Furthermore, during the week leading up to the wedding, Bretta's estranged father shows up for a "surprise" visit and moves himself into her house. And as if these two events alone weren't enough, the enigmatic Bailey Monroe, a DEA agent Bretta met during a previous adventure, also has arrived in town claiming a desire to get to know her better. It's shaping up to be quite a week.
But just when she thinks things can't get any worse, two wedding workers die suspiciously on the same day, and Bretta can't help but think there's something more sinister in the air than love and marriage. In Reap a Wicked Harvest, it's up to Janis Harrison's delightfully determined gardening sleuth to figure out just exactly what's going on before the big day.
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
Meg Langslow's eccentric parents have a new hobby: growing roses and entering them in highly competitive shows. Dad's gardening skill and Mother's gift for selecting and arranging the blossoms should make them an unbeatable team---and Meg is relieved they've taken up such a safe, gentle hobby. She even volunteers to help when the Caerphilly Garden Club sponsors its first annual rose show. But after a few hours of dealing with her parents' competitors, Meg is worried. Rose growers are so eccentric that they make Meg's family seem almost normal, and so competitive that they will do nearly anything to take home the show's grand prize---making them prime suspects when Meg discovers that someone is attempting to kill the wealthy woman on whose estate the competition is being held. Of course, the intended victim had other enemies---her treatment of her farm animals had aroused the interest of several animal welfare activists, including Meg's zoologist grandfather. Meg tries to leave the detecting to the local police and focus on protecting her parents' chances to win the coveted Black Swan trophy, but she soon finds herself compelled to solve the crime before any more rose growers die.
It's Swan for the Money, two for the show, three to get ready... now go, Meg, go!
However, today, before Bretta can relax, she must fulfill another promise: her father's new – and younger – girlfriend wants to redecorate Bretta's home. Bretta is less than thrilled about the task ahead. But the unexpected news that Toby has been killed by a swarm of killer bees deliberately planted in his home puts decorating on the back burner. Determined to find out the truth behind Toby's murder, Bretta is once again in the thick of things in Bindweed, another entry in the Bretta Solomon Gardening series--a charming, delightful cozy mystery series from Janis Harrison.