Read Dirty Rotten Tendrils Online

Authors: Kate Collins

Dirty Rotten Tendrils

Table of Contents
 
 
Praise for the Flower Shop Mysteries
Sleeping with Anemone
 
“Snappier than a Venus flytrap.”
—Laura Childs, author of the Tea Shop Mysteries
 
“A treat not to be missed, with some seriously creepy villains and an intricate plot that will keep you twisting and turning and guessing until the very end. . . . Who knew a pretty flower shop called Bloomers could be fraught with so much danger and treachery? . . . [Abby is] spunky, courageous, and smart. Her family, friends, and neighbors are as quirky and delightful as a pot of pansies, and sexy hero Marco is worth his weight in sighs.”
—Kate Carlisle, author of the Bibliophile Mysteries
 
“Foul play fails to daunt a lively heroine who knows her flowers. A clever, fast-moving plot and distinctive characters add up to fun.”
—JoAnna Carl, author of the Chocoholic Mysteries
 
“Kate Collins has succeeded in keeping this wonderful series fresh as a daisy . . . upbeat, humorous, and appealing. Abby has definitely turned into one of the best amateur sleuths in the world of fiction.”
—Reader to Reader Reviews
 
Evil in Carnations
 
“Collins isn’t losing steam in her eighth foray into the world of florist and part-time accidental detective Abby Knight. The fun, family, and romance are still fresh, and the mystery is tidily wrapped up, with just enough suspense to keep readers flipping pages.”

Romantic Times
 
“Ms. Collins’s writing remains above par with quality and consistency: fun and breezy, intriguing and suspenseful, excitement and sizzle.”
—Once Upon a Romance Reviews
 
Shoots to Kill
 
“Colorful characters, a sharp and funny heroine, and a sexy hunk boyfriend. . . .
Shoots to Kill
is a great mystery read!”
—Maggie Sefton, author of the Knitting Mysteries
 
“Once again Kate Collins delivers an entertaining, amusing, and deliciously suspenseful mystery.”
—Cleo Coyle, author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries
 
A Rose from the Dead
 
“The tale is wrapped around the wonderful hallmarks of this series: a spirited heroine surrounded by zany characters, humor, and irreverence.”

Romantic Times
 
Acts of Violets
“Abby’s sharp observations bring laughs, while the intriguing, tightly plotted mystery keeps you guessing.”

Romantic Times
 
“A delightful, lighthearted cozy.”
—The Best Reviews
 
Snipped in the Bud
 
“Lighthearted and fast-paced, Collins’s new book is an entertaining read.”

Romantic Times
 
Dearly Depotted
 
“Abby is truly a hilarious heroine. . . . Don’t miss this fresh-as-a-daisy read.”
—Rendezvous
 
“Ms. Collins’s writing style is crisp, her characters fun . . . and her stories are well thought-out and engaging.”
—Fresh Fiction
 
Slay It with Flowers
 
“Upbeat, jocular . . . an uplifting, amusing, and feel-good amateur-sleuth tale.”
—The Best Reviews
 
“What a delight! Ms. Collins has a flair for engaging characters and witty dialogue.”
—Fresh Fiction
 
Mum’s the Word
 
“Kate Collins plants all the right seeds to grow a fertile garden of mystery. . . . Abby Knight is an Indiana florist who cannot keep her nose out of other people’s business. She’s rash, brash, and audacious. Move over, Stephanie Plum. Abby Knight has come to town.”
—Denise Swanson, author of the Scumble River Mysteries
 
“A bountiful bouquet of clues, colorful characters, and tantalizing twists. . . . Kate Collins carefully cultivates clues, plants surprising suspects, and harvests a killer in this fresh and frolicsome new Flower Shop Mystery series.”
—Ellen Byerrum, author of A Crime of Fashion Mysteries
 
“As fresh as a daisy, with a bouquet of irresistible characters.”
—Elaine Viets, author of the Dead-End Job Mysteries
 
“This engaging read has a list of crazy characters that step off the pages to the delight of the reader. Don’t miss this wannabe sleuth’s adventures.”

Rendezvous
 
“This story was cute and funny, had a good plotline [that] entwined a lot of interesting threads . . . an enjoyable read and a fine debut for this new mystery series.”
—Dangerously Curvy Novels
 
“A charming debut.”
—The Best Reviews
Other Flower Shop Mysteries
Mum’s the Word
Slay It with Flowers
Dearly Depotted
Snipped in the Bud
Acts of Violets
A Rose from the Dead
Shoots to Kill
Evil in Carnations
Sleeping with Anemone
OBSIDIAN
Published by New American Library, a division of
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First published by Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
First Printing, October 2010
eISBN : 978-1-101-44374-3
 
Copyright © Linda Tsoutsouris, 2010
All rights reserved
 
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“Courage is being scared to death—but saddling up anyway.”
—John Wayne
 
Staring at that first blank page and knowing you have more than three hundred to fill with intrigue and humor is a formidable responsibility. This book is dedicated to the people in my life who give me the courage to saddle up: Jim, Jason, Julie, Nancy, Barb, Tasha, Mary, my Cozy Chick buddies; my incredible editor, Ellen Edwards; and my agent, Karen Solem.
CHAPTER ONE
Monday
 
 
M
y destination that morning was Bloomers, my cozy flower shop located across the street from the New Chapel, Indiana, stately limestone courthouse. I was taking a circuitous route to get there, however, because strangely enough the public lot where I usually parked was full. So I’d left my refurbished and much-beloved 1960 yellow Corvette under a shady maple tree across from the YMCA and started off for a leisurely stroll around the square, soaking up the sunshine of the brilliant early-spring day.
I love my small town. In New Chapel, unlike big cities, you won’t experience heavy traffic snarls, clouds of toxic exhaust fumes, or frustrated drivers honking horns at every tiny irritation. What’s more, you can park in a public lot for about two dollars a day or, as in my case today, along any side street for free. Try to do that in downtown Chicago.
I sniffed the air to catch a whiff of the crocuses blooming in the old cement planters that rimmed the courthouse lawn. They’d be followed by daffodils and tulips, and then by Knock Out Roses, all of which would suffer benign neglect by the parks-department employees until the winter snows blanketed them once again.
Up ahead I saw Jingles, the ancient window washer, wielding his squeegee with extreme precision against a boutique’s display glass. “How’s it going, Jingles?” I called.

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