The first book in the Enchanted Garden Mystery series by Bailey Cattrell is on the blog today, narrated by Vanessa Daniels. Who doesn’t find the series title evocative of favored books from childhood, and the touch of magic possessed by the heroine as she walks us through perfumed and healing herbs is wonderfully compelling. Please read on for my review of the audio version of
Daisies for Innocence
Poppyville California is where Elliana has her little shop – a custom perfumery where the scents come from the little enchanted garden that surrounds her shop, separating it from the small cottage where she lives. Born with a green thumb and more, Elliana has the ability to know just what essential oil will provide each customer with what they need, and the aromatherapy elements and information are free-flowing and present throughout the story. The descriptions of the shop combined with the presence and characterization of Elliana are evocative and instantly allow imagination to take hold, presenting a clear visual of the shop, the place and even the scents presented there. But, all is not soothing and quietly presented with a cup of tea: her assistant Josie is found dead in the garden, before Elliana was able to warn her about the new boyfriend. Who just happens to be Elllie’s ex-husband. Oh, and the investigator in charge of the case is her ex’s best friend and believes her guilty.
As a start to a new series, the mystery was clever and the twists plenty. The setting and Ellie’s ability to both diagnose and use essential oils and florals to effect mood and change are wonderful, and there is plenty of information about aromatherapy and essential oils shared, some of which can distract from the mystery and tension, but interesting nonetheless. With some adorable moments, solid interactions and the clever twists to the end – this story is a great start for a new series and I’m curious to see more of Ellie and how she changes, adapts and grows through each book.
Narration for this audiobook was provided by Vanessa Daniels, and I have to say that I was disappointed in her presentation. From odd pauses contrasting with rushed passages, mispronunciations, and a general “let’s get through this” attitude that sprang forward with a rushed delivery, I wasn’t needing to track back to catch missed words, but moments were very certainly slighted of their due in her performance. As this was my first encounter with this narrator, and I have other audiobooks she has narrated to review, I will hope that her performance skills improve with her understanding that nuance is needed to present moments with appropriate pauses and emotive injections that allow the story to unfold gradually, not just get to the end.
In short, I’ve purchased the written copy of this book and the next in the series to read in my own time, hoping that the promise I found in the writing is present. With lots of great aromatherapy information and recipes, I’m certain that fans of cozies with a twist will love the read.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 2 Story 5
Title: Daisies for Innocence
Author: Bailey Cattrell
Series: Enchanted Garden Mystery #1
Also in this series: Nightshade for Warning
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery, Magic, Murder, Mystery Elements
Published by: Berkley, Tantor Audio
Published on: 5 January 2016
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 6 Hours: 33 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
From Bailey Cattrell—who writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Bakery Mysteries as Bailey Cates—comes the first Enchanted Garden Mystery featuring custom perfume maker Elliana Allbright...
The Enchanted Garden behind Elliana Allbright’s perfume shop draws people of all ages with its fragrant flowers and lush greenery. But when the magical serenity is interrupted, it’s up to Ellie to sniff out a killer.
Ellie’s life has blossomed in Poppyville, California, since she opened Scents & Nonsense, a custom-made-perfume store. Her skills with aromas and botanical essences—some from her very own garden—seem almost…supernatural. Her perfumes can evoke emotions, bring about change, or simply make people happy. Customers are flocking to the store to buy her wares or just to sit in her beautiful garden, sip tea and enjoy homemade cookies.
But she smells trouble when she learns that her part-time assistant Josie is dating her ex. And before she can tell the young woman to beware of his charms, she finds Josie dead in the Enchanted Garden. Now the prime suspect in Josie’s murder, Ellie must search for the real culprit in Josie’s past—because it’ll take a miracle to nip this problem in the bud....
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.