Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
The Texas Star herself—Miss Lily Dare, the “fastest woman in the world”—is bringing her Dare Devils Flying Circus to Darling. Unfortunately, she’s also bringing a whole lot of trouble. As the Dahlias prepare for the annual Watermelon Festival—where they will present the famous female aviatrix with her own Texas Star hibiscus—rumors are flying.
Dahlias president Liz Lacy learns from newspaperman Charlie Dickens that Miss Dare has been threatened and her plane sabotaged. Apparently the bold and beautiful barnstormer has made plenty of enemies. And is it possible she may even be involved with the husband of one of Darling’s local ladies?
And speaking of wings, the new cook at Myra May’s Darling Diner can fry a chicken and whip up a sweet potato meringue pie like nobody’s business. But why is she keeping her past such a mystery?
As the Texas Star barnstorms into town, Liz and Verna Tidwell offer to help bring down a saboteur who may be propelled by revenge. Before it’s all over, there will be plenty of black eyes and dark secrets revealed…. (Goodreads)
It is 1932 in Darling, Alabama, and preparations for the Annual Watermelon Festival are well underway. It is the Darling Dahlias’ turn to coordinate the festival, and everyone is excited about this year’s main attraction, the Dare Devils Flying Circus featuring the fastest female pilot in the world Lily Dare, the Texas Star herself. As glamorous as Lily seems, she has made enemies and someone has sabotaged her plane on more than one occasion. Charlie, the local newsman, knows her intimately, and she seems to be involved with a local prominent married man. Are these relationships the cause of her current troubles? Or could her fellow flier or wing walker be behind the threats?
Meanwhile, the local diner has lost their cook, and, and as if by magic, Raylene Riggs calls to apply for the job. She turns out to be a fabulous cook with what seems to be a psychic sense of what people want to eat. However, she is mysterious and tells little about herself. What is she hiding? The answer is a sweet surprise for one of the Darling Dahlias.
The Texas Star is unique in that there is no murder involved with the mystery. The garden ladies work together to identify a blackmailer and saboteur. They unearth secrets that some believe are better left hidden.
The Darling Dahlias is a gentle mystery series with a focus on the characters and their relationships, trials, and successes. It features the members of the Darling Dahlia Garden Club and provides a detailed, realistic picture of Southern small town life at the height of the Great Depression. Ms. Albert’s writing is strong and transports the reader to a different time and place. The ladies of Darling are a diverse group of people I would like to know in real life.
I recommend The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star to fans of the series, cozy historical fiction, and those who like their mysteries easy going.