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New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert transports readers to the summer of 1934, when a sensational murder shakes up the small Southern town of Darling, Alabama—and pulls in the ladies of the Darling Dahlias’ garden club, who never let the grass grow under their feet when there’s a mystery to solve…
The eleven o’clock lady has always been one of garden club president Liz Lacy’s favorite spring wildflowers. The plant is so named because the white blossoms don’t open until the sun shines directly on them and wakes them up.
But another Eleven O’Clock Lady is never going to wake up again. Rona Jean Hancock—a telephone switchboard operator who earned her nickname because her shift ended at eleven, when her nightlife was just beginning—has been found strangled with her own silk stocking in a very unladylike position.
Gossip sprouts like weeds in a small town, and Rona Jean’s somewhat wild reputation is the topic of much speculation regarding who might have killed her. As the Darling Dahlias begin to sort through Rona Jean’s private affairs, it appears there may be a connection to some skullduggery at the local Civilian Conservation Corps camp. Working at the camp, garden club vice president Ophelia Snow digs around to expose the truth…before a killer pulls up stakes and gets away with murder.
Includes Southern-style Depression-era Recipes
From the Hardcover edition.
The discovery of the body of telephone switchboard operator Rona Jean Hancock, sprawled across a car's front seat with a silk stocking wound tightly around her neck, propels bestseller Albert's thoroughly enjoyable sixth Darling Dahlias mystery (after 2014's The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Bush). Rona Jean (aka the Eleven O'Clock lady because her shift ended at that hour) may have been friendlier than she should have been with menfolk, and she had a nasty habit of listening in on phone conversations, but she didn't deserve to be murdered. The new sheriff of Darling, Ala., Buddy Norris, who's conducting his first major investigation, has plenty of suspects, including two local boys as well as men from the nearby Civilian Conservation Corps camp. The members of the Darling Dahlias garden club help to unearth the truth. Albert does a beautiful job of blending a whodunit with a vivid portrait of an idyllic Depression-era Southern town.