Britta Johnston and her aunt Elin are delighted that their Portland floral boutique is part of the city’s Rose Festival, which draws thousands to the Pacific Northwest for dragon boat races, fireworks, and other attractions–capped off by a big parade. They’re building a float that’s sure to rock the judge’s boat . . . until a gang of angry protestors shows up. The group, who call themselves Dark Fusion, are decidedly not into flower power, and they want to take down the system . . . including the upcoming extravaganza.
Then their leader is strangled with a garland of violets–and Britta finds the body. With tensions running high and so much at stake, there are plenty of suspects, from the Grand Marshal to a longtime volunteer to a former Rose Queen. But before Britta and Elin can stem the violence, the case is going to get even more explosive . . .
I love the Rose City Mystery series for a number of reasons, but firstly because of how Dyer-Seeley describes Portland and flowers. I really enjoyed this installment in the series, as we follow Britta and Elin as they create a float for the Rose Festival Parade as well as deal with a group of anarchist protesters who are focusing on the parade and making sure it doesn’t go to plan. Britta, as always, is a strong woman who wants to find out the truth, though that often ends up in her getting into sticky situations. I loved the further depth that Tomo had in this book and would have loved even more about Pete as he and Britta continued their will they/won’t they relationship. Also, learning more about Elin’s past was a great interjection and really filled out her character even more. All in all a great mystery that will leave you changing your mind on how the killer is just as much as Britta.