“How to Plant a Body” by Terri Ann Armstrong
Apparently, one day author Terri Ann Armstrong decides to churn together a blooming relationship with a healthy dose of disaster. Mix together a body found by a sensitive man in a greenhouse, one very sarcastic lady and her laid-back sister and you get “How to Plant a Body.” A title apropos to the story within the pages.
Lily Aster and her sister Angel manage a flower shop for their now retired parents. They have hired Joey Emerson to help them in the shop. One morning, Joey walks in and finds a body. Panic sets in and he calls the police. Lily and Angel arrive to find Detective Anthony Falcetti ordering them out of their own shop while he investigates.
Lily doesn’t take kindly to being ordered around, even if it is by the authorities. She sets her mind to doing her own inquiry into the murder and keeps running up against Falcetti at every turn. Or maybe he’s ‘planting’ himself close to her on purpose. He takes a liking to Lily despite her snarky tongue (or maybe that’s because of it) and tries to convince her they are going to have a relationship.
She fights him on it, not wanting to immerse herself in misery she defines as the male-female bond. While she’s fending off his unwanted (or wanted?) advances, Lily tries to find out what happened to the man found in her greenhouse. Falcetti does his job, but is unwilling to share his findings with a civilian, which leads Lily to quick retorts about the falsity of trust in a relationship (that is, if they were to have one).
This is a witty cozy that you’ll be more than glad you picked up. This is Terri’s first attempt at the cozy genre and I do believe she has found her calling. I rate it a five-star!
Reviewed by Starr Gardinier Reina, author of “The Other Side: Melinda’s Story”