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Natural Thorn Killer–flower power in Portland

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Natural Thorn Killer

by Kate Dyer-Seeley

Natural Thorn KillerKate Dyer-Seeley, author of the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series, continues to share her love of that area in her new series, Rose City Mysteries. In the first book of the series, Natural Thorn Killer, Britta leaves her deadbeat husband, freezing Minnesota winters, and several unimaginative jobs to return to Portland, Oregon, to the nurturing and creative home of her childhood and the aunt who raised her. Both women are artists with flowers and woven into the book are tips on creating floral arrangements and maintaining their beauty, a personal view of the Riverplace Village area of Portland which is “like its own little city within the city,” and Scandinavian traditions and language. Her aunt Elin owns Blomma, the only flower shop-wine bar in Portland.

Natural Thorn Killer is packed with personal exchanges, a potential romance with a cute detective, interesting characters, outstanding descriptions of food, flowers, and wine, and a taste of Portland culture. At the heart of the book and woven throughout, the main focus of this book is the mystery. Britta discovers a body in her aunt’s flower shop, and life becomes very complicated. She readily shares her findings and insights with the close-lipped detective and mutual respect develops as the story progresses.

I liked the characters in this book and learned a lot about flowers and Portland. I am looking forward to the next book in this series, Violet Tendencies, and anticipate this will be another successful series for this author.

I would like to extend my thanks to and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: 1. #1 in the Rose City Mystery Series

  2. There are lots of floral tips in a section in the back of the book.

Publication:   March 27, 2018—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

Usually the flowers guide me. It’s as if they tell me when they know the arrangement is complete. I liked the subtle pink tones and texture. The antique silver bowl gave the arrangement a nostalgic vibe, while the white strawberries made it feel springlike.

I was excited about the now, yet if I didn’t do some serious self-reflection I was worried that I would be doomed to repeat my past.

My instructor at the Floral Institute had shared a study that noted people who stopped to smell the roses were happier and reported being more satisfied with life. The simple act of taking a minute to appreciate a flower’s sweet scent or cheerful bloom had a direct impact on health and well-being.

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