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The Begonia Bribe
A Garden Society Mystery #2
Alyse Carlson

Berkley Prime Crime
May 7, 2013/ ISBN 0425251624
Cozy Mystery


Reviewed by Cheryl Green

Camellia Harris is back in the second of the Garden Society Mysteries. This time, the Roanoke Garden Society is hosting the Little Miss Begonia Pageant at Elmwood Park. Cam is busy coordinating just about everything that concerns the pageant. Getting the area beautified, getting the girls settled, and making nice with the judges. The pageant got stuck with Telly Stevens as a judge because WONK - the TV station wouldn't televise the pageant without Telly being a judge. Telly, a well-known womanizer, has had his face slapped more times than anyone can count.

Benny, one of the gardening helpers, tells Cam there is something that needs her attention right away. When Cam gets to the planting area she sees a dead Telly Stevens in the nearby bushes. There is a flask next to him. With such large group of people as potential suspects, will Cam be able to dig through the dirt without getting herself deadheaded and find the killer?

Things to ponder: Why was Mindy Blankenship upset that Telly was one of the judges for the Little Miss Begonia Pageant? What is the reason that Cam doesn't like her dad to be a favorite of the ladies? Who vandalized the bandstand?

This sophomore book by Alyse Carlson is as good as her freshman entry - The Azalea Assault. It has fun interesting characters. The book is a fast paced page turner. I hope Ms. Carlson is dreaming up the next Garden Society Mystery. Please don't make me wait too long to find out what Cam and company are getting up to next. So if you don't mind getting your hands dirty, then The Begonia Bribe is the book for you.

Reviewed 2013