SLUGFEST by Rosemary Harris


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The owner of a Connecticut nursery finds mayhem in the marigolds when she attends New York’s premier flower show.

Paula Holliday (Dead Head, 2010, etc.) left the Big Apple when life as a TV producer got too hectic. Now she’s back selling her friend Primo Dunstan’s eccentric trash sculptures at the Big Apple Flower Show. Of course purists like Allegra Douglas think vendors have no place in the horticultural showcase, but its ambitious director Kristi Reynolds who wants her event to rival Philadelphia’s legendary flower show. So Paula ends up with a badge that satisfies even a martinet like security guard Rolanda Knox, and in she goes, taking with her the backpack of struggling student Garland Bleimeister, whose credentials don’t meet Knox’s strict standards. Paula doesn’t foresee the endless catastrophes that infest the Big Apple show like aphids. First someone knocks off Connie Anzalone’s prized veronicas. Then somebody knocks off custodian Otis Randolph. Now Paula begins to feel queasy about what’s in the bag, neatly stowed underneath a table full of Primo’s artwork. When Garland himself is killed, the police fixate on Jamal Harrington, one of the inner-city kids' middle-school teachers Lauryn Peete has encouraged to enter the show. But Paula thinks that whoever dropped a bag of cosmetics in the ladies’ room after telling off her male companion is somehow involved. Should she share her suspicions with police detective John Stancik? Or, cute as Stancik is, should she pursue her hunch on her own?

Daisies won’t tell, but Harris does in her hilarious look at gardeners gone wild.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-56996-9
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2011


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