Britta Johnston and her aunt Elin are delighted that their Portland floral boutique is part of the city’s Rose Festival, which draws thousands to the Pacific Northwest for dragon boat races, fireworks, and other attractions—capped off by a big parade. They’re building a float that’s sure to rock the judge’s boat . . . until a gang of angry protestors shows up. The group, who call themselves Dark Fusion, are decidedly not into flower power, and they want to take down the system . . . including the upcoming extravaganza.
Then their leader is strangled with a garland of violets—and Britta finds the body. With tensions running high and so much at stake, there are plenty of suspects, from the Grand Marshal to a longtime volunteer to a former Rose Queen. But before Britta and Elin can stem the violence, the case is going to get even more explosive . . .
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Portland was flush with spring color: blooming roses, bright flags flapping from the bows of navy ships docked along the waterfront, and neon carnival signs dotting the banks of the Willamette River. The end of the unrelenting rainy season brought a celebration like no other to the city — Rose Festival. The festival spanned three weeks from the end of May through mid-June, attracting visitors from all over the world who joined in Portland's annual street party at the queen's coronation, milk-carton boat races, starlight run, rose show, fleet tours, fireworks, and the pièce de résistance, the Grand Floral Parade. This year, Blomma, my aunt Elin's boutique European-inspired flower shop, where I had been working for the past few months, had been chosen as the showcase florist for the Rose Festival. It was a huge honor. And a huge undertaking. In addition to managing our regular clientele at the shop, we had been spending every waking moment at the float barn, preparing our float and planning for the dignitaries' dinner, which would take place the evening of the Grand Floral Parade.
I'd never been so nervous about my floral designs. Blomma would be responsible for crafting one-of-a-kind bouquets and centerpieces for world leaders and visiting diplomats. Throughout history flowers have marked monumental occasions, from the coronation of queens to the burial of presidents. We had to ensure that every flower and stem we used for the dignitaries' dinner had been researched and handpicked for its symbolism. It was my responsibility to track every bloom's meaning and history. We wouldn't want to cause the next war to break out after accidentally giving the Japanese ambassador a bundle of begonias — known in many cultures as inviting dark thoughts and a warning for the recipient to beware. Or to deliver a spray of foxgloves — welcoming harm — to the visiting head of state from Canada.
This year's theme for Rose Festival was Shine, and we intended to make our float do just that. Elin had sketched out a design plan that mirrored her artistic, Swedish style. Many float designers opted to adorn their moving masterpieces with Portland's signature flower, the rose. Not Elin. Blomma's float would consist of giant violet garlands that stretched across a ten-foot bridge constructed from grape vines. The float would be lush with purple violets, dark greenery, and earthy vines, with touches of brilliant white violets to signal the return of spring. Elin had opted for the dainty flower because they were often one of the first to push through the ground in April. Violets connotate a delicate love.
In my research I had discovered many references in folklore to the violet. Dreaming of violets was a sign of good fortune, and purple violets were an ancient symbol of royalty and power. Elin and I agreed that the lovely, wispy flowers would convey the perfect meaning for the Blomma float.
Her vision for the float was to create an Oregon forestscape that was just beginning to bud to life. Assuming we could pull it off, her ethereal float could have a good shot at winning the judge's award for most outstanding. There were also awards for craftsmanship, best depiction of whimsy, life in Oregon, and community spirit. Winning a coveted award would be a boost for our growing flower shop and wine bar.
When it came to materials, the rules for the Grand Floral Parade were simple — everything had to be organic in nature. Seeds, bark, leaves, berries, flowers, and moss were all acceptable. Gluing thousands of tiny seeds by hand was a painstaking process, but I hoped that our efforts would be worth it. As of late, our biggest challenge (other than black, sticky fingers) was procuring enough product. Nicki Parks, the float-barn director, had told me in passing that each float used enough flowers to send someone a dozen roses every day for thirty years. That didn't even begin to account for the industrial-sized buckets of tapioca pearls, onion seeds, and cranberries lining every square inch of floor space in the float barn, along with stacks of twenty-foot evergreen boughs, corn stalks, and pumpkin vines. Trying to add up how many thousands of seeds and berries were being used in float production made my head spin.
