PUSHING UP DAISIES
St. Martin's Minotaur (February 2008)
First in the Dirty Business Mystery Series
Thirtyish former television exec Paula Holliday relocates from New York City to sleepy Springfield, CT, determined to turn her passion for gardening into a new, less stressful career.
When an eccentric spinster dies, her landmark property is left to the local Historical Society, and Paula sees the garden’s restoration as a way to get her fledgling business off the ground. She’s prepared for everything, but not for the mummified baby she digs up her first day on the job. After a cursory investigation, the local police decide it’s an old secret, not a recent crime, so they drop the matter, but . . . Paula’s not so sure.
Casual snooping turns serious when someone is impaled on a garden tool and one of Paula’s helpers is arrested for the crime. Aided by the still-hot aging rocker who owns the local greasy spoon, a Shakespeare-quoting massage therapist, and a handsome Mexican laborer with a few secrets of his own, Paula unearths more dirt the suburban town has kept buried.
Rounding out the cast, and among the suspects, a randy Congressman and his gin-swigging mother, an amoral newspaper reporter, an octogenarian ladies’ man, childhood sweethearts reunited after 50 years, and a tattooed lady you wouldn’t want to mess with.
“Quirky, original, and captivating . . . marks the debut of a sure-to-please series.”
--Carolyn Hart, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Award-winning author of the Death on Demand series
“Paula Holliday is a sleuth to watch. With an intriguing mix of gardening savvy, sassy wit, and smart plotting, Rosemary Harris has crafted a clever mystery.”
--Susan Wittig Albert, author of the China Bayles herbal mysteries
“Paula Holliday knows her andromedas and her viburnum. Her creator, Rosemary Harris, knows her pacing and suspense. Fast paced and full of garden lore, Pushing Up Daisies is a great read. If rosemary is for remembrance, Rosemary Harris is an author to remember.”
--Barbara D’Amato, author of Death of a Thousand Cuts
“A very enjoyable read and great tips for gardeners as well.”
--M. C. Beaton, author of the Agatha Raisin series
“Get ready to meet a smart, engaging heroine who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty--literally.”
--Brian Freeman, author of Stalked
"I just love it--intriguing mystery, great characters, and very funny."
--Alison Gaylin, author of Trashed
Pushing Up Daisies is an Anthony and Agatha Nominee for Best First Novel!
Named to Library Journal's Best First Fiction List 2008, Mystery Guild Selection, IMBA Bestseller, and Killer Book