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Featured Series and Cozies > Flower Shop Mysteries by Kate Collins

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message 1: by Nell (last edited Jan 03, 2017 01:56PM) (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
This month's featured series: The Flower Shop Mysteries by Kate Collins. The first in the series is Mum's the Word

Mum's the Word (A Flower Shop Mystery, #1) by Kate Collins

This thread is for discussing any books in the Flower Shop mystery series. Please let us know which book(s) you are discussing and remember to hide spoilers.

Slay It with Flowers (A Flower Shop Mystery, #2) by Kate Collins Dearly Depotted (A Flower Shop Mystery, #3) by Kate Collins Snipped in the Bud (A Flower Shop Mystery, #4) by Kate Collins Acts of Violets (A Flower Shop Mystery, #5) by Kate Collins A Rose from the Dead (A Flower Shop Mysteries, #6) by Kate Collins Shoots to Kill (A Flower Shop Mystery, #7) by Kate Collins Evil in Carnations (A Flower Shop Mystery, #8) by Kate Collins Sleeping With Anemone (A Flower Shop Mystery, #9) by Kate Collins Dirty Rotten Tendrils (A Flower Shop Mystery, #10) by Kate Collins Night of the Living Dandelion (A Flower Shop Mystery, #11) by Kate Collins To Catch a Leaf (A Flower Shop Mystery, #12) by Kate Collins Nightshade on Elm Street (A Flower Shop Mystery, #13) by Kate Collins Seed No Evil (A Flower Shop Mystery, #14) by Kate Collins

Kate Collins will join our discussion on Fridays this month to answer questions and respond to comments.


message 2: by jaxnsmom (new)

jaxnsmom | 2408 comments Mod
Here are some questions/things to think about while reading Mum's the Word. The questions are from Ms Collins' website - http://katecollinsbooks.com/

MUM’S THE WORD
- Abby considers herself the black sheep of the Knight family. What positive and/or negative impact does that have on her character?
- Pryce Osborne and Marco Salvare are as opposite as two men can be. Or are they? What do you think attracted Abby to Marco? To Pryce? What was the real cause of her break-up with Pryce?
- Can you explain Abby’s love/hate relationship with the police and the judicial system?
- Stories usually contain a character who functions as the protagonist’s spiritual guide. Who serves that function for Abby?
- What does Abby do to promote her flower shop? Were any of her attempts effective?
- What one trait does Abby find most appealing about Marco?
- Abby hates bullies and injustice. What do you think has caused each of those feelings?
- Does Abby have any obvious or hidden fears?
- What are Abby’s flaws? Can you understand or relate to them?
- Which character (if any) do you identify with, and why?
- Do you know someone like Lottie’s cousin Pearl?
- Do you think Abby comes from a normal or dysfunctional family?
- Why does Abby consider her father her hero?
- Would you classify Abby as an optimistic or pessimistic person?
- How does the ending tie in with the opening scene of the story?


message 3: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 4 comments I just started the book today already loving it. I am excited about these questions will help enrich my reading experience.


message 4: by Katie (new)

Katie Johnson | 2 comments I love this series and have read them all. One of the best series I have read in a long time and now I am trying to be patient as I wait for #15 in February. I am excited to discuss any and all of the books in the series.

One odd question that occurred to me as I re-read Mum's the Word - was it intentional to name Abby's brothers after members of New Kids on the Block (Jonathan and Jordan Knight)?? :-)


message 5: by Nell (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
Just bought the first in the series Mum's the Word to re-read. I've read all but the newest flower shop mystery and love Kate and Marco.

Looking at the questions posted. I'll try answering a couple of them:

Does Abby have any obvious or hidden fears?
I think Abby has a fear of failure. When she dropped out of law school, her life changed from what she thought her family and friends expected. She's been trying to prove herself ever since.

- What one trait does Abby find most appealing about Marco?
I'm picking two: Marco is loyal and he loves who she is - he's not trying to change her.


message 6: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (sharon_alexandr) I'm reading the first in the series now. I'm only on the third chapter, but I'm looking forward to a new cozy series to enjoy!


message 7: by Nell (last edited Sep 06, 2013 05:48AM) (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
The books describe Abby as a short, buxom, red-head. When I look at the book covers I wonder why the image pictures her cousin, Jillian - tall, svelte and also red-headed. Is that model thin image supposed to attract female readers?

