The Darling Dahlias
and
the Poinsettia Puzzle

It's Christmas, 1934, and the citizens of Darling, Alabama, are unwrapping a big package of Christmas puzzles.

Mildred Kilgore and Earlynne Biddle are planning to open a bakery on the square—if they can come up with the right recipes. Charlie Dickens faces two of the biggest puzzles of his career as an investigative reporter, and one of them involves his wife. Cute little Cupcake's talent as a singer and dancer makes her a tempting target for an unscrupulous exploiter; Lizzy must enlist the Dahlias to protect her, while she herself is confronted by a romantic puzzle. And Sheriff Norris is forced to reopen a puzzling mystery that the town thought was solved and follow a string of clues that lead to a deadly situation at the nearby prison farm.

Once again, NYT bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert takes us to a place where real people have courage, respect their neighbors, and dream of doing their best, even when they're not sure what that is. She reminds us that Christmas is a celebration of friendship, community, and what's right with the world. There's nothing puzzling about that.

Bonus—Liz Lacy's Garden Gate column on poinsettias, plus the Dahlias' collection of traditional sweet Southern goodies for the holiday table, garnished with some cookery history.

         


"The author of the popular China Bayles mysteries brings a small Southern town to life and vividly captures an era and culture—the Depression, segregation, class differences, the role of women in the South—with authentic period details. Her book fairly sizzles with the strength of the women of Darling." —Library Journal Starred Review

"Cozy fans will be delighted to learn that the prolific Albert—known for her clever puzzles, engaging characters, love of nature, and outstanding historic research—is debuting yet another exceptional series." —Booklist Starred Review

"Excellent timely regional Depression Era amateur sleuth that brings to life the atmosphere of a period in which people are concerned over the economy that has left no chicken in almost any pot." —Follow The Clue

"Albert does a beautiful job of blending a whodunit with a vivid portrait of an idyllic Depression-era Southern town." —Publishers Weekly

"This sweet book captures the true tone of a small town." —Times-Picayune, New Orleans

Discussion questions for Poinsettia Puzzle

The Map: Cucumber Tree
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coming October 2018