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Flowers and Foul Play
Magic Garden #1
Amanda Flower

Crooked Lane
May 8, 2018/ ISBN 978-1-68331-562-9
Mystery/Cozy/Magical

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Poor Fiona Knox! Shortly before the big day, her fiancé dumped her for their wedding cake decorator. Her flower shop was put out of business by a chain florist opening nearby. Then she learns that her beloved godfather, Ian MacCallister, died in a military battle. Fiona is surprised that he has left her his cottage in Scotland.

So off goes Fiona to Scotland to see about her inheritance, only to have her first day in Scotland end up with finding the once magnificent gardens on the grounds of Duncregian near death, but also a real dead human body in the garden! Her uncle's loyal caretaker, Hamish, and his pet red squirrel Duncan are on the premises as well. Hamish becomes the chief suspect in the killing... The victim of murder, Allistair Croft was Ian's attorney and he was not liked by anyone in town, but because of where the body was found among other things, Hamish looks guilty to the local law enforcement.

When the garden comes to life again, Hamish explains that it is because Fiona is the new Keeper of the Garden and it is her presence which enables the garden to thrive. A magical standing stone within the garden holds its own mysteries and magic, and as the story unfolds more and more is revealed, both to Fiona and to the reader. Will Fiona be able to clear Hamish's name and find her own place in the small village? Or will the real killer find out what she's up to and decide to eliminate Fiona too?

A thoroughly enchanting read provided me with hours of reading pleasure as I was introduced to the charming characters. There are a delightful cat, a tame squirrel, and a fox with blue eyes to further the list of exceptional inhabitants of Duncregian! I felt transported to Scotland and enjoyed trying to unravel the mysteries along with Fiona. An inevitable romance with the handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig added just the right amount of romantic suspense and set the stage for future books in the series.

I've enjoyed other series by Amanda Flower and am thrilled that she's woven her authorial magic into this special debut. Highly recommended!

Reviewers Notes: The author writes several other mystery series, including the Magical Bookshop Series

Reviewed 2018
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