It's a rhetorical question (sort of) but it bugs me. Every time I see it I think: that's not Abby, that's Jillian. Maybe the illustrator should read the book.

I really like that Jillian had a curved spine and was an ugly duckling before she became a swan. Adds depth to her character.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I am looking forward to starting this series.


message 9: by Kate (new)

Kate Collins | 3 comments Katie wrote: "I love this series and have read them all. One of the best series I have read in a long time and now I am trying to be patient as I wait for #15 in February. I am excited to discuss any and all of ..."

Katie, I really didn't intend that. The names of all my characters sort of come to me. Maybe I was channeling The New Kids! LOL


message 10: by Kate (new)

Kate Collins | 3 comments Nell wrote: "Just bought the first in the series Mum's the Word to re-read. I've read all but the newest flower shop mystery and love Kate and Marco.

Looking at the questions posted. I'll try answering a coupl..."


You nailed them, Nell. Abby does have two other phobias but they won't come out right away.


message 11: by Kate (new)

Kate Collins | 3 comments Kate wrote: "Nell wrote: "Just bought the first in the series Mum's the Word to re-read. I've read all but the newest flower shop mystery and love Kate and Marco.

Looking at the questions posted. I'll try answ..."


BTW, I agree with you on the cover art. I was told it's a "stylized" cover, not an actual representation. Whatev. Otherwise, though, I love my covers. They're bright and cheerful, which is what I hope my stories are, along with good mysteries.


message 12: by Melissa (last edited Sep 12, 2013 08:04PM) (new)

Melissa | 140 comments I am about to start Mum's the Word. I'm excited because these have been in my TBR pile forever.

My question is, I heard these are kind of loosely based on Valpo, IN. Is that true? If so, it's really neat as my Mom lives in Michigan City, which is right by there. One of my friends in Michigan City has read all of them and has been raving about them for a while.


message 13: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 653 comments I'll be starting SEED NO EVIL sometime this weekend. Looking forward to it. One of my favorite series!


message 14: by Nell (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
Kate wrote: "...Otherwise, though, I love my covers. They're bright and cheerful, which is what I hope my stories are, along with good mysteries.
. ..."


Lining up the covers like they are in message one showcases how colorful and pretty they are. I like the swoop of solid color on the right and how the picture ties in with the story.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

I need to read this so I can jump into the discussion!


❂ Murder by Death  (murderbydeath) I'll be starting Seed No Evil after finishing the book I'm reading now.


message 17: by Katie (new)

Katie Johnson | 2 comments Kate, I read the whole series and started again before I made the New Kids connection and I think my free trial of xm radio and the 90s on 9 might be to blame :)


message 18: by Linda C (new)

Linda C (libladynylindac) | 259 comments Just finished Mum's the Word and liked it. I also read Acts of Violets some time ago. Both were enjoyable.

My only quibble with the character is the type of meddling in some instances. Some seemed believable for a known meddler with a strong sense of justice, but a few instances seemed like bad situations to put yourself in, when a little thought or patience might have worked in the long run.

I did like the plots of both books; meaty, not simplistic, but still with a touch of humor.


message 19: by Nell (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
Linda C wrote: "My only quibble with the character is the type of meddling in some instances. Some seeme..., when a little thought or patience might have worked in the long run."

Good point but...Being impatient and impetuous are two of Abby's character traits. It gets her into sticky even life-threatening situations. I like that Marco, Lottie, Grace and others stay in Abby's case about her meddling.


message 20: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (sharon_alexandr) I just finished Mum's the Word and I really enjoyed it! Abby is a very likable character and I didn't feel annoyed by her decisions as I sometimes do in cozies. I'm looking forward to continuing with the series!


❂ Murder by Death  (murderbydeath) Nell wrote: "Good point but...Being impatient and impetuous are two of Abby's character traits. It gets her into sticky even life-threatening situations. I like that Marco, Lottie, Grace and others stay in Abby's case about her meddling..."

