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 Roanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country’s most exquisite gardens, and it’s Camellia Harris’ job to promote them. But when an out of towner turns up dead, she discovers there’s no good way to spin murder… Camellia Harris has achieved a coup in the PR world. The premier national magazine for garden lovers has agreed to feature one of Roanoke’s most spectacular gard  Roanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country’s most exquisite gardens, and it’s Camellia Harris’ job to promote them. But when an out of towner turns up dead, she discovers there’s no good way to spin murder… Camellia Harris has achieved a coup in the PR world. The premier national magazine for garden lovers has agreed to feature one of Roanoke’s most spectacular gardens in its pages—and world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges is going to shoot the spread. But at the welcoming party, Jean-Jacques insults several guests, complains that flowers are boring, and gooses almost every woman in the room. When a body is found the next morning, sprawled across the azaleas, it’s almost no surprise that the victim is Jean-Jacques. With Cam’s brother-in-law blamed for the crime—and her reporter boyfriend, Rob, wanting the scoop—Cam decides to use her skills to solve the murder. Luckily a PR pro like Cam knows how to be nosy…


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 Roanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country’s most exquisite gardens, and it’s Camellia Harris’ job to promote them. But when an out of towner turns up dead, she discovers there’s no good way to spin murder… Camellia Harris has achieved a coup in the PR world. The premier national magazine for garden lovers has agreed to feature one of Roanoke’s most spectacular gard  Roanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country’s most exquisite gardens, and it’s Camellia Harris’ job to promote them. But when an out of towner turns up dead, she discovers there’s no good way to spin murder… Camellia Harris has achieved a coup in the PR world. The premier national magazine for garden lovers has agreed to feature one of Roanoke’s most spectacular gardens in its pages—and world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges is going to shoot the spread. But at the welcoming party, Jean-Jacques insults several guests, complains that flowers are boring, and gooses almost every woman in the room. When a body is found the next morning, sprawled across the azaleas, it’s almost no surprise that the victim is Jean-Jacques. With Cam’s brother-in-law blamed for the crime—and her reporter boyfriend, Rob, wanting the scoop—Cam decides to use her skills to solve the murder. Luckily a PR pro like Cam knows how to be nosy…

30 review for The Azalea Assault

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Azalea Assault is a perfect title for this book because I felt like I was being assaulted when I read it. For a simple mystery that should have taken no more than a day to read, I struggled for nearly a week to get through it. The writing was, at times, confusing, only because the author would not make it clear when the characters changed the subjects they were talking about. Then,the main character, Cam Harris was not at all likable and quite opinionated, with a lack of common sense, a problem Azalea Assault is a perfect title for this book because I felt like I was being assaulted when I read it. For a simple mystery that should have taken no more than a day to read, I struggled for nearly a week to get through it. The writing was, at times, confusing, only because the author would not make it clear when the characters changed the subjects they were talking about. Then,the main character, Cam Harris was not at all likable and quite opinionated, with a lack of common sense, a problem most of the main characters had. I guess I still want my characters to be ones I can like, especially if they are one of the good guys. One of her many faults: she works as a PR consultant yet has no means of transportation so she is constantly requiring others including her employers to drive her places. I found that to be extremely annoying. Then, she had a tendency to just "borrow" other's cars when she needed them and acted like she should be allowed to do that. Her companions, Rob the boyfriend, Annie the childhood friend and her sister Petunia seemed no better. The mystery itself was typical and seeing who committed the murders was clear early on. This is the first of a series of books but for me it will be the last.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Moore

    The first in a new series of gardening-themed mysteries led by amateur sleuth Camellia "Cam" Harris, AZALEA ASSAULT is a fun cozy mystery, and gardeners will devour it. It's layered and unexpected. I kept thinking I knew who the killer was, and I was wrong every time! Cam is a lovable, more grown-up Nancy Drew-style main character. She's the new PR person for the Roanoke Garden Society, and she's suddenly faced with a murder to manage in her old home town. Throughout, she learns new things about The first in a new series of gardening-themed mysteries led by amateur sleuth Camellia "Cam" Harris, AZALEA ASSAULT is a fun cozy mystery, and gardeners will devour it. It's layered and unexpected. I kept thinking I knew who the killer was, and I was wrong every time! Cam is a lovable, more grown-up Nancy Drew-style main character. She's the new PR person for the Roanoke Garden Society, and she's suddenly faced with a murder to manage in her old home town. Throughout, she learns new things about her old friends, and as the story progresses, everyone takes a turn being favorite suspect. It's very entertaining, and Carlson kept me guessing all the way to the end. Readers will also enjoy catching dashes of the author's trademark, sassy humor throughout. Even if you're not a regular cozy-reader, give it a whirl. It's twisty, turny, and tons of fun! Can't wait to see what mystery Cam tackles next (in "The Begonia Bribe").