For the moment I needed to concentrate. Elin had sent me to the Portland wholesale flower market in search of Shasta daisies. "Focus, Britta," I told myself as I surveyed Oregon's largest flower trading floor. Over fifty vendors offered fresh cut flowers, potted plants, baskets, vases, and floral accessories. From family farms to large distributors and importers, the wholesale market was floral Disneyland. Many mornings I would wander through the booths, stopping to admire freshly harvested bear grass or Italian ruscus, but this morning I was on a singular mission — Shasta daisies.
We received a last-minute call yesterday from a frantic bride whose florist bailed on her with her deposit. She needed six bridesmaid's bouquets, a bridal bouquet, boutonnieres, and headpieces for the flower girls by tomorrow, and her budget was minimal, given that her original florist had taken off with the cash she had put down for her wedding-day flowers. Elin and I both had a soft spot for brides in need, so we agreed to do our best. I had explained that the likelihood of finding enough Shasta daisies wasn't high, given that the Grand Floral Parade was in less than a week. Nearly every flower in the state had been purchased and accounted for. However, she had sounded so dejected on the phone that I couldn't turn her down. I assured her that I would give it a shot and that we could create something just as lovely with equally inexpensive white carnations and hints of greenery if necessary.
The trading floor was a mob scene, as always, despite the fact that the sun had yet to rise. Working early hours was part of life as a professional florist. The market opened at five and stayed active until midafternoon, but any self-respecting florist knew that the freshest and rarest stems would be gone within the first hour.
I loved hearing the shouts of florists and vendors battling for the best stems and rarest finds. I loved the sweet, earthy smell of the cold market, and the dazzling color. Usually I enjoyed strolling through row after row of clementines, dahlias, and California figs. The fragrant scent of jasmine and the constant sound of vendors bartering were like home to me, but today there was no time. I squeezed past a florist I recognized who worked for one of the big national chains and made a beeline for the back of the humming warehouse. When I spotted the sign for Abundant Gardens, I nearly broke into a sprint.
"Morning, Britta," Chuck, the owner, greeted me with a smile, tucking a pair of shears into his overalls. "You look like you're in a hurry."
I felt a blush creep up my neck. My skin is naturally pale, which means that the slightest hint of color makes my cheeks look like two ripe cherry tomatoes. Elin has always told me that my porcelain skin is a gift. Fortunately, she also has been a fierce proponent of using sunscreen. "Britta, our Scandinavian skin is like an orchid. We must treat it gently and shield it from too much sun," she cautioned. It was wise advice, especially in our line of work, where visiting local farms and outdoor growers' markets came with the territory.
"Sorry," I said to Chuck. "I'm on the hunt for Shasta daisies. Desperate bride."
He gave me a knowing nod. "That's why I prefer working in the field and on this side of the business. Don't have to deal with any crazy brides. Or worse, their mothers." He winked.
"Oh, I could tell you some stories."
"I bet you could."
My eyes drifted to large buckets that contained hundreds of black dahlias. Technically dahlias aren't black. They're actually a deep burgundy, but their overlapping petals make the flower look as dark as a starless sky. The elegant flower had earned a negative reputation thanks to a 1940s murder case — deemed the disappearance of the Black Dahlia. Dahlias represented strength, creativity, and dignity.
"Those are gorgeous," I said.
"Beauties, aren't they?" Chuck nodded. "Can't sell them to you, Britta. They're already spoken for. Special order for Rose Festival. Secret order. I'm under the threat of death not to sell a single stem or divulge who ordered these beauties. You florists sure get crazy around Rose Festival time." He gave me a lopsided grin.
"It's cutthroat," I bantered back.
"Don't I know it. You won't believe how many people have offered to pay double — even triple — the price. I have half a mind to take the money and run."
I wondered who was using the unique dahlias. None of the floats that I had seen thus far had incorporated the deep, dark stems. But then again, there were dozens of floats in various stages of construction in the float barn.
Chuck pointed behind him to a black plastic tub with bunches of white daises. "However, you're in luck with the Shastas. How many do you need?"
I returned my attention to the task at hand. "Can I have all of them?"
"Consider it done. Let me to wrap them up."
