Thursday, February 10, 2011

Susan Sleeman's Nipped in the Bud ~ Reviewed

By Susan Sleeman
Published by Barbour Publishers
ISBN# 978-1-60260-573-2
243 Pages

Back Cover:

Prepare to attend the Pickle Fest in Serendipity, Oregon, along with Paige Turner and Adam Hayes. But first you must help them unravel the mystery of how the city manager wound up dead in a mound of mulch, in the city park, that Paige was hired to landscape. Can Adam’s knowledge of the law keep her out of jail and win her love?


I had read a Love Inspired/suspense novel by this author and was glad to receive a review copy of Nipped in the Bud. The cover of the book looked intriguing, fun and so did the premiums.

Susan Sleeman has a colorful array of characters that make things interesting in this small town where everyone knows your name and your business too! Paige Turner hosts a gardening radio show and has the strangest people call in to get their gardening questions answered. She does her best to answer their wacky requests.

Paige's boss at the radio show starts running taped programs of her show and calls it the "Best of Through the Garden Gate" show while the town tried to figure out who killed Bud and why. Paige is there number one suspect. She had a huge argument with Bud the day before they found his body, and of course, news travels fast by word of mouth in that little town. Who was the real killer?

The reader gets to know Paige better through these pre-recorded radio shows; there are excerpts from them at the beginning of each chapter. They cracked me up! This sets the tone for the chapter, and the caller’s with their serious gardening questions for example…

“…you mentioned the stunning flowers you can get from bulbs, and it sounded like an easy way to garden.”

“That’s right…once you plant them at their optimum depth, pretty much the only work they require for beautiful flowers year after year is a little fertilizer and dividing them when they get large.”

“…I brought every kind of bulb I could think of and so far, no flowers at all.”

“Really, I’m surprised. What type of bulbs, have you tried?”

“Forty watt all the way up to one hundred twenty. Even tried the new compact fluorescents, with no success.”

Is that funny or what? Not only does this author have a talent for writing, a passion for gardening that shines through the entire book, she also has a great sense of humor. Paige grew up in this small town, moved away and came back. Mitch, the sheriff, has a beef with her from the past and would love to see her arrested. This story gives a whole new meaning to “innocent until proven guilty”.

Seems the whole town thinks Paige is guilty except for Lisa, her best friend and Adam Hayes, her handsome attorney. How can she prove her innocence when she had no alibi? Her best friend and lawyer tell her to let go and let God help her in this, but how could she? Give up control? They say God can work things out better than she can? Really?

Paige says, “Control of my day (life) was priority to me, and I didn’t react well when things didn’t go as planned…If I trust God, it will be easier?...I’m not ready to give up control just yet. I’ll think about it, try it even, but I’m not going to give in just like that.”

Have you thought this? Susan shows how God is so patient with us! Grin! I enjoyed this cozy mystery with Mr. T, Paige’s crazy talking bird, Lisa, her mothering best friend, Adam Hayes her very cute gentlemen and Christian attorney, and Paige herself, a radio host who is trying to get her landscaping business off the ground. This story brought a smile to my face and warm feelings in my heart!! Susan had me guessing 'who done-it?' right up until the end! This book is the thing you need on a snowy day. Turn off the TV, get this book and sit by the fire. Susan will give you hours of entertainment and fun! I highly recommend it!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

Bonus Review:

I admit I am more a suspense fan than a mystery fan but Susan Sleeman's Nipped in the Bud is a fun and intriguing read as Paige Turner sets out to prove she is innocent of the murder of city manager, Bud Picklemann. With humour, twists and turns and excellent romantic tension between Paige and her attorney, Adam Hayes, this is a read that will keep your attention from start to finish. Nipped in the Bud is my first Susan Sleeman and Hometown Mystery read and it won't be my last of either.

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

No comments: