The Night-Blooming Cereus by Joan Hess
Retired florist Theo Bloomer goes to Israel to rescue his niece from terrorists in this engrossing mystery
On the shores of the Dead Sea, Dorrie Caldicott is coming into bloom. A spoiled graduate of the finest prep schools on the Atlantic Seaboard, she went AWOL during a tour of Israel and put down roots in a kibbutz. Her mother simply won’t stand for this kind of behavior, and it falls to Dorrie’s uncle Theo Bloomer, a retired florist who’s as meek as a daffodil, to bring the girl home. But in the sands of Israel, this gentle flower will be forced to take root or die.
Theo has hardly arrived at the settlement when a pair of murders makes it unlikely he and his niece will ever make it home. Under threat by terrorists, the police, and the attentions of a few dozen intellectual farmers, Theo and Dorrie must find the killers if they wish to escape the Holy Land alive.
Anyone who has envied Nero Wolfe’s orchid collection will find himself right at home with Theo Bloomer, a globetrotting florist who—like Rex Stout’s most famous detective—would prefer to be at home with his plants. Readers won’t want to miss joining Theo in this unique series by Joan Hess, one of the funniest mystery novelists on the planet.
The Night-Blooming Cereus is the 1st book in the Theo Bloomer Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
“Joan Hess is the patron saint of comic mystery.” —Sharon McCrumb, author of The Rosewood Casket
“Ms. Hess displays a consistent and rare skill. . . . She plays fair; she knows exactly when to lighten the mood [and] when to spill some blood.” —David Dawson, The New York Times, on Mortal Remains in Maggody
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