Flowers and a great mystery plot are an ideal way to escape this weekend's cold and snow.
It was last year when I wrote about the wedding mystery page-turner readers had been waiting for to blossom on the pages of the 14th book, "Seed No Evil," in the Flower Shop Mystery series. It arrived in bookstores last August.
Author Kate Collins, who lives in Valparaiso, has an early Valentine's Day gift for her fans and readers. As promised, the next installment, book 15, (the second book in her latest three-book contract) was just released Tuesday, titled "Throw in the Trowel." It promises to keep everyone on the edge of their seats now that "the honeymoon is over."
Collins told me "Seed No Evil" was named "One of the Five Best Cozies of 2013" by Crimespree Magazine.
As for the new tome, which is a 336-page paperback, "Throw in the Trowel" ($7.99 Signet Press) has Bloomers Flower Shop owner Abby Knight just returning from a romantic honeymoon with the man of her dreams, Marco, as the couple prepares to return to "normal life." But when Marco discovers a skeleton buried in the basement of his bar, clues and caution unfold. When the body is identified as a carpenter who went missing back in the 1970s, Abby and Marco decide to cultivate the clues to solve the cold case."
Collins has a book signing party at the Barnes & Noble in Valparaiso from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. FYI: (219) 531-6551 or katecollinsbooks.com
"I'm wrapping up the 16th book in the series right now, titled 'A Root Awakening' and it'll be out next February in 2015," Collins told me this week.
"And I’m already cooking up a new mystery for book 17, so stay tuned!"
Rooted in romance
ProFlowers, one of the nation's largest online fresh flower retailers, has teamed up with Warner Bros. as the official floral partner of hit romance reality series "The Bachelor," airing 7 p.m. Mondays on ABC, to launch an exclusive Bachelor Bouquet of red roses at ProFlowers.com.
Fans of the show and of this season's "Bachelor," Juan Pablo, can now experience a piece of the romance with the Bachelor Bouquet. Its design is inspired by the series' iconic rose ceremony scene at the end of each episode. The bouquet has 24 long-stemmed red roses and features five sparkling rhinestones nestled throughout to add a touch of glamour. ProFlowers' freshness guarantees that recipients of the bouquet can enjoy their own red roses for at least seven days. It is priced at $55.99.
I'm told ProFlowers works directly with professional growers, rather than intermediaries, retailers or third parties, to deliver the freshest flowers possible to ensure a longer bloom time for the flowers.
FYI: proflowers.com or proflowers.com/bachelor