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Arsenic in the Azaleas

(Lovely Lethal Gardens #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  3,107 ratings  ·  376 reviews
Riches to rags. … Controlling to chaos. … But murder … seriously?

After her ex-husband leaves her high and dry, former socialite Doreen Montgomery's chance at a new life comes in the form of her grandmother, Nan's, dilapidated old house in picturesque Kelowna … and the added job of caring for the animals Nan couldn’t take into assisted living with her: Thaddeus, the loqua
Kindle Edition, 294 pages
Published January 22nd 2019 by Valley Publishing Ltd.
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  3,107 ratings  ·  376 reviews

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Mar 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: series, cozy-mystery, 2019
This was a quirky cozy with a divorcee amateur sleuth, who finds several dead bodies under and around the home her grandmother has given her. Doreen has quite the menagerie made up of her dog Mugs, parrot Thaddeus and Goliath the cat who keep her company and add a bit of humour to the story.

I thought the animals saved the story, as Doreen was sometimes hard to take. Even with allowances made for her learning how to be a functioning member of the world after being a trophy wife, her helplessness
A good start to the series, with a mystery that kept me involved enough to want to see how it ended. What irked me was the constant repetition of her situation vis a vis her yucky marriage, her yucky ex, her current downer circumstance, etc. A couple of times would have done it, followed up by a solid action plan to deal with it. I also would have wanted to see her use the internet a lot more for things she apparently couldn't handle, such as dealing with a gas stove.

Loved her relationship with
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oh. My. Goodness. I absolutely LOVED this book! The MC, Doreen Montgomery, is a soon-to-be-divorcee. 35 years old and an ex-socialite, she is now sans money because her ex-husband had an affair with a woman who ended up being Doreen's attorney for her divorce, so let's just say she got royally screwed!

Just hours, or even less, after she gets to her Nana's house, the cat, Goliath, found a bone and her basset hound, Mugs, snatched it away. As Doreen goes to scold Mugs she realizes they've come hom
Apr 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
Sorry, but this one was very poorly constructed. Silly, and often illogical, with characters suddenly responding in a different way with no discernable trigger, hackneyed descriptions, and no character worth identifying with or caring about. The grandmother, Nan, has suddenly moved into a rest home facility a five minute walk away where she can be consulted by her long time no see socialite granddaughter Doreen (but does not seem to have been consulted about obvious things). The heroine is a tro ...more
Apr 09, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on iBooks today (4/9/2019)! 🎁

Riches to rags. … Controlling to chaos. … But murder … seriously?

After her ex-husband leaves her high and dry, former socialite Doreen Montgomery's chance at a new life comes in the form of her grandmother, Nan's, dilapidated old house in picturesque Kelowna … and the added job of caring for the animals Nan couldn’t take into assisted living with her: Thaddeus, the loquacious African gray parrot with a ripe vocabulary, and his buddy, Goliath, a monster
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Quirky new cosy mystery series. Yet I have to mention that I cannot believe that people can be as inept as Doreen. There is such a thing as the internet and google or youtube :-)
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The covers are eye-catching and after reading the promo, I was hooked however the covers are busy. The tale is a fun relaxing, and humorous read. The main characters are fully developed that include Doreen Montgomery, a discarded trophy wife, and her basket hound Mugs. For added humor, there are the fur babies, Thaddeus, an African Grey Parrot and Goliath, a Maine Coon all on the cover along with the plant featured in the story. We add RMP Corporal Mack Moreau for a romantic relationship it a ne ...more
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Doreen Montgomery, recently divorced, arrives in a quaint Canadian village to care for her grandmother's home and pets, only to find a human finger bone in the garden. The police discover the corresponding body and Doreen's grandmother, now in a local assisted living facility, is the prime suspect in the murder.

Mayer gives us a fully-fleshed out, relatable main character and surrounds her with quirky secondary characters and three charming pets. There are plenty of twists and turns in this whims
Jun 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star
Started out okay, but I lost interest fast. Found myself skimming through some of the book.
Nola Arganbright
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing

A great new to me Cozy Mystery series. A plethora of excellent characters including three pets with full personalities that help find the bodies and solve the mysteries!
Well.. I haven't written a bad review in a while, so might as well polish my skills or people will start to think I am nice or something :D

Erratic, repetitive, silly and inconsistent. It hurt me to read this. This was one of the most painful reads of this year. Ouch. I feel my IQ dropping just from thinking about it.

