The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Starby Susan Wittig Albert
The Texas Star herself—Miss Lily Dare, the “fastest woman in the/b>
National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert returns to the small town of Darling, Alabama, in the 1930s—where the Darling Dahlias, the colorful ladies of a garden club, are anything but shrinking violets when it comes to rooting out criminals…
The Texas Star herself—Miss Lily Dare, the “fastest woman in the world”—is bringing her Dare Devils Flying Circus to Darling. Unfortunately, she’s also bringing a whole lot of trouble. As the Dahlias prepare for the annual Watermelon Festival—where they will present the famous female aviatrix with her own Texas Star hibiscus—rumors are flying.
Dahlias president Liz Lacy learns from newspaperman Charlie Dickens that Miss Dare has been threatened and her plane sabotaged. Apparently the bold and beautiful barnstormer has made plenty of enemies. And is it possible she may even be involved with the husband of one of Darling’s local ladies?
And speaking of wings, the new cook at Myra May’s Darling Diner can fry a chicken and whip up a sweet potato meringue pie like nobody’s business. But why is she keeping her past such a mystery?
As the Texas Star barnstorms into town, Liz and Verna Tidwell offer to help bring down a saboteur who may be propelled by revenge. Before it’s all over, there will be plenty of black eyes and dark secrets revealed…
Includes Southern-Style Depression-Era Recipes!
Even the Great Depression can't keep the Darling Dahlias down for long. In addition to their efforts to beautify the town and plant a large vegetable garden to help feed their less fortunate neighbors in Darling, the members of Alabama's best-loved garden club have developed quite a reputation as sleuths (The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose, 2012, etc.). The star of the 1932 Watermelon Festival, which the Dahlias are running, is famous aviatrix Lily Dare, aka The Texas Star. Before Lily even gets to town, trouble looms. Local newshound Charlie Dickens, an old friend of Miss Dare, tells a few of the Dahlias that her plane has been sabotaged, though she still hopes to arrive in Darling on time. The beautiful Miss Dare has been careless with other ladies' husbands, one of whom may be wealthy Roger Kilgore. Roger's wife, Mildred, a Dahlia member, admits to club president Liz Lacy that she has received unsigned letters accusing Roger of romancing Lily Dare, who'll be staying in her house during the festival. Liz, asked by Charlie to keep an eye on Lily, enlists Dahlia treasurer Verna Tidwell to stay with her in the adjoining room, where they get an earful when Mildred's jealous confrontation with her guest results in a pair of black eyes. In addition to riding herd on this circus, the Dahlias try to ferret out the background of the fabulous new cook who rescued diner owner Myra May Mosswell from disaster when Myra's regular cook left them in the lurch. The ladies have their hands full making the festival a success and keeping their star attraction alive. Another Mystery Lite stuffed with Southern charm and authentic Depression-era recipes.
What People are saying about this
“Captivating…Charming characters, a fast-paced plot, and a strong sense of history help make this a superior cozy.”—Publishers Weekly
“[Albert] hits all the right notes…The plot’s believable, the Southern color brims with authenticity, and the characters are charmingly and realistically drawn.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Cozy fans will be delighted…Another exceptional series.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Plenty of charm and period detail.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The author of the popular China Bayles Mysteries brings a small Southern town to life and vividly captures an era and culture—the Depression, segregation, class differences, the role of women in the South—with authentic period details. Her book fairly sizzles with the strength of the women of Darling.”—Library Journal
“As always in any [of] Susan Wittig Albert’s series, including this one, the reader feels transplanted in time and place as the meticulous interwoven tidbits bring to life late 1930.”—The Mystery Gazette
“This sweet book captures the true tone of a small town.”—The Times-Picayune
Meet the Author
Susan Wittig Albert grew up on a farm in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. A former professor of English and a university administrator and vice president, she is the author of the China Bayles Mysteries, the Darling Dahlias Mysteries, and the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. Some of her recent titles include Widow’s Tears, Cat’s Claw, The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose, and The Tale of Castle Cottage. She and her husband, Bill, coauthor a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries under the name Robin Paige, which includes such titles as Death at Glamis Castle and Death at Whitechapel.
- Date of Birth:
- Place of Birth:
- Danville, Illinois
- Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The fourth book is just as good as the first one. I really enjoy the people and the history these provide.
As usualSusan Wittig Albert has written a wonderful inciteful book about the prewar era. Her books are always well written and entertaining.
The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star is the fourth book in The Darling Dahlias series. And a wonderful addition it is, too. I've read all of Albert's books and love them, but this book, she really shines as a storyteller. This series takes place in Darling, Ala., a small rural community, during the Great Depression. The series follows the lives of the 14 members of Dahlias Club as they work together to make the best of a bad situation for the residences of Darling. Not only do they stay busy with the gardening that they love, but they reach out to those in need. Darling is bustling as they get ready for their annual Watermelon Festival. It is the Darling Dahlias year to host the festival and Lizzie Lacy is busy making sure that the festival will come off without a hitch. This year's attraction will be Lily Dare, the fastest woman in the world and she will be bringing her Dare Devils Flying circus. But she is also might be bringing possible trouble, at her last show someone attempted to sabotage her airplane. Lizzie soon learns that the editor of the newspaper, Charlie Dickens, has had a liaison with Miss Dare in the past. Then a rumor is circulating the Roger Kilgore, one of the Dahlias husbands might also be having an affair with her too. Lizzie is hoping that the mystery as to who is out to get Lily will be solved before the Festival begins. As Lizzie points out in her letter of introduction to the story, will let Mrs. Albert finish telling the story. Albert also provides the reader with Getting Beautiful for Pennies tips from the depression and also provides the reader with recipes from the Great Depression. Definitely looking forward to the next book in this delightful series.
For a mystery, it took forever to get to the "mysterious" part.