St. Martin's, Dec 2004, 23.95, 304 pp.
From the moment they saw the Parsonage in the English village of Steeple Tarrant Alex and Kate Sheppard knew they found their dream house. Once they moved in, Alex and Kate work to fix the huge neglected gardens and soon find hidden under other plants a blue rose. Kate knows it must be very valuable because scientists have tried for decades without success to create one. They contact Doctor Lawrence Kingston who is an expert on roses and ask him to provide his expert opinion.
When he sees the rose, he advises them to get a lawyer to handle all the buyers that will want to purchase the flowery gem. They decide to put it up for auction but before that can happen, two businessmen desperate for money call and try to get the rose. The Sheppards refuse to talk to them and refer them to their lawyer. Someone is desperate enough to kidnap Kate and hold her for ransom in exchange for the rose. The only problem is Alex no longer has it because someone has stolen it.
THE BLUE ROSE is an exciting amateur sleuth mystery that will appeal to people who love to garden and those readers who don't like a lot of gore and blood in their who-done-it. The protagonists are beleaguered from every side by folks who will stop at nothing to get THE BLUE ROSE. What nobody knows is that the flower has an unexpected property that makes it dangerous.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner