Saturday, July 15, 2017

Nightshade for Warning

Author:  Bailey Cattrell
Series:  An Enchanted Garden Mystery #2
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Berkley
Publication Date:  May 2, 2017

Description:  Elliana Allbright’s custom-made perfume shop and the Enchanted Garden behind it are garnering all sorts of attention, but a dead body could bury her in bad publicity. . . .
 Ellie’s business and personal life have been flourishing in her hometown of Poppyville, California, since she opened Scents & Nonsense. She uses her very special skills to craft perfumes that almost magically ease heartache, inspire change, and bring joy—and her customers love to relax in the beautiful garden behind her shop with her corgi, Dash, and her cat, Nabokov. She even lives right next to the garden, in a compact “tiny house”—and she’s excited to hear that a journalist is going to write a feature about her home and garden for a national magazine.
But then the journalist is found dead, and suspicion falls on the last person to see him—who just happens to be Ellie’s brother’s girlfriend. So before everything goes to seed, Ellie must rely on her powers—observational and otherwise—to pick out the real killer from an ever-expanding bouquet of culprits.

My Review

The first thing that really strikes me about books by this author (as well as her alter ego Bailey Cates), is that the covers are bright, whimsical and really draw the readers attention. Once she has your attention with her covers, she draws the reader in with well plotted mysteries set in charming locations with characters that are whimsical, likable and down to earth. This series is no exception.

If you enjoyed the characters in the first book Ellis and the cast of secondary characters all make a return in this installment.  I really like Ellie's character.  She is well written and comes across the page as warm, caring, likable with just a touch of other worldliness.  I wouldn't call this a paranormal cozy but Ellie does have a bit of what people might call a sixth sense.  This time around, we get introduced to her brother Colby and his girlfriend Larken, both of whom I liked and hope that we get to see more of in future books.

The mystery is well plotted and unfolds evenly throughout the course of the story.  Larken is accused of murder and of course Detective Lang is pushing hard for her as the prime suspect.  Ellie knows she is innocent and so she undertakes her own investigation to clear Larken's name.  The author provides us with plenty of diverse suspects both old and new and weaves her clues throughout.  The identity of the killer was revealed in a dramatic fashion and quite frankly, was a complete surprise to me.

This is a series that has quickly captured my attention and has me entertained with each new installment.  I love the description of Ellie's tiny house, garden and her shop.  The author's descriptive style allows me to picture them all clearly and has me wanting to make a visit to Poppyville.  The characters are well written and engaging.  The mysteries are well plotted and will keep the reader guessing.  I have really enjoyed both books and look forward to more from this author and this series.


  1. Thanks for sharing your review, Peggy. I have to check out this series.

  2. Sounds like a great series. Thanks for sharing.