Pushing Up Daisies (Dirty Business Series #1)

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Overview

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...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

in Harris's cozy debut, budding landscaper Paula Holliday turns sleuth after the former documentary filmmaker, a New York City transplant to the suburbs, unearths a box containing "a small dead body" in the neglected, overgrown garden of the Springfield, Conn., house of the recently deceased Peacock sisters, Dorothy and Renata. Sgt. Michael O'Malley, who "looked like he knew his way to the donut shop," leads the crime investigation, but Paula does her share of detecting, supported by such friends as Lucy Cavanaugh, a fellow filmmaker, and Wanda "Babe" Chinnery, the proprietor of the local diner where all and sundry come to gossip. Harris does a good job developing her characters, their friendships and romances, though the mystery itself borders on the formulaic. Still, the action builds to a satisfying denouement and gardeners will appreciate the author's insider knowledge. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Hired by the local historical society to restore the gardens of Halcyon, a Connecticut estate, Paula Holliday, who left New York City to open a landscaping business in the suburbs, discovers the mummified body of a baby. Harris, a master gardener, makes a charming debut with this botanical mystery, but as sometimes happens with new authors, she devotes too many pages to the garden restoration and not enough to fleshing out the mystery. For cozy fans who like their amateur sleuths working in a particular profession. Harris lives in New York City and Fairfield County, CT. [A Minotaur First Edition Selection; library marketing campaign; see Prepub Mystery, LJ10/1/07.]


—Jo Ann Vicarel
From the Publisher
“Quirky, original, and captivating . . . marks the debut of a sure-to-please series.”

- Carolyn Hart, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Award-winning author of the Death on Demand series

“Paula Holliday is a sleuth to watch. With an intriguing mix of gardening savvy, sassy wit, and smart plotting, Rosemary Harris has crafted a clever mystery.”

- Susan Wittig Albert, author of the China Bayles herbal mysteries

“Paula Holliday knows her andromedas and her viburnum. Her creator, Rosemary Harris, knows her pacing and suspense. Fast paced and full of garden lore, Pushing Up Daisies is a great read. If rosemary is for remembrance, Rosemary Harris is an author to remember.”

- Barbara D’Amato, author of Death of a Thousand Cuts

“A very enjoyable read and great tips for gardeners as well.”

- M. C. Beaton, author of the Agatha Raisin series

“Get ready to meet a smart, engaging heroine who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty—literally.”

- Brian Freeman, author of Stalked

"I just love it—intriguing mystery, great characters, and very funny."

- Alison Gaylin, author of Trashed

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410407191
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 6/4/2008
  • Series: Dirty Business Series , #1
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 413
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosemary Harris was born in Brooklyn, New York, and has been a bookstore manager, a video producer, and a television executive. She and her husband split their time between New York City and Fairfield County, Connecticut, where she is a master gardener.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 83 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(38)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 83 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2008

    Gardening and Murder

    Paula Holliday started her gardening business, PH Factors, Garden Solutions, after the production company she worked for was bought out. She is hired to restore the gardens at Halcyon. When Dorothy Peacock died, her estate was left to the Historical Society. Imagine her surprise and horror when she unearths a box containing a mummified baby. One of Paula's friends and workers is arrested when a body is impaled on a garden tool. Paula decides that she has to help prove her friend didn't commit murder. In her sleuthing, she discovers that a young female Mexican worked nearby decades ago and mysteriously vanished. Most people just assumed she went home. Paula is not so certain. Can she help her friend and find the real killer? Can she discover the parents of the baby? Can she do this without putting herself in danger? This is Rosemary Harris' first cozy mystery, and it's a keeper. Great characters and setting. There are plenty of red herrings to keep the reader guessing as to the killer's identity. The gardening tidbits are educational, and the Springfield, CT., setting readily lent itself to the cozy. I look forward to reading many more books in this series and hope the author writes fast! I highly recommend this book.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    an exciting well plotted (pun intended) amateur sleuth tale

    After the buyout of the production company she worked for, Paula Holliday moved from the Big Apple to Springfield, Connecticut where she opened up a landscaping business, PH Factors, Garden Solutions. When Dorothy Peacock died, she left her estate Helepin to the Historical Society, but the grounds desperately need a good landscaper. Paula applies and gets the contract.------------- Her euphoria turns to horror when she digs up a box containing a mummified baby inside. Unable to forget or ignore her grisly find, Paula asks questions of those locals who lived in the area for decades in an attempt to identify either parent of the unfortunate child. She upsets someone who sends her a threatening email to back off or else, and someone knocks her out when she was in a deserted area. Paula learns that a young female Mexican who worked nearby decades ago mysteriously vanished although most people assumed she went home. The newbie ponders whether the interred baby and this woman are related like a mother and child. When another landscaper is murdered, Paula knows she has to stay involved even though she risks her life by still snooping.------------ This ¿Dirt-y Business¿ mystery by first time writer Rosemary Harris is an exciting well plotted (pun intended) amateur sleuth due to a quirky heroine and an eccentric Connecticut support cast. There are two mysteries that Paula feels must connect and has her theory how, but struggles to affirm her supposition. The novel also contains gardening tips and flora lore that enhance the appeal especially for fans of China Bayles.------------ Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2011

    Good mystery

    I was a little worried about the gardening theme, but for the price I gave it a chance. Surprisingly good. I like regular, quick witted women that solv mysteries. Other series I like; Bubbles Undercover, Stephanie Plum # books, Hannah Swenson books (by Joanne Fluke), and the Deadly books by Brenda Joyce.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    Entertaining mystery

    Enjoyed reading this book. Great characters and interesting plot. Can't wait to read the next one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2013

    I love all of Mrs.Harris books and I am waiting for the next one

    I love all of Mrs.Harris books and I am waiting for the next one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2012

    Great

    I really enjoyed this book. The characters were fun and I look forward to continuing the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    R

    Loved the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2011

    A good read

    I bought this ebook because it was $2.99. It was an entertaining read. Can't wait to read the next in the series, although I will probably wait for it to come down in price before I purchase.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    Debut Novel

    This debut novel, first in a series of Gardening Mysteries, takes the reader to a small Connecticut town. While renovating a local historical garden of a well known family in the community, Paula Holliday discovers a baby's body buried in one of the flower beds. Restoring the integrity of the garden while researching the crime allows the reader to follow Paula in digging up the facts. This traditional mystery also has quirky small town characters, possible suspects as well supporting friends and a possible love interest.
    I found the novel to have well developed characters, and concise descriptions. I look forward to the following sequels by this new author, Rosemary Harris.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    Entertaining- not stellar

    Pushing up Daisies is a light, breezy mystery interspersed with garden lore- some of which becomes important to the mystery. I found it an entertaining read- but not a book to be deeply engaged with. Our heroine, Paula Holliday, has left New York and filmmaking to be a gardener in Connecticut. Unfortunately many of the other themes in the book have about as much connection to each other as her two careers. We get glimpses of some potentially interesting characters, but not much development of them or their relationships to Paula. There are lots of quirky twists in the story- but too many of them are cliches and the fresh ones are a bit scattered. The gardening information is solid- but basic- and not likely to intrigue serious gardeners. I'd pick up another book in the series at the library, and might buy it in paperback, but won't be haunting the bookstore waiting for it. Ms. Harris has a good imagination, and tells a good story, but her writing needs to be tighter and the story more carefully crafted to hook me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

    Good book

    A quick, funny, wonderful read. Really enjoyed this book. First book in hopefully a long xeries of books!

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    Posted April 20, 2011

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    Posted March 31, 2013

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