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    I thought I would never be finished with this book.I did not like it. I felt like the characters wee so unlikable they didn't even like each other through 90% of the story. It was crowded with undeveloped characters, personality conflicts and chaos. If it had been humorous it would have been tolerable, but it was just annoying and tedious. I won't bother with the next in the series, the thought of having to spend more time with this cast gives me a headache. I thought I would never be finished with this book.I did not like it. I felt like the characters wee so unlikable they didn't even like each other through 90% of the story. It was crowded with undeveloped characters, personality conflicts and chaos. If it had been humorous it would have been tolerable, but it was just annoying and tedious. I won't bother with the next in the series, the thought of having to spend more time with this cast gives me a headache.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Hmph. What started out as a light, entertaining mystery in a new-to-me setting (Roanoke, VA, and the professional Gardening world), ended up "off" somehow. The main character, Camellia, is a PR lady extraordinaire (or so we are lead to believe) who got on my nerves more and more as the pages turned. It's not that I necessarily disliked her, just what she does and how she reacts to things. She takes it upon herself to (clumsily) interview several murder suspects more than once, withholds a lot of Hmph. What started out as a light, entertaining mystery in a new-to-me setting (Roanoke, VA, and the professional Gardening world), ended up "off" somehow. The main character, Camellia, is a PR lady extraordinaire (or so we are lead to believe) who got on my nerves more and more as the pages turned. It's not that I necessarily disliked her, just what she does and how she reacts to things. She takes it upon herself to (clumsily) interview several murder suspects more than once, withholds a lot of evidence from the police (even though the main cop in town is seeing her best friend and Cam seems to like him a lot personally) because she thinks they're dumb, apparently, or unable to follow things through, or are busy picking their nose or playing Angry Birds or God Knows What. She expects everyone to immediately dish every teensy detail about anyone and anything related to the murders, the location, the cast of characters, evidence, etcetera, and yet that's absolutely a one-way street for smarty-pants Cam. She mucks around so much (and her behavior is so ridiculous and abhorrent) that I ended up reading with my mouth open in disbelief through the last third of the book. All of that being said, I did enjoy the other characters, the murders (strange as that sounds), and the setting. And I did enjoy reading the book. It's just the main character that chaps my hide. Still - I'll read the next book in the series to see if Camellia stops being such a dramatic know-it-all, and if her sister/boyfriend/father/random stranger slaps her and says "knock it off!" or not. I should be so lucky.

  5. 4 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Cam Harris loves her job as public relations manager for the Roanoke Garden Society. It allows her to combine her three loves, spinning the press, showing off her favorite town, and promoting her favorite activity. She's just achieved a huge coup by enlisting Garden Delights, the country's premiere gardening magazine, to feature the exquisite garden of RGS founder, Neil Patrick. She's even managed to enlist world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges. Unfortunately, Jean-Jacques is a first-ra Cam Harris loves her job as public relations manager for the Roanoke Garden Society. It allows her to combine her three loves, spinning the press, showing off her favorite town, and promoting her favorite activity. She's just achieved a huge coup by enlisting Garden Delights, the country's premiere gardening magazine, to feature the exquisite garden of RGS founder, Neil Patrick. She's even managed to enlist world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges. Unfortunately, Jean-Jacques is a first-rate cad—insulting the RGS members and gardening, goosing every woman in the room, and drinking like a lush. It is hardly a surprise when he turns up dead. But when Cam's brother-in-law is accused and her sister begs her to solve the crime, that is when things really get prickly. Dollycas's Thoughts This is a wonderful debut. Carlson has created some fantastic characters that we quickly fall for. Cam is quick witted and smart, the perfect protagonist. Petunia is lovable, funny and set in her ways. Nick, the reformed ex-con, loves his wife and is her great protector. Her friend Annie bakes cupcakes, need I say more. Cam's father makes women swoon and Rob has eyes for just one woman. Jean-Jacques was the perfect victim, if he goosed me I may have done him in myself! The story is delightful with a mystery that keeps us tip toeing through the azaleas to pick up all the clues. Nancy Drew has nothing on Miss Camille Harris. Take some time to stop of smell the flowers for this first installment of what I know will be a very fragrant series. The Begonia Bribe will be coming soon!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Regan

