Oak and Dagger (White House Gardener Mystery Series #3) [NOOK Book]


When it comes to gardening, Cassandra ?Casey? Calhoun isn?t afraid to get her hands dirty. But when it comes to murder, she?s not the kind of gal to let any killer get away clean...


Despite cooler fall temperatures in Washington, D.C., tempers flare at the White House when important historical documents go missing from the curator?s office and the gardeners are ...
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Oak and Dagger (White House Gardener Mystery Series #3)

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When it comes to gardening, Cassandra “Casey” Calhoun isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. But when it comes to murder, she’s not the kind of gal to let any killer get away clean...


Despite cooler fall temperatures in Washington, D.C., tempers flare at the White House when important historical documents go missing from the curator’s office and the gardeners are blamed. As if that isn’t bad enough, Casey has started receiving death threats, the president’s pooch is digging unsightly holes all over the South Lawn, and the curator has been found dead. All evidence for the murder points to Gordon Sims, the chief gardener. His fingerprints are on the murder weapon, and witnesses saw him arguing with the curator shortly before her death.


With the help of Special Agent Jack Turner, her reluctant sidekick and new flame, Casey works to clear Gordon’s name. Along the way she finds herself in a deadly race against time to discover if there’s a link between the stolen papers, the dog’s holes in the South Lawn, and a rumored two-hundred-year-old treasure—before the killer strikes again...
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Praise for the White House Gardener Mysteries:

“A bright blossom in the garden of cozy mysteries.” —Jacklyn Brady, author of Cake on a Hot Tin Roof

“Credible characters, a fast-paced plot, and a light look at political life in Washington, D.C., will delight cozy fans.”—Publishers Weekly

“[A] delightful debut mystery…just the ticket for all us flustered and withered gardeners… Fans of cozy mysteries will adore this new series, and are sure to find themselves anxious for the next installment!” —Fresh Fiction

"A potboiler of homicide, blackmail, journalism, power and sex—but one that St. James handles with taste as well as verve —The Scarlet Pepper fulfills the promise of last year's series debut, Flowerbed of State, and then some."—Richmond Times-Dispatch

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101619797
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/2/2013
  • Series: White House Gardener Mystery Series , #3
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 212,363
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Dorothy St. James lives a charmed life at the beach just outside Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband, two slightly needy dogs, and a contemplative cat. She earned her bachelor of science in aquaculture, fisheries, and wildlife biology from Clemson University’s School of Agriculture, graduating at the top of her class. She went on to receive a master of public administration from the University of Charleston with an emphasis on environmental urban planning.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 9, 2013

    This is the third installment in the White House Gardener myster

    This is the third installment in the White House Gardener mystery series, and it's the best one yet, though you definitely need to read the previous ones first.  Casey is one of the White House gardeners who always runs into dead bodies, but she was almost a dead body herself.  When she was a child, her father left her and her mom, and a deadly gang came looking for him, ending up killing her Mom and seriously wounding Casey.  Casey spent her remaining childhood years with her grandmother and two aunts, in a charming estate in Charleston, SC. Her aunts got her interested in gardening, while always emphasizing how to be a southern "lady". Casey got the gardening but somehow missed most of the "southern lady" lessons. 

    In this book her past begins to catch up with her, but her present situation takes front and center. Her great friend, and father figure, Gordon, the head WH gardener, has been found unconscious in one of the gardens, but there is also a dead body that seemingly had been murdered by Gordon.  Casey just knows Gordon's not a murderer and goes about, hopefully, proving his innocence.  Buried treasure from Dolly Madison's days in the WH has come back to cause troubles.  Casey is also trying desperately to find seeds from the "founding father's" gardens to begin a new vegetable garden in the present day WH.

    Many interesting facts about the White House fill the pages of this mystery, as Casey chases down a murderer.  She's also getting threatening messages herself.  Romance continues to develop between Casey, and Jack, a Secret Service Agent assigned to the WH.  Characters and mystery are blended excellently in this fun and intriguing mystery.  Sure hope Dorothy St James comes out with more books in this series.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    A Good Mystery

    It all started with a shovel that lands Casey into another case of intrigue and suspense. But this time it's more personal and Casey will pull out all the stops to save her beloved friend. With help from some unexpected sources, the case unfolds with some new discoveries and new beginnings.

