cover image The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush

The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush

Susan Wittig Albert. Berkley Prime Crime, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-26060-9

Set in 1933, Albert’s quietly paced fifth Darling Dahlias cozy (after 2013’s The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star) works better as a portrait of a Depression-era Southern town than as a mystery. When the town’s only bank temporarily closes, a few of the leading citizens of Darling, Ala., devise a plan to print scrip that will keep the local economy going. Some of the ladies of the Darling Dahlias garden club are appalled, but Verna Tidwell sees merit in the scheme and in the new bank vice-president, Alvin Duffy. Meanwhile, Liz Lacy and Fannie Champaign are distracted by romantic problems. Moonshine and a single-minded revenue agent add to Darling’s woes, and a shooting and the disappearance of a satchel of scrip raise alarms. Solving these crimes falls to others, but the Dahlias might have a way to save the town. The authentic historic setting makes up for the lack of tension. [em](Sept.) [/em]