Two sexagenarians organize a garden party to discover what

really happened twenty years earlier when a young girl disappeared

and her father was found murdered.

 

 
 

 

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Flowers

for her

Grave

 

 

 

 

 

Reviews for

Flowers For Her Grave

 
 

Good Whodunit

I give 5 stars to any book I thoroughly enjoy whether it's a light read or a more intense, complex read. It also has to be a book I look forward to rereading. This book qualifies.

While I figured out who was involved, the specifics of who did what and with what motivation eluded me, or perhaps I was content to let the story play out. I enjoyed the well-woven plot, the unexpected plot twists, and the red herrings. I am cautious about "cozy" mysteries as too many have the most ridiculous amateur sleuths and plots more unbelievable than any paranormal read. This is a quality "cozy," grounded on an investigative journalism premise and cooperative teamwork with the local sheriff. People and situations are viewed realistically and compassionately; there are no one-dimensional characters and no perfect people. I was not expecting depth and did not get it, but I was delighted with the multilayered people and plot.

Content: No explicit sexuality (erotica), no bedroom scenes, no graphic violence (other than mention of blood at the murder scene), and minimal to no use of crude language.

Another criteria for my 5 star rating is character growth and the inclusion of insights: life truths that apply to real life, to us as readers as well as to the novel's characters. This book had a few of them—my favorite was about "putting the lake in it" (at ~53%)—so I ended the book not just entertained and relaxed, but lifted up a bit too.

My thanks to the author; I look forward to reading more of her words. By Kindle Customer

 *

Oh how I wish this book was the beginning of a new series for the author! You'll love the story AND characters! Wow, this story had more twists and turns than the Smokey Mountain Highway! And like the Highway, it's a VERY pleasant experience! I finished the book in 2 sittings and was shocked I had not read any of the author's books before! Her sense of mystery and characters is amazing! If you live in a small town, you will recognize how local gossip can fuel rumors and assumptions, and even change how history is remembered, until someone rips the proverbial bandaid off the wound! By changing the narrators around, we get to know both main characters very well, and care that they find the solution in the end! Highly recommended! Nicole at Bless Their Hearts Mom

 *

One of my favorite pastimes on a cold and cloudy Sunday afternoon is to curl up in front of a fire and luxuriate in the characters and plot of a good mystery. As soon as I started reading Jean Sheldon's book this past weekend, I knew I had hit the jackpot. With her direct, concise language and gift for storytelling, Sheldon weaves an engaging tale of page-turning intrigue that kept my interest from the first sentence to the last. The author does an admirable job of bringing her characters to life and exposing them in all their small-town glory. If you're looking for a satisfying, old-fashioned who-done-it and one hell of a good ride, get this book. Then curl up next to a nice warm fire and have the time of your life. nwhank

 *

A twenty year old mystery has its own way of coming to show itself once more, nothing stays hidden for long. Mrs. Vandenberg the last remaining member of the family, has just passed away. Will the truth come out of who killed her husband, or kidnapped her daughter? Was her daughter alive or dead as well?

Raccoon Grove was always a crime-free town, until 20 years ago. This book is a great read, as it shows family relationships, and how easy terrible things can happen without anyone intending for it. Throughout this book, little odd things occur, which makes this book more interesting to read. The tension and the danger. Journals are kept that give evidence to the mystery only to be stolen recently from the home of the writer. Will they ever be found?

If you like murder or mysteries then this is the book for you. I recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries. Donna McGuire Review The Book

 *

After reading the back cover, I opened the book and thought I would read a few minutes to learn about the characters. Well, I read for an hour and a half and dinner was late! Jean created characters that came alive for me . . . I could almost hear their voices as I visualized Kate and Tracy . . . She also nailed small town culture . . . enough quirks to be memorable, yet the underlying humanity of the citizens made Raccoon Grove seem a desirable place to live. Jean clearly has a gift for weaving a story that helps the reader experience the feelings of her characters, both the likable ones as well as the unlovely and fearful ones. As the mystery was solved and the book ended, I felt as if I had lost two fun friends . . . and I have a much greater appreciation of life in a small town. Good work, Jean....... Write more! Ruby Allen, Editor, The Girl on the Bridge by Ken Reger

