THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE CONFEDERATE ROSE
Albert expertly weaves three mysteries into one engaging novel in this third entry in her Depression era-set series. We learn more about newspaperman Charlie Dickens, and all of the club ladies come into sharper focus. The historical detail is spot-on, and the story moves at a good pace. While there is perhaps a little too much time devoted to backstory, this is, overall, a solid, well-plotted mystery with likable characters.
The Darling Dahlias Gardening Club is never at a loss for a project, whether it’s weeding the vegetable plot they maintain for the townsfolk or solving little mysteries around town. When member Dorothy Rogers’ pillow is mauled by a cat, she discovers mysterious symbols done in needlepoint that may be a historical cipher. And Angelina Biggs is acting very oddly. But the group’s biggest concern is Verna Tidwell, who stands accused of embezzling a large sum of money from the county coffers, a crime the girls are sure she did not commit. (PRIME CRIME, Sep., 304 pp., $24.95)