Blue Dahlia (In the Garden #1)

Write on: Thu, 09 Nov 2017 by  in Archive Read 3422

Rating: 4/5 stars

I know I’ve read this series before, but it’s one of the few Nora Roberts trilogies that I don’t remember clearly.

Which meant that I needed to reread them immediately!

This isn’t my favorite Nora series, but it’s still fun and sweet with just enough mystery to add some flavor to the narrative.  In the Garden is a nursery business set up by Rosalind Harper on her family estate, and she’s on the hunt for a manager.  Stella Rothschild would give her right arm to become that manager.  She and her boys have had a rough few years since the death of Kevin, her husband and the boys’ father.  Working at In the Garden would be just exactly the fresh start the shattered family needs.  Thankfully, Rosalind (Roz) agrees, and hires her on the spot.  The catch is that Stella has to move herself and her boys into the sprawling Harper House, but that’s not exactly a hardship.  The only kink in Stella’s plans is Logan, Roz’s landscape designer.  He’s rude and disorganized and drives Stella completely insane.  The fact that he’s disgustingly hot doesn’t help matters.

Blue Dahlia was a sweet love story, with the humor and passion I’ve come to expect from Nora, with the added bonus of adorable and funny kids thrown into the mix.  There was also the added mystery of the Harper Bride, the ghost who haunts the house and sings any children in residence to sleep at night.  She’s mostly benign, but hell hath no fury like a ghost ignored when it comes to single mothers getting romantically involved.   

One thing I admire about Nora is the vast amount of research she puts into each and every occupation featured in her novels.  Each of her series has a theme; sometimes that theme revolves around magic and saving the world from a potential threat, but just as often the theme centers around an occupation.  For this series, it’s all about plants.  I’ve never had any interest in gardening, but my mother loves it.  She’s always happiest with her hands in the dirt, giving a cactus or succulent or an ivy a new home, or tending to those that weren’t properly cared for and restoring them to health.  So anytime I read a book featuring a garden or nursery or florist shop, I think of her.  Especially if that book happens to be written by Nora, who is without a doubt my mom’s favorite author.

All of that being said, this isn’t my favorite book by Nora, simply because I don’t have all that much interest in gardening.  But I'll definitely be finishing the series, because it’s still an incredibly enjoyable, easy to read series featuring strong relationships, be they friendships, romances, or family ties.  And those relationships are what always bring me back to Nora’s work.


Celeste was raised on a steady diet of fairy tales and Bible stories, and always chose to sleep with books instead of teddy bears. Her husband still feeds her book addiction. Southern born and bred, she’s proud of her Louisiana heritage and the spicy foods it brings with it. She’s a guitarist and lead vocalist in a Christian rock band, and hopes to write books of her own someday. Though she’ll read pretty much anything with words, her favorite genre is fantasy in all its many forms.