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The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies (Darling Dahlias Mysteries) Hardcover – July 5, 2011
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“Colorful characters and evocative period details will keep cozy fans absorbed.”—Publishers Weekly
“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
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.
Top customer reviews
Ms. Albert, has a wonderful method of writing Historical Fiction that makes you a part of the times. She not only researches her times, implements in use, language, foods, cost of living, but throws in a time-related mystery or two for good measure.
This novel has us wondering who the two new ladies in town are. Yes, yes, we know what the story around town is, but, there is just something 'off' about it. Then, a strange man comes looking for them and even more shocking details come out via the beauty parlor. Could Al Capone be involved?
And, what does the new Telephone Booth have to do with a plot? Also, those Naked Ladies on Ms. Hamer's lawn, well my heavens, is all I have to say.
Recipes, homemade cleaning remedies and gardening tips are included. This novel had me talking about the Crash of '29 (that is 1929 for the young among us,) and housing foreclosures, Pres. Hoover and the unemployed. I learned that we are in almost identical times. I'm not so sure we learned from the past this go-round, perhaps this book can have a social impact. Well, read it and discuss it with your friends.
An Excellent read. Now for the next....Please Ms. Albert?
Her main characters become like old friends. One of my favorite authors.
That peace begins to crumble, however, when two mysterious women move into town. The president of the Dahlias, Lizzy Lacy, and her friends are soon involved in trying to discover the identity of the newcomers, Nona Jean Jamison and Miss Lake. Some are even saying they are the original "Naughty and Nice" almost-naked dancers from Ziegfeld's Frolic! Is the rumor true? And are the ties they seem to have with Al Capone's network in Chicago real? Nona Jean denies their queries, but the ladies still suspect something dark and dangerous in her past. While they are each dealing with their own separate problems (including Lizzy's increasingly overbearing mother, Bessie's long-lost lover and the possibility that Myra May's best friend Violet will move away from Darling for good), the ladies band together to protect their town and get to the bottom of the mystery.
I love Ms. Albert's books, and this new series is a wonderful replacement for the soon-to-be-ending Miss Potter series. Albert's greatest talent lies in her ability to capture the spirit of a time and transport the reader effortlessly into the period. Her descriptions of clothing and daily products, language and common chores all combine to give a nice picture of the era. In addition, her characters are full-bodied and real, and her plots are always complex enough to put them beyond the genre of your basic "cozy mystery." Some of the best passages in this book are the historical descriptions and explanations - I especially enjoyed learning how a telephone switchboard worked!
A wonderful book that I recommend whole-heartedly.
This book is the second in the series and continues to build on the lives of the women introduced in the first novel, yet it can stand alone if you missed the first. The characters are well drawn and interesting. And Albert's interest in botanicals still comes through.