Too funny - everyone being on Abby's case about her meddling almost had me giving up the series at the beginning; it felt really condescending to me, like they were talking down to her. Really turned me off at first. But each book got better than the one before it and I became hooked. :)


message 22: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (sharon_alexandr) Jennifer, I agree. I was irritated with everyone talking to Abby about meddling and then at the end when they made her promise not to meddle anymore. It seemed kind of condescending.


message 23: by Nell (last edited Sep 11, 2013 04:33AM) (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
Questions from Message 2:

- Would you classify Abby as an optimistic or pessimistic person?
I think it's more accurate to describe her as idealistic.

- Can you explain Abby’s love/hate relationship with the police and the judicial system?
I can't explain it but I can relate to it.
She believes that the system should work fairly regardless of who someone is. She expects the weak to be protected and wrongdoers to be punished/held accountable regardless of their wealth or political power.

It reminds me of my expectation that there is justice in the legal system. Then I went to law school and worked as a judicial law clerk. Oh well...sometimes there's justice; sometimes I'm not sure what that means. I envy Abby's idealism and certainty.


message 24: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (sharon_alexandr) Another question from Message 2:

- Abby considers herself the black sheep of the Knight family. What positive and/or negative impact does that have on her character?

I think it has a positive impact. She knows she is her own person and shes ok with that. She's not a doctor or a lawyer, she doesn't belong to the country club, and she owns a flower shop. But I think she is doing something she prefers. I'd much rather be happy doing something I love rather than making a lot of money and not enjoying life.


message 25: by Nell (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
Re-read Mum's the Word this weekend. This far into the series details of the setting and characters were faded memories. Reading the scene where Abby and Marco meet was especially fun. I've read several first in a series recently. This one was very good. Now I'll be skipping forward to #14.


message 26: by Nell (last edited Sep 12, 2013 04:24AM) (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
Question for Kate - Abby is a florist and the books include scenes where Abby is creating floral arrangements. I'm no expert but it sounds authentic. How did you learn about flowers and creating floral arrangements?


message 27: by Martha (new)

Martha Samsell (tmhoira2012) I read Mum's the Word and enjoyed it. Abby has a lot of fears with good reason it sounds like she was in the Mafia. I would like to read Kate Collins other mysteries I will have to.


message 28: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 107 comments Just finished up Snipped in the Bud..and it was another fabulous read!! Can't wait to start Acts of Violets!!

I think the Knight family is pretty normal..every family has it's quirks... some just have more than others!!


message 29: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 140 comments I'm reading Mum's the Word and enjoying it.


message 30: by Nikki (new)

Nikki (withererose) I really enjoyed reading Mum's the Word, will be picking up the next book in series sometime this week :) looking forward to it.


message 31: by jaxnsmom (new)

jaxnsmom | 2408 comments Mod
It's been awhile since I've read the series, which I've enjoyed. I hope to have time to reread Mum's the Word, but I have a couple of questions in the meantime. Kate, how do you decide how much romance in the book is enough to not overshadow the mystery? And how do you decide how much of the details of the sexual relationship should be told versus being left to the reader's imagination? I love a lot of the interactions between Abby and Marco, I can feel the sparks flying.


message 32: by Nell (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
Kate - The scenes where Abby's mother unveils her latest art work are hilarious. Abby's efforts to hide her true reaction (and the artwork) are endearing. This is Maureen's way of supporting Abby's business and in an unexpected way it actually does.
Why did you decide to add this aspect to her mother's character? How do you come up with the ideas for Mo's creations?


message 33: by Mark (new)

Mark Baker (carstairs38) | 696 comments Since I read the first two books several years ago, I went on to book #3, Dearly Depotted.

I really enjoyed it, and I'm wondering why I let so long go between books in the series. Here's my review: http://carstairsconsiders.blogspot.co...

