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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
Even though Darci Shelton's husband Wade is as healthy as a horse it has always been her greatest fear that she would wind up like her mother, a widow forced to work two jobs to support her nine year old son Paxton. This fear was the driving force that caused her to save for five years in order to open her flower shop Petal Pushers. With the help of her cousin and best friend Charlotte, along with Hoyt, a local teen that works in the shop, she plans on making Petal Pushers a success, but only gives herself a year to do it. When some strange occurrences start happening at the shop, they soon come to the conclusion that they might have a ghost, luckily though the ghost seems to have a green thumb. If opening a shop isn't enough for Darci, she accidentally stumbles upon a clue as to what might have happened to a local businessman who was murdered. Will she be able to help the police solve the murder mystery without losing her own life in the process? What about the "ghost" at Petal Pushers? Can Darci figure out who is haunting the shop? What about making her business a success? Can she show a profit in the first year or will Petal Pushers and her dreams of success fade to red at the end of the year?
Dixon, Kentucky, is the setting for "Poison, Perennials, and a Poltergeist", the first book in the 'Petal Pushers mystery series' by Tina D.C. Hayes. If this book is any indicator the author has a best selling cozy mystery series on her hands! The author provides so many interesting elements to grab and hold the readers' attention from the very first pages! I found the characters so very endearing. I could understand where Darci's fears came from. I could easily envision her sitting at her desk each month with a red and black ink pen balancing the books, hoping to show a profit! I loved the "ghostly" element in the story, and thought it was great that we were able to see things through the eyes of the ghost. Ms. Hayes touches on so many important topics in this story, such as the impact of drunk drivers, the obstacles that same sex couples often face, bit of Native American history, and the importance of feeling useful. The story that took place with Mabel at the Retirement Home put a smile on my face! I found the monthly newsletter that featured a flower of the month to actually be educational! The descriptions of food, along with the different flowers, was so visually appealing, and honestly left me wanting a Krispy Kreme donut! A neat little mystery, a ghost who lives at Petal Pushers, the small town feel, along with quaint sayings that often had me laughing out loud, together with a cast of characters that are endearing, sometimes bumbling, and always entertaining, left me anxious to read the next book in the 'Petal Pushers series'! On a scale of one to five I would give this cozy mystery a six because it is just that good!