A Root Awakening By Kate Collins: Review/Valentine’s Day Guest Post

Feb 7, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow
& Kate Collins

This week we have a review of a florist mystery, A Root Awakening, by Kate Collins, along with a fun Valentine’s Day related guest post by Kate. Details on how to win a copy of A Root Awakening at the end of this post, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy.

A Root Awakening By Kate Collins
Review by Cynthia Chow

Marriage may be bliss for florist Abby Knight Salvare, but house hunting…not so much. While Marco is excited about the prospect of a fixer-upper, Abby is dreams more of an off-the-rack new model home. Their latest search is interrupted by a roofer’s fall off of a ladder. Far more disconcerting to Abby, is the reaction of the residents. Long after the Sergio Marin’s body is swooped away by ambulance, Abby is haunted by the strange looks given from the child, Daisy Jones.

The next day, Sergio’s second wife, the bombshell Rosa, descends on the Salvares’ detective agency to demand they investigate what she claims was the murder of her husband. After his promotion to foreman at Handy Home Improvements Sergio was harassed by coworkers who lost out on the job. Rosa is certain one of the four men was responsible for Sergio’s fall. Marco has no trouble with Abby questioning the men’s very fluid alibis but he sees no justification to investigate the Jones family. On her own, Abby investigates the family that seems to have no past and whose daughter continues to haunt Abby’s dreams. Sandwiched in between are visits to open houses that will delight any HGTV addict who enjoys the vicarious thrill of house-hunting. book

With sixteen entries in this series, readers can be assured of humorous dialogue, a solid plot, and fully developed characters. The investigations feel realistic as suspects lie and force investigators to decipher the truth. By now though, one would think that Marco would trust Abby’s instincts and fully expect her protective instincts would kick in. Abby’s prissy cousin Jillian is best taken in small doses, but here she attempts to help Abby on her house-hunting quest. Their efforts would be more successful if they weren’t disrupted by Jillian’s false labor pains that make her a frequent flier at the hospital. Abby’s mother continues to produce sculptures that are more successful at being puns than art but this time Abby may have a secret weapon in an unexpected new employee.

The culpability over who was responsible for Sergio’s fall continues to shift directions and only at the very end does everything come together for a suspenseful and tense conclusion. Abby and Marco look to be moving closer to perfection. Fortunately for readers, their path to happiness will continue to be filled with entertaining chaos and complications.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Putting Down Roots

By Kate Collins

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Such a sweet day, filled with rich chocolates in heart-shaped boxes and pretty cards with love poems inside and long-stemmed red roses wrapped in floral paper… or perhaps you prefer bouquets of brightly colored Gerbera daisies or white spider mums with red tulips and yellow orchids or …

Being an amateur florist, I could go on to describe some awesome floral arrangements, but that’s not what this post is about. That’s what my books are about. Well, that—and murder.

Today we’re talking about things with roots because Valentine’s Day always brings thoughts of flowers, which bring thoughts of spring, and spring brings thoughts of planting flowers, and flowers have roots, and my new book is A Root Awakening. See where I’m going with this? I hope so, because I think I lost track.


Kate Collins

Anyway, I love to garden, and I want to plant my garden now. But alas, the snow outside my window is saying, “Nuh-uh, not so fast there, Sparky.” So with a wistful sigh I turn to my gardening catalogs, those gloriously colorful pages filled with the promise of good things to come. My favorites are Burpee and Wayside Gardens, Burpee because they’ve been producing seeds since around 1880, and Wayside Gardens for their stunning photographs of flowers. If you garden organically, as I do, a great place to find good, clean (by that I mean non-GMO) seeds and organic supplies is at a website called Dave’s Garden, sort of the BBB of the garden set.

I always used to say that if I hadn’t gone into education, (my first career) I would have been an interior decorator. But after hanging out in flower shops to research my main character’s occupation, writing about floral arrangements, and basically living a florist’s life through Abby Knight, I think being a florist would be a delightful career. Surrounded by flowers all day? Who wouldn’t love it? Sitting at a computer all day? Well, you have to be driven by a powerful need to tell stories, which I am. So combining flowers and mysteries is the perfect set-up.

I invite you to sample some of my books, (all fast-paced, exciting, and humorous to boot), take a peek into Bloomers Flower Shop, and see what else I’ve done in my writing career by visiting my website at www.katecollinsbooks.com. In the meantime, think spring, flowers, roots’—and A Root Awakening. And watch for #17 in the Flower Shop Mystery series, Florist Grump, this November!

To enter to win a copy of A Root Awakening, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Root,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 14, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Click on this link to purchase this book and you will be supporting an indie bookstore & a portion goes to help support KRL.

Kate Collins is a New York Times bestselling author of the popular and long-running Flower Shop Mystery series. A Root Awakening, #16 in the series, is a February 2015 release. Read about Kate’s mysteries, historical romances, and children’s anthologies at www.katecollinsbooks.com.


  1. A Root Awakening sounds like a great read. Thank you for the giveaway.

  2. What a nice interview. Saw yet another side of Kate Collins. Thanks.

  3. Excellent. Thank you so much. Super titles too.

  4. Thanks, Maddy! I work hard coming up with those titles. Currently hunting for title #18.

  5. Her books are good and I always look forward to finding one! Thanks for chance to win a copy!

  6. This is a fun series. This sounds like a very good entry in the group.

  7. It’s nice to read some background on the author of this fun series.

  8. I absolutely LOVE this series!!!!! Would be grateful to read this newest addition!!!

    • Thank you, Valerie. I love hearing that!

  9. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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