Author: Rosemary Harris
Release Date: February 5, 2008
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the back cover:
Meet Paula Holliday, a transplanted media exec who trades her stilettos for garden clogs when she makes the move from the big city to the suburbs to start a gardening business. Paula can handle deer, slugs, and the occasional human pest—but she’s not prepared for the mummified body she finds while restoring the gardens at Halcyon, a local landmark.
Casual snooping turns serious when a body is impaled on a garden tool and one of Paula’s friends is arrested for the crime. Aided by the still-hot aging rocker who owns the neighborhood greasy spoon, a wise-cracking former colleague, and a sexy Mexican laborer with a few secrets of his own, Paula digs for the truth and unearths more dirty business the town has kept buried for years…
I had never heard of Pushing Up Daisies before I received it as a surprise in the mail. I thought it sounded cute and was eager to give it a try. I'm really glad I did – Pushing Up Daisies is a fun mystery with a great cast of characters.
Paula is a lot of fun and works very well as the central character in a mystery series. She is developed very well through the course of Pushing Up Daisies. The reader gets a sense of her loyalty and sense of honor when it comes to the people she works with, which is great. However, what we don't get much of is her back story. I would love it if Paula's history was explored more thoroughly in subsequent novels.
The Paula's personal story reminded me very much of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels. Harris sets up two love interests in Pushing Up Daisies for Paula – Sergeant O'Malley, who is Paula's contact at the police department and who thinks she's a bit of a conspiracy theorist, and Felix, the hot day laborer who is more than what he seems. A little formulaic, yes, but it keeps the tension present within the storyline! I only hope that Harris doesn't make Janet Evanovich's mistake of dragging out the character's decision between the two men to the point where it gets old.
I'm looking forward to the next book in the Dirty Business series, The Big Dirt Nap, which was released in February 2009. All in all, this is a quick, light and fun read, and is a promising start to a great new mystery series!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review!