The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree by Susan Wittig Albert

Published: 2010

Genre: historical fiction, mystery

Length: 283 pages

Setting: Darling, Alabama, 1930s

Interest: It was recommended on a gardening blog as a good book that incorporates lots of gardening references. I like gardening so I thought I’d check out the book.

Summary: The Darling Dahlias are a gardening club in Darling. They’ve just been bequeathed a house as a new club headquarters, but need to come up with some money for repairs, which is difficult during the Depression. They get involved in a couple of mysteries in town – who’s been stealing money from the bank and who killed their friend Bunny. While the authorities think they know the answers, the Dahlias manage to find the real culprits, as well as buried treasure to fix their house.

Final thoughts: While I really enjoyed all the gardening references, I found the author’s penchant for description a bit excessive. It didn’t help the book was, at its core, a mystery, which is one of my least favorite genres. They just don’t impress me, and then the author’s writing style hit the “annoying” button for me. I don’t think I’ll follow up with any others in the series.

Title comes from: The Darling Dahlias was the name of the gardening club at the center of the story. It was under the cucumber tree that they found the family silver, hidden there during the Civil War.

Reading challenges fulfilled: None, since this is a review of a book read in a previous year.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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