    Wow....this one was....it was an absolute struggle to get through. It was pretty formulaic, but more than what most cozies are. I don't now if it's because I worked as a police dispatcher that I know the way things are generally done that ruins a story like this for me of if the leaps to who the suspect was was just an easy path for the author. There was just no substantiation for the guilty party. The writing was dull and I couldn't relate to any characters. The heroine claims a life long best Wow....this one was....it was an absolute struggle to get through. It was pretty formulaic, but more than what most cozies are. I don't now if it's because I worked as a police dispatcher that I know the way things are generally done that ruins a story like this for me of if the leaps to who the suspect was was just an easy path for the author. There was just no substantiation for the guilty party. The writing was dull and I couldn't relate to any characters. The heroine claims a life long best friend but if my best friend talked about me that way I wouldn't exactly call her a friend.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    I tried really hard to like this book, but I found it hard to follow. I feel that a lot of the events were left hanging. I have the next two books in this series and I will get around to reading them and I hope to enjoy them more.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    ‘Everything’s coming up roses’ for the Roanoke Garden Society. America’s premier magazine for gardening enthusiasts Garden Delights will be featuring them in an eight-page spread in June and award-winning photographer Jean-Jacques Georges will be scheduling a shoot in local historically registered gardens at La Fontaine. Cam -short for Camellia - Harris is arranging the event, from coordinating the photographer and magazine staff to ensuring her sister Petunia, and boyfriend Nick, cater the even ‘Everything’s coming up roses’ for the Roanoke Garden Society. America’s premier magazine for gardening enthusiasts Garden Delights will be featuring them in an eight-page spread in June and award-winning photographer Jean-Jacques Georges will be scheduling a shoot in local historically registered gardens at La Fontaine. Cam -short for Camellia - Harris is arranging the event, from coordinating the photographer and magazine staff to ensuring her sister Petunia, and boyfriend Nick, cater the event. RGS founder and owner of La Fontaine, Neil Patrick is opening his home for the event and the whole of Roanoke’s society will be on hand for the grand opening day. Just when nothing can go wrong Georges’ body is found stabbed to death with pruning shears before the shoot even starts. Cam, scrambling to save the day, brings in her best-friend and flat-mate, Annie, to take over the shoot but when the second body is found and Nick and Annie are both in jail, suspected of murder, it is up to Cam to save her friends and find the real killer before the RGS wilts. Hart Johnson, writing under the pen-name Alyse Carlson, has taken on a project of massive proportions. Following in the steps of Sue Grafton and her alphabet series Carlson appears to be ready to cozy up to the letters in the first of what she describes as ‘a garden society mystery’. I hope that there are 26 plants to see the series out, in order that we can continue to enjoy this masterful series. We can look forward to more of Virginia as we learn the ins and outs of Roanoke, ‘America’s Most Livable City’ and entwine our lives with those of Cam and her loveable bunch of friends and family. In her debut cozy Carlson treats us to a sexy little thriller that gives us a new written aroma, and opens desire for future fragrant floral novels as we eagerly await the next in the series, The Begonia Bribe.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    The Azalea Assault is the first book in A Garden Society Mystery series. A very interesting and enjoyable book too. Camellia Harris is in charge of PR for the Roanoke Garden Society and she has pulled a major feat. She has one of the top photographers coming in to take shots of one of the society's members garden. Then the pictures will be part of an article to published in Garden Delights magazine. At the welcoming party for photographer and production staff, Jean-Jacques George, the photographe The Azalea Assault is the first book in A Garden Society Mystery series. A very interesting and enjoyable book too. Camellia Harris is in charge of PR for the Roanoke Garden Society and she has pulled a major feat. She has one of the top photographers coming in to take shots of one of the society's members garden. Then the pictures will be part of an article to published in Garden Delights magazine. At the welcoming party for photographer and production staff, Jean-Jacques George, the photographer, and Ian Ellsworth, the shoots photo manager, have heated words. Jean-Jacques also makes an off-handed comment the flowers are boring. Cam just knows she is going to have her hands full salvaging this important project. Upon arriving the next morning, Cam learns that Jean-Jacques has been found dead under the bedroom window of the owners wife. Cam remembers that her neighbor Annie, who is also providing deserts for parties and photo-shoot, is a decent enough photographer to save the project. With Annie and Cam's boyfriend Rob, they set out to finish the shoot and determine the murderer. Cam's sister, Petunia and her husband Nick are the caterers for meals. Nick becomes a person of interest, as he has a prison record and it is learned that he has dealings with some of the people. The book doesn't delve deeply into gardening, but one mat still learn something about different flowers. The different scents emitted by various flower does provide a big clue for the solving of this case.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Radecki

    “Murder is bad for publicity”, but it’s great for The Azalea Assault by Alyse Carlson. This is a charming cozy murder mystery that wends its way through the lush gardens and grand homes of Roanoke, Virginia. The plot is full of unexpected twists and turns, deftly mounting in excitement and climaxing in a nail-biting series of near misses at the end. But the real jewel of this book for me is in its cast of characters. We happily follow our scrappy protagonist, Cam Harris, through thick and thin. “Murder is bad for publicity”, but it’s great for The Azalea Assault by Alyse Carlson. This is a charming cozy murder mystery that wends its way through the lush gardens and grand homes of Roanoke, Virginia. The plot is full of unexpected twists and turns, deftly mounting in excitement and climaxing in a nail-biting series of near misses at the end. But the real jewel of this book for me is in its cast of characters. We happily follow our scrappy protagonist, Cam Harris, through thick and thin. She is smart, funny, determined, loyal and sweetly imperfect. By no means trained to be a detective, but as the PR rep for the Roanoke Garden Society, she has a cool eye for character and a sharp nose for deceit. You know that Cam will get to the bottom of each new shocking development if it’s the last thing she does! She is surrounded by equally compelling friends and allies. Her hard-working but vulnerable sister Petunia, her feisty best friend Annie, and her sympathetic and sexy boyfriend Rob are all drawn with conviction. Carlson knows how to create truly believable characters who have the same problems, issues, and voices of everyday people… just with a murder or two in the way they need to figure out. I really found this a page-turning romp. I got caught up in it from the minute I picked it up and looked forward to getting back to it every time I had to put it down. Murder has never been so much fun!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

    THE AZALEA ASSAULT by Alyse Carlson is a blossoming debut in the cozy mystery scene. Camellia Harris works PR for the Roanoke Garden Society. When RGS achieves the huge coup in some national gardening magazine exposure, Cam’s PR skills will be put to the test, especially since their internationally renowned photographer winds up dead in the azalea bushes. As the suspect list continues to bloom, Cam takes it upon herself to prune the list and solve the crime before the murderer gets away smelling THE AZALEA ASSAULT by Alyse Carlson is a blossoming debut in the cozy mystery scene. Camellia Harris works PR for the Roanoke Garden Society. When RGS achieves the huge coup in some national gardening magazine exposure, Cam’s PR skills will be put to the test, especially since their internationally renowned photographer winds up dead in the azalea bushes. As the suspect list continues to bloom, Cam takes it upon herself to prune the list and solve the crime before the murderer gets away smelling like roses. THE AZALEA ASSAULT charms with its quaint city backdrop of Roanoke, Virginia. As a native Roanoker, I had fun reading about my hometown. Even with the large cast of characters, Carlson did an excellent job weaving in backstories and giving each character unique personalities. My favorite character was Annie, hands down. She’s delightfully quirky and spunky. I loved the complexity of the plot, even though I had my suspicions proven with who committed the crime. Carlson definitely writes a great mystery. Alyse Carlson’s THE AZALEA ASSAULT plants a brilliant start for a great series. I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    "The Azalea Assault" is a fantastic little indulgence. It is very smartly written and not overtly obvious like so many can be. There are plenty of reviews that discuss the plot and storyline, so I won't go into that; instead, I will just give my two cents on it as a whole. The style is light-hearted, fun, exceedingly witty, and worked quite well for the story. The characters and setting were relate-able and charming: good guys weren't perfect (which makes them all the more likeable) and there wer "The Azalea Assault" is a fantastic little indulgence. It is very smartly written and not overtly obvious like so many can be. There are plenty of reviews that discuss the plot and storyline, so I won't go into that; instead, I will just give my two cents on it as a whole. The style is light-hearted, fun, exceedingly witty, and worked quite well for the story. The characters and setting were relate-able and charming: good guys weren't perfect (which makes them all the more likeable) and there were so many colorful side-characters that it was impossible to truly pick out the real villain until the end! The pacing was pleasant, and I never felt like the story dragged or went too fast. All in all, it was a splendid little book and a wonderful debut for Alyse Carlson. This book was the perfect little escape and I fully recommend it to anyone in the mood for a diversion. I am very excited for the second release in the series, "The Begonia Bribe" which was previewed at the end of this book. It looks like it will be just as entertaining as this one was!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Helena Soister

