with Marco; causing a breakup. When Libby's mom turns up dead, everyone assumes the daughter killed her mostly due to Abby's behavior towards Libby, but evidence is lacking. Abby investigates seeking the proof although two other suspects with strong motives surface including the victim's mentally disturbed son meds he does not always take..

Kate Collins keeps getting better with each new book she writes, which is saying a lot as her backlist is top rate (see A ROSE FROM THE DEAD). The amateur sleuth investigation is fun to follow as the key characters are fully developed especially the "twins" and Marco; yet there is plenty of action filled with plausible twists. Often amusing, the fun in the tale is Abby's deep desire to prove Libby committed the homicide, but every clue leads away from the manipulative minx to other people. The Abby-Marco romantic subplot with its Libby-induced troubles adds to the heroine's need to find the proof as SHOOTS TO KILL is an entreating whodunit.

Harriet Klausner
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