    This is a very enjoyable read that I could not put down with all that was going on from a treasure hunt to relationships all woven into an endearing and nicely done drama. The author did a good job in the development of this story and I loved how each chapter flowed from one to the next, never letting me missed any important facts that was necessary to identifying the culprit. Casey is a delightful heroine surrounded by a great cast of characters from Jack, to Gordon and even to Milo. I would love to see more of her Rosebrook family in future stories. Again, an entertaining read and I look forward to more exciting adventures with the White House gardeners.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    Great cozy mystery

    Casey is at it again solving a murder that takes place at the White House, this time involving a close associate. Along the way, we learn more about her life prior to joining the gardening staff, including more information about her father.

    All in all, an easy and enjoyable read.

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Great book

    Loved it. It is an awesome book great ending

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  • Posted April 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A simple tree planting leads to chaos at The White House. A sche

    A simple tree planting leads to chaos at The White House. A schematic is missing from the Grounds Office and a set of important papers has also disappeared from the Curator’s Office. The gardeners are getting blamed for both. On top of that Casey is getting death threats, the First Dog is digging holes all over the South lawn and the First Lady’s sister is creating her own havoc.

    Then the curator is found dead is a secluded garden and all the evidence points at Gordon Sims, the chief gardener. Casey just has to clear his name. When she learns all the chaos and the murder could have something to do with a two hundred year old treasure she realizes she must move fast before the killer strikes again….

    Dollycas’s Thoughts
    Casey Calhoun is a smart spunky protagonist and she is not afraid to get her hands dirty or stand out in the pouring rain to track down the killer. I am happy her relationship with Special Agent Jack Turner is moving forward. We also learn a bit more about Casey’s past.

    There was so much happening in the installment that the pages were flying. The First Lady has her hands full with her twin boys and while her sister is supposed to be there to help she seems to have an agenda all her own. The decorator hired to create the nursery has much more interest in being out in the gardens instead in the space he is responsible for decorating. Jack is acting strange and seems to stand Casey up a lot. Gordon is in the hospital and Casey and Lorenzo have to work together and they never see eye to eye. The assistant curator is a strange little man who just happens to have rented the apartment below Casey.

    Dolley Madison was important to this story. In fact the book starts with a quote from the famous First Lady: “And now, dear sister, I must leave this house or the retreating army will make me a prisoner in it by filling up the road I am directed to take.” Each subsequent chapter starts with a First Lady quote and I really enjoyed all of them.

    Hang on tight! This story is a wild ride! I loved it!

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  • Posted April 2, 2013

    Oak And Dagger is the third book in the A White House Gardener M

    Oak And Dagger is the third book in the A White House Gardener Mystery series by Dorothy St. James.

    Another wonderful story from Dorothy St. James, but I also want to draw the readers attention to the chapter headings. They are quotes from various First Ladies and are quite entertaining.

    Things are hectic for the White House garden staff. First the First Dog has been digging holes in the yard, the President in the middle of planting two trees for the press hits an underground water line and the head gardener, Gordon, has been accused by the White House curator of stealing some files from here office. But in addition to the files that the curator say are missing, there is also a schematic for the sprinkler system missing from Casey's office, too. These files pertained to an item of President Jefferson's, that Dolley Madison gave to a member of the staff to save before the British set fire to the White House and he reportedly buried somewhere in the White House lawn.

    Casey soon hears that the curator was going to meet Gordon in the Children's Garden to confront him once again. She soon finds Gordon face down in a small koi pond, alive, but barely breathing. After Gordon has been transported to the hospital sets to clear her mind and to see if she can find any clues as to what might have happened. She finds where Gordon had been working and also finds his pruning saw with blood on it and nearby the lifeless body of the curator. Now it is Casey against the D.C. Police. Casey is sure that he had nothing to do with her death and the police say all the evidence points directly at him.

    So Casey, along with some help from her “sidekick” Special Agent Jack Turner, she if off scouring the office and the White House lawn looking for clues. Casey needs to learn more about Nadeem who is the assistant curator and seems following Casey most of time. There is also Marcel, who is working on some design work for the First Lady. Marcel seems to turn up everywhere and with out an escort. The one Casey is most concerned with and not sure how to go about asking questions in the First Lady's sister, Lettie. Lettie seems to want to be involved in everything to do with the gardeners, but creates more of a mess than helping. Add to all this Casey is also getting death threats.

    It appears that Casey's romance with Jack is moving ahead, she also learns more about her father's past.

    Looking forward to the next book and the inside working of the gardening staff at the White House.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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