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Oak and Dagger (A White House Gardener Mystery #3)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  162 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
When it comes to gardening, Cassandra “Casey” Calhoun isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. But when it comes to murder, she’s not the kind of gal to let any killer get away clean...

Despite cooler fall temperatures in Washington, D.C., tempers flare at the White House when important historical documents go missing from the curator’s office and the gardeners are blamed. As
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Berkley
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Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This series had its ups and downs but this was the best book out of the three that is in this little series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Sorry to see the characters go. I am glad I decided to finish this series.
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oak And Dagger is the third book in the A White House Gardener Mystery series by Dorothy St. James.

Another wonderful story from Dorothy St. James, but I also want to draw the readers attention to the chapter headings. They are quotes from various First Ladies and are quite entertaining.

Things are hectic for the White House garden staff. First the First Dog has been digging holes in the yard, the President in the middle of planting two trees for the press hits an underground water line and the he
❂ Jennifer
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Excellent read! Fast paced, interesting and with very little 'filler' in the form of internal dialogue or constant review of suspects - this was handled really gracefully with a paragraph here and there throughout the story. I absolutely loved the ending of this book and the plot wrap-up. Ms. James did an excellent job of letting you think you knew the killer only to keep throwing things topsy turvy. And the climax of the "hidden treasure" part of the plot - well, I just thought it was to cooles ...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
In this third novel of the 'A White House Gardener Mystery' series, assistant gardener Cassandra 'Casey' Calhoun is shocked to come upon her boss, Gordon Sims in dire straits. To even make matters worse she finds the deceased body of the Curator who had earlier accused Gordon of theft!

As Casey and co-workers anxiously worry over Gordon even more odd occurrences happen. Lawn schematics are stolen, historical documents are missing, Milo, the White House family's dog is busy digging holes around th
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Yet again, I'm starting a cozy mystery series with book three, but also yet again, it didn't seem to really matter. I quickly picked up the plot, grew to love the characters, and needed to solve the mystery. I didn't quite have all the details, but a suspect was there all along and I was suspicious, that's for sure! I absolutely must go back and read the first two in this series, and see how Casey/Jack came to be, and more about her relationship with the first family. I absolutely adored the gar ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books, series
Casey again is involved in solving a murder. This time she is trying to prove that the head gardener is not a murder. She needs to find the treasure that was suppose to have been buried in 1814 when the British were coming to burn the White House. Again, I enjoyed reading about things and places I have seen and can picture Casey being there. I think I will have to find some non-fiction books about Dolly Madison
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it
You need to read the first two in the series to understand the characters.

A lot going on in the book; a stretch in some areas, but overall enjoyable.
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2013
A simple tree planting leads to chaos at The White House. A schematic is missing from the Grounds Office and a set of important papers has also disappeared from the Curator’s Office. The gardeners are getting blamed for both. On top of that Casey is getting death threats, the First Dog is digging holes all over the South lawn and the First Lady’s sister is creating her own havoc.

Then the curator is found dead is a secluded garden and all the evidence points at Gordon Sims, the chief gardener. Ca
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the third installment in the White House Gardener mystery series, and it's the best one yet, though you definitely need to read the previous ones first. Casey is one of the White House gardeners who always runs into dead bodies, but she was almost a dead body herself. When she was a child, her father left her and her mom, and a deadly gang came looking for him, ending up killing her Mom and seriously wounding Casey. Casey spent her remaining childhood years with her grandmother and two a ...more
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Casey Calhoun is at it again. She's not only knee deep in dirt, but also eager to solve a couple mysteries around the White House - as well as do a little treasure hunting along the way! When the curator is found murdered in the children's garden, Casey's good friend and co-worker, Gordon, is not only in critical condition, but also the main suspect. The cast of new characters includes a famous French designer, an ex-assassin and the Fist Lady's crazy sister. Our favorite gardener will find a fe ...more
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
So I really want to give it a 3.5 but I'm rounding up... I don't think it's the book's fault, but my own for reading it immediately after the White House executive chef series. I think it's a good idea before I start, but then a chapter or two in, I'm already starting to compare the two- and that's not fair. {You know, like your mom comparing you to your "perfect" sibling- NOT FAIR! ~ Not that it ever happened to me, that's because I was the perfect one.... ;] Little did she know! Mwuahahahahaha ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Casey Calhoun is one of the head gardeners, a position she is well-prepared for; she is less prepared for her love affair with one of the White House Special Agents. When Casey discovers the Chief Gardener drowning in the koi pond with the dead body of the White House curator nearby, her life becomes very complicated. Casey is sure that her friend is not the murderer, but all evidence points in his direction. She wants to help prove him innocent, but has other problems at the same time: Is there ...more
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
White House gardener, Cassandra "Casey" Calhoun, loves her job, but when a simple tree planting goes wrong everything else does too. The tree planting debacle was caused by a missing schematic historical documents go missing from the curator's office, and the gardeners are being blamed. On top of that Casey has been receiving death threats, the President's dog has been digging holes, and the curator is found dead in the garden's with Gordon Sims found face-down in a pond and not breathing. To to ...more
Oct 30, 2015 rated it liked it
This was another "fun" read but not much substance. Casey Calhoun is one of the gardeners at the White House. She gets involved when the curator of the White House historical collection is found murdered and her friend, and senior gardener, Gordon Sims, is accused of the crime. This one was easy to figure out and I certainly hope the real White House has a bit more security than they have in the book. Shady people walking around unescorted, holes being dug in the grounds, and noone notices? It w ...more
Jun 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Casey, working in the White House gardens, is in charge of a couple projects on the grounds. One project makes a big splash as the President attempts to plant a few trees, creating an unexpected headline in the press. More trouble comes around and Casey tries to find a killer, a stalker, and a treasure.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozies
Spies, murder, secret treasures of the White house... Casey, Jack and Lorenzo are hot on the trail. You'll be glued to your book until the very end. A must not miss chapter in the White House Gardener Mysteries.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my copy of this book as a gift from a friend.
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I like this series. I wish the writing had been a little tighter. Weird explanations of people's reactions or movements. That said, I love the story and characters. I hope she keeps writing the series. I loved the tie in to history and facts about the White House.
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This latest in the White House gardener series is the most enjoyable, as it ties up some loose ends in a very satisfying way. White House history, tips on gardening, and a cozy mystery, are hallmarks of this series, and this exceeded expectations. Enjoyed it so much, I am re-reading it.
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
OK I admit I did not guess what the Treasure was that Dolley Madison had buried on the grounds of the White House. A good ending for this series.
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This series gets better and better. Loved the historical aspect of this story and think that could be a nice addition to all of the stories in this series.
Feb 03, 2015 added it
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it
This book I enjoyed but had a hard time getting into it. But once I did I didn't want to set it down.
Nov 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: penguin-2013
Cute :-)
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fun!! I loved the history, the gardening and the mystery. Ready to go back and read the first two.
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy this Whit House gardener series and the peek it offers at life behind the scenes at the President's home. This newest entry also advances some serious back story info. Good fun!
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Pseudonym for author Dorothy McFalls

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, tiny little dog and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban
More about Dorothy St. James

Other books in the series

A White House Gardener Mystery (3 books)
  • Flowerbed of State (A White House Gardener Mystery, #1)
  • The Scarlet Pepper (A White House Gardener Mystery, #2)