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The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover Hardcover – March 6, 2018
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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About the Author
Susan Wittig Albert is the NYT bestselling author of over 100 books. Her work includes four mystery series: China Bayles, the Darling Dahlias, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and the Robin Paige Victorian mysteries. She has published three award-winning historical novels, as well as YA fiction, memoirs, and nonfiction. Susan currently serves as an editor of StoryCircleBookReviews and helps to coordinate SCN's online class program. She and her husband Bill live in the Texas Hill Country, where she writes, gardens, and raises a varying assortment of barnyard creatures.
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I’ve read all of the Susan Wittig Alberts mystery series books and the series written as Robin Page and wonderful books they all are. Albert is one of the truly great wordsmith writing today. All of her books are all very well-plotted and all have a well-developed cast of believable characters.
I’m so glad that this series found a new home and that there will be more to come. This series just makes it into my criteria for a historical series, being that it takes place before I was born. Granted it is only ten years. Albert’s descriptive writing in this series is probably the thing that I like the most. As I read this book, I feel that I am transported back to the 1930’s and walking through the interesting community of Darling, Alabama. The story has been well researched and I particularly enjoy reading the prices of food items, listening to residents provide the views on prohibitions and moonshiners. Albert even provides some political views of residents as to how the upcoming election of FDR and Huey Long.
It’s 1934 and the Darling Dahlias are busy canning and baking pumpkin pies for the Darling Blessing Box and the Dixie Regional Barbershop Quartet competition. The Lucky Four Clovers get some bad news when the lead singer is ordered by his doctor to not sing for a while. A replacement, Mr. Whitney Whitworth, is found things look good for the Lucky Four Clovers. Liz Lacy’s gets a phone call from Benton Mosely, asking her to go over the Regina Whitworth’s and see why she is in such a panic-stricken state. Liz soon finds out that Whitney hadn’t come home last night. At about the time that Liz is heading to see Regina, Charlie Dickens, editor of the Darling Dispatch gets a phone call and rushes to the scene of a car wreck on a narrow county road. The body in the car is identified at Whitney Whitworth. Dickens is making notes at the scene of the accident scene and notices some damage to the car that appears that it was no accident. Dickens then provides Sheriff Norris. Sheriff Norris with the help of several residents begins to investigate and soon discover that Mrs. Whitworth was planning on filing for divorce and three businesses that Whitney was a “silent partner” in had gone to him for additional capital and he had turned them down. Could one of them have gotten even, rather than getting madder?
Delicious sounding recipes are also included with the book.
I’m hoping that there will be more books coming in this series. I so look forward visiting Darling and learning what the colorful residents have been up to since the last visit.
I read the Kindle edition.
What a charming novel. The book opens with a letter to the reader. This seems like a warm and friendly way to introduce Ms. Wittig Albert’s new book.
It’s 1934 in Darling, Alabama and we’re in the middle of the Great Depressions. But the irrepressible citizens of Darling can’t be kept down for long. The local barbershop quartet the Lucky Four Clovers are about to compete in the Regional Barbershop Competition.
The phone lines get messed up and Mr. Whitworth of the Lucky Four Clovers is killed. Although prohibition has ended, there are still moonshiners creating their own special brew. The local Sheriff is on the trail of one who is operating in the Darling area. He even suspects who it is.
The book is filled with charming “Southernisms” to make the reader smile and chuckle. It is both well written and plotted. It is an easy read with little mayhem or violence. It’s just a gentle journey through a small Southern town. While there is tension in the story, it is not a stomach-clenching kind. Rather, it is a presence in the mind so the reader knows they are perusing a mystery. Sufficient background information is given about the major characters to flesh them out (and for those of us who haven’t read the entire series), but not so much that it intrudes on the story. I am almost embarrassed to admit that this is my first Susan Wittig Albert novel, but it won’t be my last. I truly enjoyed this little book.
I want to thank NetGalley and Persevero Press/Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)/Members’ Titles for forwarding to me a copy of this charming little book to read and enjoy.
As a new reader to this series can I conclude that I besotted in this series. Yes, utterly charmed and in need of the previous books. From the very first page was I intrigued by the story and engrossed in the mystery of one the missing man, a member of the Lucky Four Clover quartet. To be honest, I would have read this book without the mystery, I was so charmed by all the characters, their lives in the little town during the depression with bootleggers and a struggling telephone system. And then we have The Darling Dahlias, the garden club, the heart of this book and their digging into the mystery of the missing man and what happened to him.
I found that Susan Wittig Albert has really captured the 30s. The book is atmospheric and the characters are, despite being new to me, easy to remember and I found myself quite enjoying their everyday plight with money and relationship problems. The 30s is such a fascinating period and it's interesting to read about ordinary people's lives in a little town during the depression. Of course, with the addition of some mysterious events.
Most recent customer reviews
Not very many of the usual characters were in the book (I realize most of...Read more