While he bundled the Shasta daisies, I mentally reviewed my day. First, I would head to Blomma and assemble the bridal bouquets and our recurring corporate orders before we opened for walk-in customers. Typically, Elin hosts custom workshops in the cottage attached to Blomma, but we had put those on hold for a week until we were finished with our float and the designs for the dignitaries' dinner. She would oversee volunteers at the float barn this morning, and then we would swap places in the afternoon. With only four days to go before the big event, the organizers were allowing designers and volunteers to work late every night. We would grab a quick bite of dinner and spend the rest of the evening twisting grapevines and stringing evergreen branches into tight bundles. The float prep-work had to be completed by Friday. That's when the real fun would begin. The actual flowers would be the very last thing to go on each float. No floral designer wanted a droopy tulip or wilting rose on their float. The Friday before the parade would be a mad dash to the finish as everyone raced against the clock and the elements to cover their structure with fresh flowers. Elin and I had decided we wanted to create a test garland of violets tonight so that we could put together step-by-step directions for the volunteers who would help with the finishing touches.
I thanked Chuck for the daisies and headed for Riverplace Village. It was a short drive from the flower market. The village was located on the west side of the Willamette River and had cobblestone streets, charming shops, and an elegant yet laidback vibe. The small community of business owners in Riverplace Village were a tight-knit group. Most of the shops and the world-class Riverplace Inn had been operated by the same owners for decades.
Blomma sat at the corner of the village with welcoming brick-red, windowed garage doors that could be rolled up in the spring and summer months. In honor of Rose Festival, we had draped the front windows and door with strings of pink lights and filled the front display cases with pastel bouquets of roses in soft peach, creamy whites, yellows, and pale pink. A sandwich board propped near the front door greeted customers with a special Rose Festival quote:
TRUTH AND ROSES HAVE THORNS ABOUT THEM. — HENRY DAVID THOREAU.
As I pulled Elin's Jeep into a parking space in front of the shop, I wanted to pinch myself. I couldn't believe I was so lucky.
Of course, when I first made the decision to return home to Portland, I hadn't considered it luck. Quite the opposite. I had discovered that my deadbeat husband, Chad, had been having an affair instead of working on the next great American novel, as he promised. It turned out that his late-night trips to the library didn't involve writing. That is, unless you counted terribly cheesy poetry, "writing." At first, I'd been hurt and embarrassed, but after the shock wore off I recognized that his infidelity was actually a blessing in disguise. I'd been miserable for years. And as much as I hated to admit it, part of that blame was on me.
After graduating from the floral institute, I had imagined myself opening a shop much like Blomma, where I could leave my flower mark on the world, but instead I'd ended up in Minnesota working for a lifeless wholesaler. Chad couldn't take a traditional job because he claimed it would interfere with his creative process. That left me as our sole provider. Every time I suggested that Chad find a part-time job to help ease our financial burdens, he would have a burst of energy and swear that he was days away from finishing the book. Shocker. That never happened. Leaving Chad and the Midwest had been the best decision I had made in a long time. To be honest I didn't miss much about Minnesota, not the bitter cold winters or my unfulfilling job that had crushed my creative spirit. Portland in its springtime glory had reawakened long-forgotten dreams and reignited my passion.
I shook myself from my thoughts and turned off the ignition. Then I removed the bunches of daisies from the back and went to open Blomma's front door. Immediately I was greeted by the scent of honeysuckle and sweet roses. I flipped on the lights, but kept the sign on the door turned to CLOSED. The chandeliers overhead cast a warm glow on Blomma's shiny hardwood floors. Cozy furniture had been arranged in the front of the shop. Perfect for customers to take a break and breathe in the scent of flowers after a busy afternoon shopping in the village, and for casual meetings with potential clients. There were tins of fresh-cut stems and succulents displayed on tables. The back of the space housed a concrete workstation and sink, a display case with prearranged bouquets, and a distressed-wood wine bar with a black iron candelabra, complete with a wall of Northwest wine available to purchase by the glass or bottle. Elin had learned early on that flowers and wine were an excellent pairing. Our customers often came in looking for a gift and wound up lingering over a glass of Oregon pinot noir at the bar while waiting for us to create a gorgeous arrangement.
The cottage was attached to the main building through two sliding barn doors next to the wine bar. Walking into the homey, warm space with its exposed timber beams and stone walls reminded me of a childhood fairy tale. A large workstation in the center of the cottage had been crafted from salvaged barn doors and was stocked with every floral tool imaginable, from pruners to knives to clay, wire, and thorn-strippers. Whenever we hosted classes and workshops in the cottage, clients gushed about the space, saying it felt as if they were stepping into a rustic European castle. This morning, I left the barn doors shut and focused on our rush bridal order.
Before I began gathering supplies to create the bouquets, I quickly filled a bucket with warm water and a mixture of "love juice" to process the daisies I had bought at the market. It's critical when working with fresh flowers to trim their stems and douse them in a healthy bath of water, sugar, bleach, and vinegar. This preserves the life of the flower and ensures a long-lasting bloom. Once I had the vibrant, white daisies soaking, I removed a pair of shears, wire, scissors, and a silky forest-green ribbon from the workstation. For the bridal party, I wanted every bouquet to be symmetrical, with a tight weave and exposed stems. Next, I wound the bouquets with wire and wrapped them with the silky ribbon. I would finish them with a small bow and drape the ribbon on both sides to give the inexpensive flowers an elegant, romantic look.
Soon I was immersed in the creative process. Any worry about the Grand Floral Parade and our float faded away as I trimmed stems and plucked off any imperfections in the daisies' petals. Flowers are art and an expression of the soul. It was my job as a floral artist to infuse love and joy into every arrangement. I had found my true purpose, my calling. This was exactly where I wanted to be, and nothing could change that.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Violet Tendencies"
Copyright © 2018 Kate Dyer-Seeley.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Dollycas’s Thoughts I have been looking forward to heading back to Portland since I finished Natural Thorn Killers back in April. Britta Johnston and her aunt Elin have the most amazing flower shop and create such spectacular arrangements so having them design a beautiful, shining float for the annual Rose Parade is exciting. So much work with the help of just a few volunteers. But a group of protesters is ready to ruin everything. Dark Fusion, a gang, is determined to take down the system, starting with disrupting the whole event. Organizers are nervous, the police are on high alert, but when the gang’s leader is killed terror rises to a new level. Britta finding the body and her curious nature has her snooping for clues. But hold on tight, the city is going to rock before this killer is brought to justice. This was a fantastic read. Tension always just below the surface until everything explodes. I have helped build a few floats in my day and rode on a few too. Nothing ever elaborate as the floats in this story but understood the hard work that goes into making them truly shine. Most of the story takes place in the “float barn” and the author took us inside and her words truly painted a picture of all the happenings. The flowers, the floats, the cut up hands of the workers trying to get everything just right. The craziness and chaos as the deadline for completion draws near and then the chaos of a murder investigation added on top of all that. Ms. Dyer-Seeley has created very likable characters along with some dastardly ones. Britta has her hands full with the float and making centerpiece arrangements for the big festival dinner, plus she is in the prime position to ask questions and make keen observations. Elin has an old beau in town and she spends most of her time with him rekindling their romance. There are tons of suspects especially the gang members full of violent tendencies. But a former Rose Festival Princess, the Grand Marshall and a couple other festival workers also find their names on the list. The story takes some great twists and turns. Danger ramps up with fires and explosions. The pace was fast, almost too fast in places. Things were happening so quickly I had to slow down and reread a couple passages to make sure where all the key people ended up and zone it to catch any clues. The author ties things up very satisfactorily at the end but I almost didn’t want the story to end. I really like Britta and her Aunt Elin and wasn’t quite ready to say good-bye. I am excited to see what happens next in their lives.