(view spoiler)
Kat Lebo
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Arsenic in the Azaleas, Lovely Lethal Gardens #1
by Dale Mayer

I wanted to like this first-in-the-series book, and I suppose I did like it, but I did not love it.

The editing and proofing were excellent. The pacing was good, with lots of action that flowed well. The characters were definitively drawn, and I was very fond of Mugs, Goliath, and Thaddeus. There was no cliffhanger ending. There was plenty of humor in the writing. So why didn't I like it better?

It's difficult to fall in love with a ser
Celia Buell
Last month I read a few cozies that were not exactly what I had hoped I would get out of the genre. I started reading them for small-town feels and quirky, lovable, real characters. I'm afraid to say the few I read in May didn't exactly fit those vibes. So I was a little bit wary when I first started reading Arsenic in the Azaleas.

I'm happy to report this novel was the new look at the genre that I needed this month. I loved Doreen as a character. She was cute, funny, and relatable, and she had t
☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎
Good story

I'm going to date this book 3.5 stars. It was a fun cozy story. Between the animals and the bodies turning up, Doreen wasn't expecting all the fun that came with living in her grandmothers house. Even grandma was a funny character. But yeah I was being sarcasm i said Doreen was having fun but she did turn out to be in the wrong place every time and the neighbors didn't think very highly of her. New girl moves in and bodies turn up. Yeah I wouldn't want to become too friendly. Hahahaha
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Doreen has moved into her grandmother's house and added ownership of Nan's cat and bird to her dog, creating a crowd in the house. Doreen's first day blows up with the discovery of a body in the back yard.
This is a fun cozy mystery with the requisite handsome detective, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The characters are likable, the mystery interesting and animals adorable. I found the characters a little simplistic but still fun. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in t
Doreen the ex-trophy wife has nowhere to go and little money to live on, so she ends up moving into her Nan’s house.
I stalled at writing the summary; it’s just so silly.
Her husband was having an affair with her lawyer and she signed off on everything and was left with nothing. [Report her to the Bar Association, you stupid cow. Get it undone. It’s YOUR money.]
And why would her Nan move out weeks/months before Doreen arrived? Long enough for weeds to reach waist height in the yard? And she lef
Kelley Allen
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Doreen leaves a life of luxury and no responsibilities due to a douche of a husband and heads for a fresh start. Little did she know moving into Nan's fully furnished, cluttered, antiquated home would lead to an interesting first week of murder and mayhem. Along with the house, she gets murder, mayhem, a hunky detective, a menagerie of unique critters, and a new look on life.

From the minute I started reading, I could not put this book down. Loved it! I was hooked from page 1. I think I may have
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in the Lovely Lethal Gardens series. When I first read about this book, I wasn’t very interested in reading it. I don’t really like the amateur sleuth genre. Since I love Dale Mayer’s other series I decided to give it a chance and I’m glad I did. Doreen was a trophy wife that never had to do anything for herself. After her separation, she needs to learn how to take care of herself. She moves into her grandmother’s house and finds that she has a cat and parrot in addition t ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be surprisingly fun, suspenseful and highly entertaining. A murder mystery read that is heavily spiced with humor will leave you chuckling as you try to figure out this whodunnit. I loved Doreen. I thought she was a charming combination of sassy and clueless. This left you either cheering her on or smacking your forehead at her many "Duh Moments". Her interactions with poor Corporal Mack Moreau will leave you in stiches and sending him your sympathies. I think I feel a spark ...more
Jerri Cachero
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A real life heroine who isn't perfect, whose family consists of a spirited grandmother, a lovable dog, huge cat and a smart parrot...and I loved them all!

When former rich wife Doreen finds herself divorced and broke, she takes her grandmother Nan's offer to live in her home since Nan is moving to a nearby retirement community. Doreen and Mugs, her much loved dog, get more than she planned when she inherits Goliath the cat and Thaddeus the parrot and a body in the front yard!

Doreen is a complicat
Kim Territo
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked the characters and look forward to reading the rest of this series.
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
A quirky start to a new series. Decent but there were a few issues for me. The bird was irritating as all get out. Doreen's obsession with how horrid her life was now although it sounded like her prior life wasn't all that great, even with all of her hubby's money. The fact that she refused to ask someone how to use ANYTHING! The mystery was fairly solid, if I hadn't gotten caught up in the irritations. We'll see if I go any further with the series.
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This is 2.5 rated up because it's a first in a new series and, hopefully, will get better.
Trish Goodgame
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mayer-dale
Riches to Rags - a great twist

A refreshing change from so many books that are rags to riches stories. In this start to the Lovely Lethal Gardens series, ex-socialite Doreen is soon to be divorced from her rich philandering husband, now with Doreen's younger female divorce lawyer, who made sure Doreen was left with nothing except her old car to her name. (I'm sure there is something seriously wrong with this scenario).
She moves into her Nan's house and on the first day discovers a body with the h
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just who is the most intuitive crime fighter in this series??