A question for Kate. I remember enough to know that these three books take place fairly close together. Is there a reason you are keeping the action in such a short period of time? Are all the books in the series this tightly packed, or does Abby get a little time off between murders as the series progresses?


message 34: by Kay (new)

Kay (kayellen) I was looking forward to a new-to-me series, but when I got to the bookstore I had forgotten my phone and my list. Looking for "flower shop" mysteries I picked up the most recent of the series, Seed No Evil. I have to say that I was not swept away by the book. Everyone is just so perky! Even the sentences are perky! The heroine spends a lot of time in the first few pages walking around appreciating how wonderful her life is, how attractive things are, and even when things seem to be going wrong she is taken care of by her trusty assistants. Although I really wanted to like Abby's cousin, Jillian, her rehearsing for the baby struck me as silly. While I could see why Abby wanted to be with Marco, I did not get what Marco saw in Abby. I might try another of the books, but I just don't think that this series will be on my auto-buy list.


message 35: by Nell (last edited Sep 24, 2013 05:25AM) (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
Kay wrote: "I was looking forward to a new-to-me series, but when I got to the bookstore I had forgotten my phone and my list. Looking for "flower shop" mysteries I picked up the most recent of the series, See..."

@ Kay - It's hard to start a cozy series on the 14th book. You've missed all the character development that preceded it. I've read this series from the beginning and re-read Mum's the Word this month. It was easy to see why Marco is attracted to Abby. The re-read reminded me of some of the details of setting and about the characters' backgrounds. Had the author rehashed them in every book, I would have found it tedious. (In fact, I'm tired of hearing about how Abby flunked out of law school.)

I have yet to read Seed No Evil, but I've read all the others in this series. What you're describing sounds like 'bride behavior', i.e., stars in her eyes, rose-colored glasses. There's more to all the characters than first appears, including Jillian. If you try another in the series, I suggest starting with the first one. Still it may not be the series for you, but you might see why it's on others' buy list.

FTR - I would absolutely LOVE having 'assistants' like Abby's: Lottie, who owned the shop before her and taught Abby what she knows about the flower business, and Grace, a retired legal secretary who got bored and runs the cafe as more of a hobby than a job.


message 36: by Melodie (last edited Sep 24, 2013 07:07AM) (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 653 comments Kay wrote: "I was looking forward to a new-to-me series, but when I got to the bookstore I had forgotten my phone and my list. Looking for "flower shop" mysteries I picked up the most recent of the series, See..."

This series is a favorite of mine, but SEED NO EVIL was most definitely not one of the better books in the series. Not a good one to start with!


message 37: by Kay (new)

Kay (kayellen) #35 and 36, Thanks! I will give the series another try. I think that this series has been hard for me because I am contrasting it to the Deborah Knott series which really is one of my favorites. As I said in that discussion I did start that Deborah Knott series with the most recent one and that just made me want to buy all of them. This series I will approach more cautiously.


message 38: by Nell (last edited Sep 24, 2013 03:10PM) (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
Kay wrote: "#35 and 36, Thanks! I will give the series another try. I think that this series has been hard for me because I am contrasting it to the Deborah Knott series which really is one of my favorites. As..."

I'm a stickler for reading series in order because I enjoy the characters' development as the series progresses. There are many who feel otherwise and jump in with whichever book is at hand. Different strokes... There's a discussion thread about it either here or on the other cozy group.

Both authors are favorites of mine though their writing styles and the regional setting of the books are quite different. Both are set in small towns and the main characters have close relationships with family & friends.


message 39: by Nell (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
Started Seed No Evil and am enjoying it. Jillian's pregnancy rehearsal and following advice from Dr. Baybee is very funny.


message 40: by Nell (last edited Sep 29, 2013 02:56PM) (new)

Nell | 2601 comments Mod
Just finished Seed No Evil. Did not figure out who-done-it until right before it was revealed. I was looking in the wrong direction.

Abby's niece, Tara, is one of my favorite characters. She appears several times in this one. Like how Abby's family and friends surprise her. Abby is much more 'together' in this one - maybe she learned something from the bridal shower she nearly ruined in the previous book.

Plenty of complications but of course they are all worked out just in time for the wedding. Looking forward to Abby and Marco's next adventure... and loved Seedy.

Seed No Evil (A Flower Shop Mystery, #14) by Kate Collins


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