Book - 2005
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"River City, Missouri, florist Bretta Solomon is happy to spend an occasional day off with her helper, Toby, a slow-witted young man whose mother died from a terminal illness, leaving him on his own. Everyone in town, including Bretta, takes extra care to make sure Toby is doing okay. However, today, before Bretta can relax, she must fulfill another promise: her father's new – and younger – girlfriend wants to redecorate Bretta’s home. Bretta is less than thrilled about the task ahead. But the unexpected news that Toby has been killed by a swarm of killer bees deliberately planted in his home puts decorating on the back burner. Determined to find out the truth behind Toby’s murder, Bretta is once again in the thick of things in this charming, delightful cozy mystery series from Janis Harrison."--Publisher.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION HAR
Characteristics: 245 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Bind weed


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Cdnbookworm Nov 09, 2013

This mystery is part of a series featuring flower shop owner Bretta Solomon. Set in River City, Missouri this series is billed as gardening mysteries.
A young man with developmental disabilities, and who has lived on his own since his mother died is the first victim. Toby seems harmless, making spending money by working for a number of town merchants that his mother introduced him to before her death. Toby sweeps sidewalks, washes windows and does other small odd jobs. But someone considered him enough of a threat to kill him in a particularly nasty way. As Bretta thinks back on comments Toby made earlier in the day, and other shopkeepers tell her their thoughts, she starts to make connections between the missing plants in his mother's garden and Toby's death. When another victim is also killed in a particularly nasty case of poisoned bubble bath, Bretta worries that a recent unexplained gift of toiletries to her store may also be suspect.
Meanwhile at home, Bretta's father seems inordinately involved in the design of the house's bedrooms and seems to be spending a lot of time with the young woman proposing the work plan. Bretta can't help but wonder what the relationship is between her father and the young woman.
An interesting mystery series that I hadn't dipped into before.

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