I started reading this and I wasn't sure what to expect but oh WOW!! I’ve read all of Dale Mayer’s Military/Seals and Psychic Vision series...I've just found a new book series to love and continue.

... Doreen makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time... I love her sassiness, her outlook and the realism of life in not knowing what to do but making the best of any given situation that comes her way. Still trying even if mistakes and
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With Arsenic in the Azaleas Dale Mayer proves once again to be an eclectic and very creative author.
A humorous mystery novel, the book features a variety of bright characters with unusual and very peculiar personalities, complemented by a group of delectable and brilliant pets.
The novel is easy and entertaining; the story flows effortlessly, immersed in the beauty of the Canadian countryside. The rhythm is steady, with there are plenty of twists and turns that make the reader enjoy every page.
Char Davis
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a sweet funny lighthearted suspense filled mystery story.Although different that Dales usual genre it's a really good book.When socialite wife becomes discarded for a younger woman.Doreen spent fourteen miserable years helping build her husband's business.Now her attorney told her to sign away everything she didn't know her attorney was her husband's new fiance.So as for her Ban steps up once more.She gives her house to Doreen and moves into a retirement community. When Doreen and her do ...more
Shayla Markham
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Arsenic in the Azaleas (Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 1) by Dale Mayer

Doreen Montgomery leaves her wealthy, controlling husband and 14-year marriage behind to move to a lovely community in British Columbia to start over. She is new owner of her grandmother Nan's old house that needs plenty of TLC. Nan takes up residence in assisted living just a few blocks away (where she continues her secret hobby! ). Doreen's Bassett Hound, Mugs, right away becomes friends with Nan's two intelligent pets Thaddeus
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm surprised at many of the other reviews as I found Arsenic in the Azaleas to be a wonderfully funny, witty, page-turner of a novel where the surprises just keep on coming, and I absolutely adore Thaddeus, the African blue-gray parrot; Goliath, the monster-size Maine coon cat; and Mugs, the beloved basset hound. The main character, Doreen moves to her grandmother Nan's house after a ruinous 14-year marriage where her only jobs were to be arm candy and a glorified trophy wife to her very contro ...more

She was a bit annoying and rarely activated her brain in anything but the 'now I'm going to come up with some random thought or connection about the crime'. Lots of fumbling around being an ex barbie wife who never learnt to do anything but be a barbie wife (WHO, ever, anywhere, would have walked away from a 14 year marriage believing that she got absolutely NOTHING from it!!! There at the least should have been a Google search, but no, she just nodded at her lawyer and took the clapped out c
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Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It's a Dog's Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come

Other books in the series

Lovely Lethal Gardens (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Bones in the Begonias (Lovely Lethal Gardens #2)
  • Corpse in the Carnations (Lovely Lethal Gardens #3)
  • Dagger in the Dahlias (Lovely Lethal Gardens #4)
  • Evidence in the Echinacea (Lovely Lethal Gardens #5)
  • Footprints in the Ferns (Lovely Lethal Gardens #6)
  • Gun in the Gardenias (Lovely Lethal Gardens #7)
  • Handcuffs in the Heather (Lovely Lethal Garden #8)
  • Icepick in the Ivy (Lovely Lethal Gardens #9)
  • Jewels in the Juniper (Lovely Lethal Gardens #10)
  • Killer in the Kiwis (Lovely Lethal Gardens #11)

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“As part of Nan’s decision to live at Rosemoor, she had also decided to give the house to Doreen, Nan’s only living relative, so she’d always have a home to live in. And Doreen was incredibly grateful to have it. She walked to the nearest window in the living room and pushed it wide open, letting in some springtime air, then went to the next room, the formal dining room. It had been a long time since she’d been in the house, and her present reality warred with her past memories. There was just something” 0 likes
“Her gaze roamed the small space, made even smaller by the clutter. In the ensuing weeks Nan had been gone a fine layer of dust had settled over every surface… It would take hours to clean all this…” 0 likes
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