Reviews for Pushing Up Daisies : A Dirty Business Mystery


Booklist Reviews 2007 December #2
Former documentary filmmaker Paula Holliday has left New York for Springfield, Connecticutt, and has started a landscaping business. She is thrilled when the Springfield Historical Society hires her to renovate the gardens of Halcyon, the estate of the prominent Peacock family, whose owner has just died. Shortly after Paula begins the renovation, she digs up the body of an infant who has been dead for many years. While she is unraveling this mystery, a rival landscape-company owner is stabbed to death with a garden implement, and one of Paula's employees is the chief suspect. Are the two deaths related? Are they connected to a young Mexican woman who disappeared around the time the baby died? Paula solves all three mysteries while readying the garden for a fund-raiser for the historical society. Gardening topics frame the story, which includes an appealing main character, nicely developed secondary characters, and a local police officer who seems destined to be Paula's romantic interest and reluctant partner in solving crimes in future installments. Recommend this to fans of Veronica Heley's series starring avid gardener Ellie Quicke. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2007 December #1
A TV producer turned landscaper unearths trouble aplenty when she restores the gardens of a historic Connecticut home.Sick of the mindless exposÚs demanded of her by the media conglomerate that gobbled up her boutique TV production company, Paula Holliday took her severance package to rustic Springfield, bought a bungalow and got in touch with her roots--literally. Now pH Factor, Gardening Solutions has just landed its first big job, all because Richard Stapley of the Springfield Historical Society thinks Paula might renovate the garden of Halcyon, home to the late, eccentric Peacock sisters, better (or at least cheaper) than Guido Chiaramonte, owner of Springfield's biggest nursery. Of course the job has its challenges: the overgrown shrubbery, the decrepit greenhouse, the mummified infant corpse buried in the herb garden. The first two are relatively easy to solve for Mexican day-laborers Hugo Jurado and Felix Ontivares. (As a bonus, Felix is actually a wealthy politician in his own country, plus incredibly sexy to boot.) The last item, though, is a poser. Cute but pudgy detective Mike O'Malley wants Paula to forget about any amateur sleuthing. But her New York galpal Lucy Cavanaugh and her local buddy Babe Chinnery give Paula their full support, and soon she's digging up more than just pansies.Paula's debut is better written than most two-suitor romances posing as mysteries, but the solution is more convoluted than a corn maze. Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 2007 October #1
When a former thirty-something media exec turns to landscaping in suburban Connecticut, a mummified body unearths trouble and secrets for her and her friends in this debut. Master gardener Harris lives in New York City and Fairfield County, CT. Cross-country driving tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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Library Journal Reviews 2007 December #1

Hired by the local historical society to restore the gardens of Halcyon, a Connecticut estate, Paula Holliday, who left New York City to open a landscaping business in the suburbs, discovers the mummified body of a baby. Harris, a master gardener, makes a charming debut with this botanical mystery, but as sometimes happens with new authors, she devotes too many pages to the garden restoration and not enough to fleshing out the mystery. For cozy fans who like their amateur sleuths working in a particular profession. Harris lives in New York City and Fairfield County, CT. [A Minotaur First Edition Selection; library marketing campaign; see Prepub Mystery, LJ 10/1/07.]

[Page 91]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 December #3

in Harris's cozy debut, budding landscaper Paula Holliday turns sleuth after the former documentary filmmaker, a New York City transplant to the suburbs, unearths a box containing "a small dead body" in the neglected, overgrown garden of the Springfield, Conn., house of the recently deceased Peacock sisters, Dorothy and Renata. Sgt. Michael O'Malley, who "looked like he knew his way to the donut shop," leads the crime investigation, but Paula does her share of detecting, supported by such friends as Lucy Cavanaugh, a fellow filmmaker, and Wanda "Babe" Chinnery, the proprietor of the local diner where all and sundry come to gossip. Harris does a good job developing her characters, their friendships and romances, though the mystery itself borders on the formulaic. Still, the action builds to a satisfying denouement and gardeners will appreciate the author's insider knowledge. (Feb.)

[Page 37]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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