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On a warm Saturday in April, the Darling Dahlias, the garden club in Depression-era Darling, Mississippi, are preparing the Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) plants for the upcoming Confederate Day celebrations. With a thunderstorm brewing on the horizon, they wrap up their work for the day, with only Verna, their treasurer, having an inkling of other storms to follow. By Monday, the Dahlias are working separately and together to resolve three mysteries. Why is Verna locked out of her bank job? What is the meaning of the symbols on Miss Rogers' pillow, exposed by the energetic tomcat they were sheltering at her boardinghouse? And why on earth is Angelina Biggs acting so strangely? As in the other entries in this series, the Dahlias use friendship and careful observation to resolve the crises and bring calm back to Darling. Their daily lives are evocatively created by Albert, using her extensive research into the era as well as her sensitive writing. Recipes typical of the place and time, along with a bibliography for the real Confederate Rose, are included.--Muller, Karen Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publishers Weekly
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Set in 1931 Darling, Ala., Albert's captivating third Darling Dahlias mystery (after 2011's The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies) finds the ladies of the Darling Dahlias garden club planning a rose planting in honor of Confederate Day. Their determination to defy the grim Depression mood and make the day a success is challenged, however, when one of their number, Verna Tidwell, is accused of stealing from the county treasury. As club president Elizabeth Lacy tries to clear her fellow Dahlia's name, their resident historian, Bessie Bloodworth, helps garden club member and town librarian Dorothy Rogers unravel the meaning of the strange code stitched into the inside of a pillow passed down in her family and its possible relationship to Confederate history. Charming characters, a fast-paced plot, and a strong sense of history help make this a superior cozy. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.