Violet Tendencies by Kate Dyer-Seeley sweeps readers to Portland, Oregon. Britta Johnston and her Aunt Elin own Blooma, a boutique European-inspired flower shop and wine bar. The pair were delighted when Blooma was chosen as the showcase florist for Portland’s Rose Festival and they will be creating the centerpieces for the dignitaries’ dinner. They will also have a float in the parade featuring violets, but their joy is marred by protestors from a group called Dark Fusion outside the warehouse housing the floats. Britta arrives early one morning to work on the float and finds Dark Fusion’s leader, Sham dead on Blooma’s ravaged float with a noose of violets around his throat. Britta wants to know who killed Sham and why they used Blooma’s float. There are numerous suspects including Ted Graham, the Rose Festival’s Grand Marshal, to the float barn director and a former Rose Queen. Dark Fusion may be without their leader, but they are still out in full force and determined to cause chaos. Before Britta can narrow her sights on the killer, the situation becomes volatile. Will Portland have a Rose Festival Parade this year? Violet Tendencies is the second novel in A Rose City Mystery series, but it can be read on its own. Everything a reader needs to know is included in Violet Tendencies. I like Kate Dyer-Seeley’s casual writing style. The book contains good writing and engaging characters. The story flows along at a gentler pace than Natural Thorn Killer. I like the setting of Portland, Oregon (I would love to live in Pacific Northwest). I enjoy the author’s descriptions of the city and of the Rose Festival with its variety of events. Blooma is a unique flower shop with its European flair and a wine bar. There are detailed descriptions on how the various flower arrangements are created along with how floats are constructed using all natural materials plus the symbolism behind each bloom. Blooma’s float was beautifully described and it sounded enchanting. Britta and her aunt, Elin have a close relationship at home and at work. I like how they support each other in their professional and personal endeavors. Elin’s boyfriend, Eric is in town and Britta finally gets to meet him. Britta gets to spend more time with Detective Pete Fletcher. If they could just get through one date without being interrupted. The murder does not occur until a reader is 40% into the story. There are multiple suspects, misdirection and good clues. I do wish, though, that the crime had been more challenging to solve. I was not a fan of the protestors. They were an angry mob who harassed the people working on the floats, had weapons and continually threatened violence. While it is realistic, it is a little dark for a cozy mystery. We get more details regarding the death of Tomo Iwamoto’s father. Tomo would like to find who killed his father and I am curious to learn more. Tomo and Britta have a close relationship and his mother’s noodle dishes are mouthwatering. There are flower tips and recipes at the end of the book. There are many delightful cozy moments in Violet Tendencies. Violet Tendencies is set in a beautiful city, has friendly characters, an abundance of blooms and a disconcerting whodunit.
Here is a marvelous opportunity to get inside a float creation for the Portland Rose Festival and enjoy descriptions of flowers, flower pairing, their deeper meanings, and the proper fluids to prolong a cutting's life. Britta Johnston has returned to live with her aunt Elin following the end of a disastrous marriage. Elin raised her after the death of her parents and owns a floral boutique, Blomma, where Britta now works. Her aunt has been contacted by an old love wishing to rekindle contact and greatly diverts her attention. They've been invited to participate in the annual event and were working on a special design when a group of protestors begin to interrupt the assembly labors. The gang, called Dark Fusion, appears to be a bit divisive with part growing increasingly violent. The leader is discovered on their float, which has been partly destroyed, with a noose of violets around his neck. Britta redesigns the float to reclaim what wasn't destroyed and create a new vision. In the meantime, she begins to do a bit of sleuthing. There are a number of red herrings adding to the protest confusion, as Britta mingles with her police buddy Toma and possible romantic interest, Detective Pete Fletcher. As this is the second book in the series, a reader might get a deeper fleshing of the protagonist by beginning with the first. There are other significant characters, several of which add to the tension. This cozy mystery sets a quiet pace staging the location of the mystery at the cavernous warehouse where the assembly takes place and the description of the floats as well as the flowers. The mob gradually amps up and throws in some violent agitation. There is a hushed conclusion, some of which takes place behind the scenes, and not unexpected. I was given this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for cozy mystery enthusiasts, those who love the Pacific Northwest (and who doesn't?), and flora and fauna fans. 3.5/5
Portland's Rose Festival and Murder Cozy Mystery This story uses The Portland Rose Festival and the florists involved as a backdrop. I have never come across any book that dives into the heart of florists as well as this one does! The plot is full of political things that have been going on in the Pacific Northwest for 10 years or more. There are lots of angles to the story and plenty of suspects. I enjoyed this story so much that I am going back to read the first story! I received this book for free and this is my honest review.