 *

Follow a thrilling map to murder, one flower at a time… 

Read it Because:

1. You love a page turning mystery and flower arranging on a lazy summer day.

2. You’ll feel like Sherlock Holmes reincarnated as an aging beauty queen and a sassy gossip columnist.

3. You’re prepared to keep your mom’s Kindle for two days longer than agreed upon so you can finish the story. Jaime Mathis The Independent Authors' Review

 *

This was an unexpectedly terrific book. I loved the characters, the plot, the writing, the setting. I bought it due to the "unsolved disappearance of a child 20 years ago" Marianne hook, and found it excellent. I hope Ms. Sheldon plans to write more about Raccoon Grove.

*

 

This cleverly written murder/mystery story is quite unique, and guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat—and at times falling off it with laughter! I can thoroughly recommend anyone who owns an e-reader to place this one on top of their list. It's a joy to read from beginning to end, and you will be captivated by the escapades of the two women sleuths, who, although their paths are often fraught with danger, with a mix of fun, refuse to give up until they have solved the murder that's dominated their small town far too long. There is a very unexpected ending to this story, but you will have to read it to find out. Louisa Middleton-Blake author, Daydreams, Moonbeams, and Wings over the Common (Wales, UK)

*

Loved this mystery by Jean Sheldon. Her sleuths, Tracy and Kate, are a pair of witty and intrepid characters who want to know who killed Jack Vandenberg and what happened to his five-year-old daughter. Clues and cliff hangers kept me up past my bedtime. Tracy and Kate's investigation of this unsolved case has disturbed someone. Anonymous letters and a trashed newspaper office are only the tip of the iceberg. Add another murder, a house fire, and missing diaries, and you have some of what's roiling this small town. Alice Lynn, author Wrenn and Volunteer for Glory

*

There are things never spoken of for a good reason. "Flowers for Her Grave" tells the story of a small town's long held secret, a murder twenty years ago. The murder revives interest in the dark secret, as many people have different theories of what happened all those years ago. As two sleuths want to find the truth once and for all, their travels may lead to them joining the dead body they are trying to investigate. A fun and fast paced small town mystery, "Flowers for Her Grave" is a fine read and very much recommended. Midwest Book Review Small Press Bookwatch

*

This was an absolutely fun book. I had the time of my life reading it and could hardly put it down! Here are two women different than night and day who are best of friends. When clues start popping up, they decide to look into a 20-year-old mystery and try to find out who murdered one of the town’s citizens. They are also curious as to what happened to the man’s 5-year-old daughter that same night. To top it off, a stranger arrives claiming to be the only living relative of the estate and he wants his fair share.

A great read that will keep you guessing "whodunit!" Be sure to add this one to your reading list. You’ll love it! LuAnn Reading Frenzy

 

*

 

A twenty-year-old mystery is about to come to life again, stirring up old doubts, old fears and, perhaps, old memories. On this, the twentieth anniversary of a murder and a disappearance, the Gazette, this small town's local paper, has run a story revisiting the long ago unsolved crime. Louise Vandenberg, the only surviving member of the family has just passed away. She chased the mystery for years, writing every clue into diaries, did she have the answer to who killed her husband and what happened to her daughter? Who killed Jack? Was five-year-old Kimberley kidnapped? Is she alive or dead?

 

The little town of Raccoon Grove was stunned by this crime in their usually crime-free community, but twenty years is a long time and memories fade. David and Tracy run the paper, and Tracy definitely has an inquiring mind. When two unsigned letters arrive at the paper, one purporting to know who killed Jack, and another simply saying Kimberly is alive in Chicago, and giving a phone number, her clue-sniffing persona takes over. Tracy and Kate are best friends, so sleuthing together does not deter them.

 

This is also a tale of renewal, family relationships, growth and confidence, and how terrible things can happen without intent. Kate, never with faith in herself, lived in an empty shell most of her life until she discovered her love of flowers and her skill with arrangements. Jean Sheldon is an expert at description, and no less so in this book. Her description of the flower gardens is so beautiful it is possible to picture them in the reader's mind. I'm sure if I didn't suffer from lack of smell, I would even have smelled them. Her gardens have given Kate a feeling of worthiness she has never known before and made her stronger.

