Friday, January 4, 2013

The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies

As Darling's town librarian is fond of saying: "Naked ladies' is not a respectable name for a plant." A lily by any other name would certainly smell as sweet -- and look just as beautiful as the naked ladies decorating Miss Hamer's lawn...
It seems Miss Hamer's house may also be home to naked ladies of a different sort.  Her niece, Nona Jean Jamison, and Nona's friend Miss Lake have come to Darling to stay with the elderly recluse.  But rumors sprout that these visitors are actually the Naughty and Nice Sisters from the Ziegfeld Frolic, specializing in dancing nearly naked.
When Nona denies her vaudeville past, the Dahlias begin to suspect that it may be more than modesty that's causing both women to lie low.  Why has Nona gone to the beauty parlor to change her hair color? Why has Miss Lake not been seen without a veil?  And who is the well-dressed from Chicago who's just arrived, asking about Nona? The Dahlias are convinced that someone is covering up something sinister...

This is the second book of the latest mystery series written by Susan Wittig Albert.  This series is set in Depression era Alabama. Susan Wittig Albert is one of my favorite mystery authors, I love both her historical and her contemporary books. She has a wonderful sense of humor that show in both settings. Humor in a cosy mystery is must have for me, and I think that is what keeps me reading the authors books.

The Darling Dahlias are getting ready for the annual talent show, when two ladies move in with recluse Miss Hamer.  Miss Hamer not only is a recluse but also is a very hard woman and not too many people can deal with her.  And that's the main reason for the curiosity on the two woman.  One is beautiful and flamboyant, the other is shy and keeps herself covered up.  But when a strange man comes to Darling looking for the ladies, the Dahlias are convinced that something is going on.  Not only were the Dahlias busy with finding out about the Miss Hamer's guests but one of their own is dealing with her own mystery.  After years of wondering what happened to her fiance, Bessie, is more determined to find what happened.  Even if it means asking difficult questions that she may not want to answer to.

I enjoyed the book, it is what I was expecting. The characters, setting and humor.  What I wasn't expecting was enjoying the secondary story more than the main one.  I also enjoyed seeing Liz stand up to her mother. It was an enjoyable read and I recommend this series to any cosy mystery fans.

The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies by Susan Wittig Albert (3.5/5) Historical Mystery; Published: Berkley Prime Crime (11/2011); Series: # 2, Darling Dahlias; Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2013 (1); Library; Books 2013 (1); 

1 comment:

Pat @ Post For Now said...

The title sound fun! It sounds like a fun book to read. Thanks for your review.