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  • Posted April 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Rosemary Harris writes another enjoyable jocular mystery.

    Professional gardener Paula Holliday travels from Springfield, Connecticut to Manhattan to attend the Big Apple Flower Show at the Wagner Center. For Paula the return to New York is a bittersweet reminder of when she burned out as a TV producer, but flowers should make for a fun event. Allegra Douglas strongly opposes vendors like Paula selling trashy sculptures by Primo Dunstan at the horticultural gala while director Kristi Reynolds believes they are a necessary evil if her show is going to hit the big time.

    However, Reynolds' smooth show starts off ugly when someone murders Connie Anzalone's prized veronicas. That is followed by Otis Randolph a worker falling down an elevator shaft to his death. Soon afterward student attendee Garland Bleimeister is found dead in the nearby Hudson. Paula, who met the victim when she took his bag to her table, teams up with security guard Rolanda Knox and investigates who had the motive to kill Bleimeister as many participates had the opportunity. They narrow the suspects down to Reynolds, school botanist Jamal Harrington, and the Javits Curse pranksters while NYPD leans toward local student Jamal Harrington.

    The latest Dirty Business amateur sleuth (see Pushing Up Daisies and Dead Head) is an amusing tale as the heroine's return to New York is loaded with pranks, murder and a cute hunk. The whodunit is clever, but takes a backseat to the gardeners' invasion of Manhattan; who would have thought The Big Dirt Nap crowd could be so out of control as any moment grateful readers will expect Lou Costello to arrive holding Mrs. Crumbcake's perforated bucket (see the TV show's "Jail"). Rosemary Harris writes an enjoyable jocular mystery.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 24, 2013

    Once in a while, I read a mystery book that just does not captur

    Once in a while, I read a mystery book that just does not capture my attention and imagination the way I hoped it would. I never see it as the author's fault--I just see it as one of those things. Unfortunately, this is such a book. No doubt it is well-written and has a good mystery story to it, but I found myself and outsider and uninvolved. I just could not connect with the story nor the characters.

    The first problem is possibly the setting. I have virtually no interest in flower shows, so maybe I shouldn't have picked it up in the first place. Clearly, one would not think that a heinous crime would be connected with such a docile setting, but indeed it is in the book. Sometimes I can look past the setting, but I just was not able to in this book for some reason.

    I will say that I suppose I got a glimpse into what a flower show is, and I don't think any of the characters in the book had ever experienced so much action at a simple flower show. That made this book somewhat intriguing, and I might find that a reread would make me enjoy it more. I don't think I fully understood and appreciated some of the terminology and events in the book, so this is something I am indeed open to.

    I am grateful that the profanity was mild and that there were no sex scenes. There certainly are unexpected issues and the typical "who done it" interest. The author writes fairly well, but I was unable to engross myself in the story. My recommendation would be that if you have an interest in flowers and mystery books, this may be the book for you. And since this is in a series, maybe I missed out by not reading the other books in the series. I wish I could give it a higher rating because it is truly not a bad book, and it is clear that many people enjoy it. I just didn't happen to be one of them.

    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012


    I like her books but $7.99 is too much to pay for a E-book.

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  • Posted July 7, 2012

    “Slugfest”, the fourth in the Dirty Business Mysteri

    “Slugfest”, the fourth in the Dirty Business Mysteries, opens with Paula Holliday back in her old stomping grounds of New York City. She is there to help a friend and reclusive artist from Springfield, CT by selling his artwork at a legendary Northeast flower show. Little does she know that the next four days will involve murder, mayhem, The Javits Curse, and a cast of diverse and zany characters.

    I have been a fan of Rosemary Harris’ since her first in the series, “Pushing Up Daisies”. I prefer the books that take place in her new hometown, but this was a refreshing look at Paula in action in NYC.

    Rosemary Harris has a great style of writing and always presents fresh mysteries. I did feel that a few of the most suspenseful parts were a little rushed, but overall it’s a really good story. I found myself laughing out loud several times. I hope to see Paula's new friends J.C. and Rolanda “Fort” Knox again, perhaps visiting Paula in Connecticut?

