As much as I love winter and snow, by the time the end of March rolls around, I’m ready for spring. I love it when the grass turns green and the flowers add color to the world, starting with crocuses, then daffodils and tulips. Flowers are definitely one of my favorite parts of spring and every year I plant numerous pots of gladiolas. They’re my favorite flowers and I like to enter them in the local fair that takes place in my town at the end of every summer. It can be a challenge to have competition-worthy flowers at just the right stage of blooming at just the right time to enter in the fair, so I stagger my plantings, usually over several weeks. Depending on the weather, the flowers can grow faster or slower, so I can never quite predict exactly when they’ll bloom.
The only problem with this hobby is that sometimes I go overboard. When I look through the gardening catalogs, it’s hard to restrain myself and limit my purchases. There are always so many gorgeous varieties and pretty colors that it’s hard to choose just a few, and since I usually replant some corms that I’ve saved from previous years, I often end up planting close to a hundred gladiolas. It’s a lot of work, but I don’t mind so much in the spring. It’s in the fall when I dig up all the corms that I tend to regret my overzealous planting! This year I’m determined not to plant quite as many, but I’m sure the spring gardening catalog will test my resolve.
Although it’s a soggy start to spring in Wildwood Cove, the weather clears up just in time for the town to host an amateur chef competition. Marley McKinney, owner of the Flip Side pancake house, already signed up to volunteer, and chef Ivan Kaminski is one of the judges. But when Marley visits her landscaper boyfriend Brett at the site of the Victorian mansion that’s being restored as the Wildwood Inn, she discovers something else pushing up daisies: human remains.
The skeleton on the riverbank washed out by the early-spring floodwaters belonged to eighteen-year-old Demetra Kozani, who vanished a decade earlier. While the cold case is reopened, Marley must step in when some of the cook-off contestants fall suspiciously ill. Stuck in a syrupy mess of sabotage and blackmail, it falls to Marley to stop a killer from crêping up on another victim. . .
Includes pancake recipes right from The Flip Side menu!
“Readers will cheer this brisk, literate addition to the world of small-town cozies.” —Kirkus Reviews on Wine and Punishment