a complex, suspenseful mystery VIOLET TENDENCIES by Kate Dyer-Seeley The Second Rose City Mystery Spring has sprung in Portland, Oregon as the city celebrates its Rose Festival. Britta Johnston and her Aunt Elin are in the midst of the festivities working on their float for the festival's Grand Floral Parade. But all is not flowers and good cheer as a group of anarchists seem bent on ruining the parade and everything it stands for. Threats of violence by the group escalate, but it's their leader who is found murdered...on Britta's float! Stunned by the death, Britta also feels a strange undercurrent. Something odd is going on with the parade leaders and she means to find out what it is. Things are not all flowers and light in this second Rose City Mystery. There is omnipresent conflict and dread coming from the anarchists creating taut suspense. In this day and age the very real threat of terrorist activity, no matter the cause, makes the danger in the book so much more real. It's not just that a person got murdered, it's the thought that anybody out enjoying the day, or even sitting comfortably at home, could be in deadly danger. Despite the darkness, goodness and beauty exist as well. There's the beauty of flowers and the floats. The reunion of Elin and Eric, the chemistry between Britta and Pete, and the various friendships, old and new, bring lightness and love. Lots of good suspects and plenty of suspicious activity make VIOLET TENDENCIES a complex, suspenseful mystery. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
Violet Tendencies by Kate Dyer-Seeley is the second in a new series. It takes place in Portland, Oregon and centers around a florist and her niece. Elin owns Blomma and adopted her niece, Britta, when her parents died at an early age. As happens with children, she grew up and moved away, had a dead-end job, and as it turned out, a dead-end marriage. They are building a float for the annual Grand Floral Parade and are nearly at the end of the process: the parade. It means grueling hours and hard work, which is now being complicated by Dark Fusion protestors espousing anarchy-totally anti-establishment and anti-government. Thus far they have done nothing but hurl epithets and make workers and volunteers coming to the float barn. Dyer-Seeley always includes a plethora of information about her protagonist's calling. In this case, the information includes not only float-building tips, but also floral design and care tips. There is also an abundance of information about Portland's Rose Festival and parade. This makes her books even more interesting and gives the reader a short education, as well. Elin is an interesting character, reconnecting with her fiancé many years after the breakup, which lends an air of romance to the mystery. There are several close calls, which sometimes tends to push the believability, but in this case worked fairly well. Britta is a good character, as well as her friend, Tomo, a police officer, and dutiful Japanese son. Detective Peter Fletcher is another interesting, albeit mysterious character, who seems to really be attracted to Britta, and she to him. I loved this book and totally recommend it. I received a free ARC of Violet Tendencies in exchange for a fair and honest review. #netgalley #violettendencies
I really enjoy this series! The Rose City Mystery series is set in Portland, Oregon. Britta Johnston and her aunt Elin run the flower shop, Blomma. In this book it is the annual Rose Festival time and the duo are working on a flower float. An unwelcome group with violent tendencies called Dark Fusion descends upon the festivities. The group's leader is soon found dead, strangled with a garland of violets and Britta is the one who finds his lifeless body. The mystery is good and the descriptive writing style is even better. The characters are likable. I am very much looking forward to the next in the series!
I received a free copy of Violet Tendencies (Rose City Mystery Book 2) by Kate Dyer-Seeley in exchange for an honest review. The annual Rose Festival is a time when the citizens of Portland revel in community spirit. Britta Johnston and her Aunt Elin are thrilled to participate in the parade by creating a float made of flowers and other organic materials. However, there is a blight upon the beauty. An anarchist group called Dark Fusion is protesting the festival. Their exploits grow increasingly violent, and the Portland citizens respond with anger and fear. When Britta finds the leader of Dark Fusion strung up in the wreckage that was once her float, the anarchists threaten explosive vengeance. It’s a thorny situation. I liked this novel. If you enjoyed the first book, you should relish the sequel. #VioletTendencies #NetGalley
Violet Tendencies by Kate E. Dyer-Seeley is the second book in the Rose City series set in Portland, OR. I was completely swept up in this complex mystery from the first chapter. Britta has made Portland her home again and is enjoying every second of working in her Aunt Elin's flower shop, Blomma. Her creativity has bloomed (no pun intended)since she's been back in Portland. Ms. Dyer-Seeley's writing of Portland and the Riverwalk Village allowed me to feel as if I was in the midst of the story. I was fascinated by details of the float construction. The plot was quickly paced with several suspects, and twists that created new angles to look at the motives and the suspects. The reveal filled me with fear for Britta. I could not put the book down until I was finished. I also enjoyed the touch of romance added by Ms.Dyer-Seeley for both Elin and Britta. I will be impatiently waiting for the next one in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.