National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert returns to the small town of Darling, Alabama, in the 1930s—and the Darling Dahlias, the ladies of a garden club who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty solving mysteries…
Just in time for the Confederate Day celebration, the Darling Dahlias are ready to plant Confederate roses along the fence of the town cemetery. Of course, Miss Dorothy Rogers, club member and town librarian, would be quick to point out the plant is in fact a hibiscus.
The Confederate rose is not the only thing that is not what it first appears to be in this small Southern town. Earle Scroggins, the county treasurer, has got the sheriff thinking that Scroggins' employee Verna Tidwell (also the Darling Dahlias’ trusted treasurer) is behind a missing $15,000. But Darling Dahlias president Liz Lacy is determined to prove Verna is not a thief.
Meanwhile Miss Rogers has discovered her own mystery—what appears to be a secret code embroidered under the cover of a pillow, the only possession she has from her grandmother. She enlists the help of a local newspaperman, who begins to suspect the family heirloom may have larger significance.
With missing money, secret codes, and the very strange behavior of one resident, Darling, Alabama, on the eve of Confederate Day, is anything but a sleepy little town...
Includes Southern-Style Depression-Era Recipes
Set in 1931 Darling, Ala., Albert s captivating third Darling Dahlias mystery (after 2011 s The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies) finds the ladies of the Darling Dahlias garden club planning a rose planting in honor of Confederate Day. Their determination to defy the grim Depression mood and make the day a success is challenged, however, when one of their number, Verna Tidwell, is accused of stealing from the county treasury. As club president Elizabeth Lacy tries to clear her fellow Dahlia s name, their resident historian, Bessie Bloodworth, helps garden club member and town librarian Dorothy Rogers unravel the meaning of the strange code stitched into the inside of a pillow passed down in her family and its possible relationship to Confederate history. Charming characters, a fast-paced plot, and a strong sense of history help make this a superior cozy.