 

Jack Vandenberg was "the" attorney many women chose to obtain divorces, for his compassion, understanding, and as a very good divorce lawyer. We meet several quirky characters in this book, many ex-husbands firmly ensconced in their bar stools. Some husbands blamed Jack for the breakups of their marriages and convinced themselves their wives were having an affair with him. Kate's ex-husband Dirk was one of these. Was it possible that a disgruntled ex-husband had done the deed?

 

Tracy and Kate begin with old files from the Gazette and an interview with Ben, ex-police chief, who soon turns up dead raising even more questions. Coincidence or accident? There are enough dead ends, false leads, threats, and pretenders to keep the reader guessing. Sara Collins as Kimberley's best friend spent many years treated for depression after the disappearance, but with 20 years behind her and an excellent therapist, she is doing very well, even with the inevitable gaps in her memory. When Kate takes her on as assistant in her gardens and mentors her, her health improves dramatically, but Sara is unable to go near pink roses. Is there a connection?

 

Throughout the book, odd incidents happen. The tension mounts bringing with it danger for our protagonists. In their haste to stall off more crises, some errors in judgment occur, but a reality check makes up for those slips. Uncertain memories sometimes steer them in wrong directions as the townspeople try to remember who was where, and when. The most crucial evidence is expected to show up in Louise's journals, but a break-in at the Vandenberg house has resulted in the disappearance of the most recent ones. Can they ever be found? Will they be destroyed? When Tracy and Kate find themselves as targets, they become more determined to find the culprit.

 

Ms. Sheldon has a wonderful sense of history, mystery, and the flaws of mankind. She has written several stand-alone books, and though mysteries, they are entirely unique. They all pique the reader's interest. Each is carefully researched, presented, and keeps us reading. She is sharp as a tack in nailing her diverse mysteries, always with a touch of humor. My thanks to the author for keeping me entertained and guessing! Another great mystery by Jean Sheldon, who will shock you by the end of this book.

Betty Gelean Nightreader  (Smithers, BC, Canada)
 

*

 

WOW This is a great story. Everything lines up and comes to a conclusion the reader can follow. The character development is smooth and believable. This murder mystery describes what true love for your child can develop into.

Linda Stefanyk

 

*

 

The book left me speechless. Never ever would I have thought that was the way it was going to turn out. There were so many could be suspects. It was refreshing to read a book with down to earth common characters, added plus that they were in their 60's. The ending was great, everything was figured out and topped off with a laugh about the overdue books!

Lesli

 *

For a murder mystery to succeed, the plot must leave the reader in suspense about who committed the crime to the end of the story. Beyond the plot, compelling characters go a long way to add to the reader's overall satisfaction. Jean Sheldon provides both a satisfying plot and interesting characters in her latest work, Flowers for Her Grave.

In the small town of Raccoon Grove, a terrible crime is committed that leaves one prominent man dead and his young daughter missing. On the 20th anniversary of the crime, the local newspaper runs an article on the still unsolved crime, and interest is piqued once again. The paper receives two anonymous letters. The writer of the first letter claims to know the identity of the perpetrator, while the writer of the second professes to know the whereabouts of the long-missing daughter. At the same time, the wife and mother of the victims dies, and a man claiming to be a relative arrives in town to claim his inheritance.

Curiosity aroused, Tracy, the local gossip columnist, and Kate, her florist friend, set out to investigate. Through these two aging baby boomers, the reader meets a host of characters, each with a suspicious connection to the crime and victims. Furthermore, trouble stalks these sleuths as they seek to question the ex-sheriff just before he dies in an accident, become trapped in a burning building, and become the target of a vandal and a sniper.

Sheldon has written a strong plot that will leave most guessing until the final chapters. Her cast of characters makes it almost impossible to discern how all of the pieces of the mystery fit together. Sheldon also provides enough clever twists to make the reader question any assumptions.

Tracy and Kate are delightful main characters. These are not sweet, little old ladies in the vein of Miss Marple. Tracy is a middle-aged woman with a sense of style, a flirtatious relationship with her husband, a few well-placed cuss words, and a spunky demeanor. Kate, by comparison, is a quiet beauty both inside and out, who is just hitting her stride with her business and family in middle age...this is an entertaining and enjoyable mystery.  Portland Book Review 

 

 

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