BLOG TOUR – Beware the Orchids – REVIEW & GUEST POST

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Welcome! Today I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Beware the Orchids, the first book in the Shady Acres Mystery series by Cynthia Hickey.  It was a delightful book. You will find my review, purchase links, and the Rafflecopter giveaway underneath the guest post that Ms. Hickey was gracious enough to write for me! I apologize to Ms. Hickey, for some reason I couldn’t get her beautiful photo to copy/paste properly.

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Why I love a good Mystery – Cynthia Hickey

CynthiaHickeyI’ve enjoyed mysteries from a young age, reading every. single. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Harvey Boys. There’s something about pitting wits against a thief or killer that kept me turning the pages. Now, mysteries have enabled me to stay at home and write what I love to read.

In 2007, I heard of a mystery line opening up, but was writing romantic suspense at the time (another love of mine). A friend dared me to write for the line, saying my style would fit perfectly. I wrote my first cozy Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in a contest, acquired an agent, and the rest is history. Now with my fourth series, The Shady Acres series complete, I’m ready to start my fifth.


One thing you’ll always find in my series is a bit of romance, a dash of humor, and a whole lot of fun characters. I always seem to locate my stories in the Ozark mountains where I grew up. After all, the hills and hollows hold a bit of mystery themselves, but my newest series will take place in Hollywood, California.

Do I plan on stopping any time soon? Not a chance. I intend to write mysteries and suspense until God calls me home. Do I have more ideas? You bet.

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Synopsis of “Beware the Orchids”

Ditched at the altar, Shelby Hart tosses down her bouquet, quits her job, and accepts a position as gardener and event coordinator at an upscale retirement community. Her first day on the job results with a dead body in the greenhouse under the orchids and with her as the prime suspect!

Toss in a handsome handyman, quirky characters, and a flirtatious grandma and the fun never stops.

Graphic illustration of a flower bed with pink coneflowers, white and yellow daisies, some type of blue flowers and a few bees.
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4 out of 5 stars.

This was a delightful, fun read and I’m looking forward to others in the series!

Our main characters, Shelby, Heath, and Ida, Shelby’s grandmother, are great! I love each of them. Shelby’s a little impulsive, but while she doesn’t listen to the police and stay out of the investigation, she doesn’t seem to be too impulsive and get herself into danger. Yes, things happen to her and her friends. Yes, she ends up almost being smoked and burned alive, but she takes precautions where she can. I much prefer her type of heroine than the ones that go off and deliberately ignore the danger they’re putting themselves in.

The only thing was that the characters didn’t seem that well-rounded and developed. I’m hoping that’s something that will be fixed as the series goes on.

The setting descriptions were great. I can be a hard nut to please in this area. There’s a fine line between too much description and not enough. Thankfully, Ms. Hickey gracefully balances on that line. I was able to imagine Shady Acres vividly but I liked that not every detail was filled in for me. I like being able to use my imagination when reading.

The plot line moved along mostly at a steady pace. There were a couple of spots in the middle where it seemed to bog down a little bit, but not so badly that I resorted to skimming instead of reading.

All in all, I’d say this is a good start to the series. I look forward to reading the rest of the series!

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Purchase Links: AmazonB&N

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Thanks for joining me today on this latest Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Beware the Orchids by Cynthia Hickey. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click on the banner below. It will take you to the main tour page where there is a list of participants!

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