    Confession: I 've never read a cozy mystery before now. But if The Azalea Assault is a good example of this genre, then I'm hooked. Smart, sassy and sexy protagonist Cam Harris drew me right into the story. She knows when to have a beer, when to have a good time at work or at play, and when to jump in and investigate murders of which her friends are falsely accused. Although the theme of flowers and gardens sound sweet, author Alyse Carlson cleverly adds modern spice in the characters Cam and her Confession: I 've never read a cozy mystery before now. But if The Azalea Assault is a good example of this genre, then I'm hooked. Smart, sassy and sexy protagonist Cam Harris drew me right into the story. She knows when to have a beer, when to have a good time at work or at play, and when to jump in and investigate murders of which her friends are falsely accused. Although the theme of flowers and gardens sound sweet, author Alyse Carlson cleverly adds modern spice in the characters Cam and her friends and family. But this story still has the cozy setting of old-fashioned Roanoke and its gardens, prim blue bloods, and annoying cads I liked seeing offed. The gardening theme carries over into details like the murder weapon (gardening shears - ouch!), and the dialogue is witty and light. The story also has unexpected twists, and I enjoyed the way Cam picked up clues and pruned and arranged them until she uncovers the truth.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    This is a new series for me. The mystery itself was excellent, with lots of twists, turns and red herrings. The only reason I didn't rate it higher is because I found it a little confusing. I had to keep checking that it was the first in the series, because I felt (and I'm not sure why) that the characters had been introduced before, and readers were expected to know details of their life. There was a lot background story for main things, so I pinpoint why I got that feeling. I felt like I shoul This is a new series for me. The mystery itself was excellent, with lots of twists, turns and red herrings. The only reason I didn't rate it higher is because I found it a little confusing. I had to keep checking that it was the first in the series, because I felt (and I'm not sure why) that the characters had been introduced before, and readers were expected to know details of their life. There was a lot background story for main things, so I pinpoint why I got that feeling. I felt like I should know, for example, how they like their coffee, and small details like that. I will have to find out if this was the author's first book, which would explain the confusion. Cam and Annie are roommates, and they are preparing the local garden society for a magazine spread. Things go topsy-turvy as two of the magazine's staff turn up dead. With her brother-in-law and best friend in jail, Cam tries to find out the killer to prove them innocent.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ulrike

    This book was so bad it made me laugh in several places and made me mad in others. There's a "world famous" photographer with a terrible fake french accent and apparently no one finds this the least bit suspicious. This spoiled, 20-something carries a cell phone that has buttons and AN ANTENNA (I carry an old flip-phone, and even it doesn't have an external antenna). The book is set in 2012, and no one thinks to Google anything or anyone. The PR ASSISTANT is in charge of everything. She also inte This book was so bad it made me laugh in several places and made me mad in others. There's a "world famous" photographer with a terrible fake french accent and apparently no one finds this the least bit suspicious. This spoiled, 20-something carries a cell phone that has buttons and AN ANTENNA (I carry an old flip-phone, and even it doesn't have an external antenna). The book is set in 2012, and no one thinks to Google anything or anyone. The PR ASSISTANT is in charge of everything. She also interferes in the police investigation, totally spoiling the chain of custody for crucial pieces of evidence. The characters are flat and hard to relate to. None of the main characters are particularly likable; I wouldn't want to be or be friends with any of them. The only redeeming quality for this book is that wasn't riddled with grammar errors.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelley