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  • Posted June 29, 2012

    There are good reasons why Rosemary Harris's Dirty Business myst

    There are good reasons why Rosemary Harris's Dirty Business mysteries keep getting nominated for prizes, Anthony and Agatha included: They are a pleasure to read, thanks to the affable narrator, sleuth, and professional gardener, Paula Holliday; plus each story has been among the best mystery/puzzles I've ever read in the cozy genre. Harris constantly surprises and twists your sensibilities, no more so than the fourth and latest in the series, SLUGFEST. Paula is off to her former haunt, New York City, and the Big Apple Flower Show, where she'll be hawking garden art for a friend back home. I don't want to say much more -- pieces of the puzzle are both scattered and placed throughout the early going, and to comment on the fun might give something away -- but you have to hear what Paul thinks of one character's outfit. "I let the wardrobe conversation dry up when I remembered who I was talking to. Tonight's package was wrapped in fluffy white Mongolian lamb that mercifully covered another scene of embroidered marine life. Clearly the dress code at the St. George had loosened up." Solid entertainment.

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  • Posted June 17, 2012

    This is the 4th book in the Paula Holliday gardening series. I h

    This is the 4th book in the Paula Holliday gardening series. I have read the previous books and enjoy this refreshing mystery series.

    This entry takes the reader behind the scenes at a top flower show. We are introduced to quirky exhibitors, fun and multi-dimensional exhibit hall staff and quite possibly a new love interest for Paula. The story unwinds at a pleasing pace, the murder does not happen at the beginning of the book which allows the reader to enjoy Paula and the show scene. As more characters are introduced along the way, the story goes off on several tangents making it impossible for me to determine the murderer. That in my opinion is an excellent mystery. It was fun seeing Paula back in New York and out of her comfort zone of her small town business. Rosemary Harris effortlessly entwines murder with the world of gardening.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author with the hope that I would post an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2011

    Check out this series; well worth the time; most enjoyable.

    Loved all four of these books. Reminds me of Sue Grafton. I am looking forward to the next one.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    If you like mystery, you must read it!

    SLUGFEST by Rosemary Harris is another mystery in which Paula Holliday, the TV exec turned gardener and owner of Dirty Business, finds herself embroiled in despite her will. Plants, flowers and people die at the Jarvis flower show while Paula, unknowingly, is thought to hold the key to riches.
    The characters are so real that you feel you must know some of them, whether they are the street kid with a green thumb, the security guard studying to become one of New York's finest, the greedy snake oil sales man, the pseudo bimbo with a shady husband or the highbrow old lady of the horticultural society.
    From the Jarvis center to a plush hotel bar midtown, via a west site dive, the action shifts from the mundane drama to the most lethal circumstances, where everybody is a suspect, without revealing the plot until the end.
    Paula is the unwilling Miss Marple with a New Yorker sense of humor and a touch of cynicism that works herself in the scariest situations, dragging in the most unlikely friends.
    Like the other three books by Rosemary Harris, SLUGFEST is a real mystery novel focusing on an intelligent plot and people, without gadgets, expensive cars and unnecessary gore. It made me laugh, kept me interested and I felt sorry there were not another 300 pages or another book to go to at the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2011

    Love Rosemary Harris Books

    I love Rosemary Harris - her books are GREAT! I would love to see another one in the Dirty Business Series!

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  • Posted April 12, 2011


    SLUGFEST by Rosemary Harris is an interesting cozy mystery set in present day.It is the fourth in the "A Dirty Business Mystery" but can be read as a stand alone.Book One,"Pushing Up Daises",Book Two,"The Big Dirt Nap",Book Three,"Dead Head".This is an "Murder She Wrote" sort of story.With characters that charming,witty at times, and will capture your heart. This one is set in a Northeast flower show where not only plants are dying but humans also. It is a murder/mystery with a ragtag list of characters. The list includes a lady named "Fort" Knox,a no-nonsense security guard, Brooklyn's Tumbled Stone King,a high school kid with a green thrumb and a black belt,a lady who hates to leave home without her choice of weapon and is feisty as heck,a marketing guy who is not only slick but has the hottest new thing at the flower show,which could easily repell not only bugs but humans to death.With this team of misfits how will Paula Holliday ever find a killer before he can harm her or anyone else.This is a great summer read full of characters who will prove their worth and some their worthlessness.Paula as always is a great amateur sleuth who gets her man/woman in the end.If you liked the "Murder She Wrote" TV series years ago,you will definitly enjoy this delightful series of a dirty business.This book is a must read for summer,it is light hearted and full of surprises.This book was received for the purpose of review from the author but details can be found at Minotaur Books,an imprint of St. Martin's Publishing and My Book Addiction and More.

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    Posted March 29, 2011

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    Posted June 20, 2011

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    Posted July 17, 2011

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    Posted April 30, 2011

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    Posted April 23, 2011

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    Posted May 4, 2011

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    Posted April 15, 2011

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