    I am not sure why it took me so long to get through this book, but it really tough going at times. I am glad I finished it and I will most likely read the next one (though I might not buy it, instead seeing if the library gets it). I thought the 4 main characters, Annie, Cam, Rob, and Jake were a little too silly and cutesy at times. Also, I didn't feel any chemistry b/w Cam and Rob. Instead the chemistry was more with Cam and Jake. I am not sure if things will change and move in that direction I am not sure why it took me so long to get through this book, but it really tough going at times. I am glad I finished it and I will most likely read the next one (though I might not buy it, instead seeing if the library gets it). I thought the 4 main characters, Annie, Cam, Rob, and Jake were a little too silly and cutesy at times. Also, I didn't feel any chemistry b/w Cam and Rob. Instead the chemistry was more with Cam and Jake. I am not sure if things will change and move in that direction or not, but it might prove interesting. The mystery itself was good and kept me guessing and I liked the secondary characters a lot, more than Annie and Rob even.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jerrie Brock

    Fun read These cozy mysteries are a fun read, and Alyse does a great job with hers. It has enough humor, and yet the people seem very real and normal, so it does not become silly. The plotting is great, paced nicely to keep the interest going. The friendship between Anne and Cam, and Annie's boyfriend Rob, make the story enjoyable because it gives the reader a little bit of a lift of the joys of sharing life, including a little breaking and entering as a group effort. Alyse does exactly what a co Fun read These cozy mysteries are a fun read, and Alyse does a great job with hers. It has enough humor, and yet the people seem very real and normal, so it does not become silly. The plotting is great, paced nicely to keep the interest going. The friendship between Anne and Cam, and Annie's boyfriend Rob, make the story enjoyable because it gives the reader a little bit of a lift of the joys of sharing life, including a little breaking and entering as a group effort. Alyse does exactly what a cozy mystery writer is supposed to accomplish--she makes you feel cozy and happy as a diversion from real life.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sallee

    I enjoyed this first in a series of gardening mysteries even though at times, I found myself annoyed at Cam's actions. She seemed to go multiple places in one day and accomplish alot in a short time period, all depending on someone else's car or someone's offer of a ride. I enjoyed the characters in this book and found that the end result was a surprise. The action was almost too "busy" That said, this book is a promising start for a new cosy series. I enjoyed this first in a series of gardening mysteries even though at times, I found myself annoyed at Cam's actions. She seemed to go multiple places in one day and accomplish alot in a short time period, all depending on someone else's car or someone's offer of a ride. I enjoyed the characters in this book and found that the end result was a surprise. The action was almost too "busy" That said, this book is a promising start for a new cosy series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shaharizan Perez

    It was a great read. I found that the characters were very realistic and there were many red herrings that keep the reader's interest. Cami, the main character and protagonist, is an inquisitive, intelligent public relations representative of the Roanoke Garden Society. During a photo shoot, a murder occurs in which her best friend and best friend's husband are suspects. Cami must follow the evidence to uncover the real killer. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this cozy mystery. :D It was a great read. I found that the characters were very realistic and there were many red herrings that keep the reader's interest. Cami, the main character and protagonist, is an inquisitive, intelligent public relations representative of the Roanoke Garden Society. During a photo shoot, a murder occurs in which her best friend and best friend's husband are suspects. Cami must follow the evidence to uncover the real killer. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this cozy mystery. :D

  20. 5 out of 5

    Krisnow18

    The book was good, not great. Cam Harris lives in Roanoke Virginia where she is a PR expert. She scores a coup when she has a national magazine come to town for a photo shoot, along with a noted photographer. Unfortunately his manners are lacking; he insults everyone in sight, gooses all the women, and thinks flowers are boring. And then he turns up dead.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Talli Roland

    I loved this book -- the cast of characters were all interesting and varied, and I liked that Cam was intelligent and interesting. The wonderfully lush setting in Roanoke really come alive, too. I'm not a big mystery reader, but this one has whet my appetite for more. I loved this book -- the cast of characters were all interesting and varied, and I liked that Cam was intelligent and interesting. The wonderfully lush setting in Roanoke really come alive, too. I'm not a big mystery reader, but this one has whet my appetite for more.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    As the first in a new cozy series, "The Azalea Assault" has promise. It was difficult to keep the characters straight at first but by the end of the book I felt connected and would definitely read the next entry. As the first in a new cozy series, "The Azalea Assault" has promise. It was difficult to keep the characters straight at first but by the end of the book I felt connected and would definitely read the next entry.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    A fun read with smart, saucy dialogue and lots of red herrings. Keeps the reader guessing until the very end. Loved it!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    The Azalea Assault is a delight-- flowers, food, cattiness, murder-- what more could you ask for in a cozy mystery? It's just a fun read! The Azalea Assault is a delight-- flowers, food, cattiness, murder-- what more could you ask for in a cozy mystery? It's just a fun read!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This was a good mystery, It was a tricky ending I didn't see coming. This was a good mystery, It was a tricky ending I didn't see coming.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alise HARRIS

    The main character, Cam, is a hysterical, sanctimonious idiot. She's always yelling at her boyfriend, the police, whoever, that xyz person is innocent. She's like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. She also doesn't own a car and keeps having to ask people to drive her around. "She was saving for a new Mustang, but purchase was at least six months away." Ummm, ok. Or, you could grow up and buy something you can afford and stop being a burden to society. Then her psycho girlfriend, Annie, dumps The main character, Cam, is a hysterical, sanctimonious idiot. She's always yelling at her boyfriend, the police, whoever, that xyz person is innocent. She's like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. She also doesn't own a car and keeps having to ask people to drive her around. "She was saving for a new Mustang, but purchase was at least six months away." Ummm, ok. Or, you could grow up and buy something you can afford and stop being a burden to society. Then her psycho girlfriend, Annie, dumps garbage on a guy's lawn because she THINKS he's married. She went out with him once, and he's a cop. So, VERY smart. Oh, but she's justified according to stupid Cam. Annie had also previously smashed in an ex-boyfriend's car with a crowbar because he actually was married. People keep telling Cam this, but of course HER friend could never do something like that, so she just argues with everyone, including her own father. I hated everyone in this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Crane

    I didn’t like it. I found the main character annoying and didn’t like her. I hated how she had no transportation and borrowed cars without permission. Hopefully the series will improve but I won’t be reading any more books from this series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This is the first in the series, and the second of the books in the series that I have read. The characters are annoying. I doubt I will try a third.

  29. 4 out of 5

    JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)

    Camellia Harris is great at PR for her company, and she's achieved a major coup in being able to photograph Neil Harris's garden done by a famous photographer, Jean-Jacques Georges. But during a party the night before a photo shoot, she overhears a conversation between him and a friend, and she discovers that he's about as French as she is. She's also disgusted by his rude behavior, when she sees him goosing her sister Petunia and several other women. But before she can make her feelings known t Camellia Harris is great at PR for her company, and she's achieved a major coup in being able to photograph Neil Harris's garden done by a famous photographer, Jean-Jacques Georges. But during a party the night before a photo shoot, she overhears a conversation between him and a friend, and she discovers that he's about as French as she is. She's also disgusted by his rude behavior, when she sees him goosing her sister Petunia and several other women. But before she can make her feelings known to anyone, the next morning she arrives at the home of Mr. Harris and sees that there's a dead man in the main garden -- and he's dead. Finding out it's Jean-Jacques, and that her brother-in-law Nick is the main suspect, Cam is determined to find the killer before he's convicted for a crime he didn't commit. Now if she can just keep her wits about her and out of the eye of the killer she just might find the truth and make it out alive... This is the first in the series, and unfortunately, it was one of those that was thrown over by Berkley Publishing when they decided to cut their cozy mystery line. Since I haven't seen more than the three that were written, I still decided to read the book to see if the rest were worth my time. They aren't. The book started out slow for me. For some reason, it just couldn't grab my attention and it took longer to "get going," as it were. Perhaps it was the fact that Cam seems to have no personality; I think Annie would have been a better choice as the protagonist of the book, but oh well. First off, who forgets to eat for ten hours? You'd get woozy, and maybe even nauseous. The body is a giant computer that tells you things important. Sorry, but I'm not buying into this one. She's 5'8" and only 117 and gets offended when her boyfriend Rob tells her she's skinny. Eat a sandwich. I'm 5'8" and if I weighed that little my husband would think I was anorexic. The plot was decent enough, with the man being killed in the garden, and when Cam started investigating, she found a plethora of suspects, who all might have had a reason to want him dead. So when she starts digging, she discovers that many of them had secrets - including her brother-in-law and her best friend, Annie. Secrets that could have led to either one of them being the murderer. I did think it was rather small of Jake to keep mentioning Annie's "record." She smashed a car window because she found out the guy she was dating wasn't who she thought he was. She didn't rob a bank or get arrested for drugs or an illegal gun. Geez. What a tool. Jake even thought Annie was guilty of murder because of this. Seriously? It also irritated me that the characters needed to get drunk every time they got upset. Drinking doesn't solve problems and it only brings more - like hangovers, liver issues, etc. But these characters found a reason to drink every chance they got. Sheesh. Aside from this there were plenty of red herrings, and plenty of distractions. Every time you got led down one rabbit hole, another appeared. While you're thinking it's one person, another appears. So you never quite get the answers to the questions, because once you do, more questions pop up. The only person you know didn't commit the crimes is Cam's father, Nelson. It was all completely confusing, all through the entirety of the book. A lot of chaos with everyone running around and then comparing notes about who was doing what. I got the feeling that the author couldn't decide who to make the murderer, so made nearly everyone a suspect while she continued to write the story and figure out who she didn't like most. The characters weren't developed at all, they just kept investigating - clumsily - and drinking to think things through. Because everyone knows that booze helps you think clearer. Honestly? And Annie didn't have anyone to help her at her bakery, so depended on Cam and Rob when she needed to make a few dozen brownies. (And of course, they needed to drink so they could bake). Okay, then...not to mention Cam's sister Petunia needed Cam's help when she was catering for her restaurant. Do these people know what the word 'employees' mean? When Annie was in jail, did her bakery fold up while she was gone? Wouldn't that be bad for business? How were either women making any money? In the end, when everything is revealed, and the police have the right murderer - you think - Cam comes up with other questions and then there's more questions and the end of the book gives you the right answers. I think. It sort of just leaves you hanging, with the murderer about to be caught but never gives you complete closure and finishes up, so how did they get everything closed with the murderer caught and how? So will I read the other two in this series? That's a big NO. Sorry. I like my mysteries tied up nicely with a feeling of satisfaction, not wondering 'what happened here?'

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Oh for goodness sake, why do authors feel the need to throw twist upon unnecessary twist in cozy mysteries? It is bad enough that they throw all twenty characters at you at once, but this genre is supposed to involve a smooth easy flow and in the end the reader feels that they have gotten to know new interesting people and a little about the town that they come from. Other than the excessive characters and a never-ending conclusion, I have a couple generic complains about this book - one of my m Oh for goodness sake, why do authors feel the need to throw twist upon unnecessary twist in cozy mysteries? It is bad enough that they throw all twenty characters at you at once, but this genre is supposed to involve a smooth easy flow and in the end the reader feels that they have gotten to know new interesting people and a little about the town that they come from. Other than the excessive characters and a never-ending conclusion, I have a couple generic complains about this book - one of my many pet peeves is the names that authors choose for their characters tend to distract me more than they should. For instances, in Azalea Assault, one of the male characters is named Neil Patrick. Sorry, but there is an actor named Neil Patrick Harris and every time I came to this name, I wanted to add Harris to the end. It does not help that the main character’s last name is Harris and I was forever trying to tie them together. Second, when you have characters named after flowers there are many to choose from, so why use Petunia. Was not that the name of Porky Pig’s girlfriend? See, names tend to hit me wrong and it tends to distract me from the plotline. Camilla Harris has control issues. She believes that if you put in the legwork, you could will something to happen so when the dead body of a prominent photograph shows up on the day of the Roanoke Garden Societies magazine shoot, she turns her frustration into anger and is determined to get everyone back on board. The RGS has hired her to be in charge of publicity and she will find a way to get the little matter of not one, but now two dead bodies spun in the right direction. Knowing what to do and knowing how to do it are two different things, so when a person close to Cam is considered the favorite suspect, Cam in pushed to investigate on her own and clear this wrongly condemned person. Just when you think that this book is done you realize that there are one hundred additional pages and the author keeps throwing more on the wall hoping to either run up the page count or completely overwhelm the reader. Why were so many scenarios thrown in? By the time I was finished, I swear there were three or four books worth of material smashed together. No, this book does not standout as an impressive first book and I have no interest in putting in the effort to read anymore.

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