Blood Orchid (Holly Barker Series #3)

Blood Orchid (Holly Barker Series #3)

by Stuart Woods

Paperback(Tall Rack Paperback - Reissue)

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“Savvy, sexy”* police chief Holly Barker gets introduced to the cutthroat world of Florida real estate in this New York Times bestselling thriller from Stuart Woods.

Blood Orchid: the name of Ed Shine’s favorite flower—and his latest real-estate venture. New to town, the dapper developer makes the acquaintance of Holly, her father Ham, and her wily Doberman, Daisy. It’s just as Holly’s trying to get her life back together after the shattering loss of someone very close to her. But before she can settle back into her routine, bullets crash into the home of a friend and a floater is found bobbing in the Intercoastal Waterway. Joining forces with a handsome FBI agent, Holly tracks the clues straight back to their source, only to find a scam more lucrative and more dangerous than any this idyllic town—or Holly—has ever seen...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451208811
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/27/2003
Series: Holly Barker Series , #3
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 78,761
Product dimensions: 6.74(w) x 4.06(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Stuart Woods is the author of more than sixty novels, including the #1 New York Times bestselling Stone Barrington series. He is a native of Georgia and began his writing career in the advertising industry. Chiefs, his debut in 1981, won the Edgar Award. An avid sailor and pilot, Woods lives in Florida, Maine, and New Mexico.


Key West, Florida; Mt. Desert, Maine; New York, New York

Date of Birth:

January 9, 1938

Place of Birth:

Manchester, Georgia


B.A., University of Georgia, 1959

Read an Excerpt


Sara Tennant arrived at her office building in downtown Miami promptly at seven forty-five a.m., as was her habit. She needed only to park her car and use the private elevator to the penthouse suite of Jimenez Properties; she would be at her desk in the little office next to that of her boss, Manuel Jimenez, when he arrived, promptly at eight o'clock, as was his habit.

As she parked her new Toyota Avalon in the reserved space, next to that of her boss, she was surprised and not a little annoyed to see that his Mercedes was already in its spot. She was going to have to start coming in earlier, she thought; she couldn't have Manny getting there before she did.

There was something odd about the Mercedes, she realized, through the fog of her recent sleep. Until she had her morning coffee, a double espresso, she would not think quickly. She sat in the Toyota with the motor still running while she tried to figure it out.

The lights, she decided. The interior lights of the Mercedes were on, and unless she turned them off, Manny would soon have a dead battery. She gathered her small briefcase, purse, coffee thermos, and the Miami Herald and struggled out of her car. She set her things down on the driver's seat and smoothed her skirt before continuing. She was looking forward to reading Carl Hiassen's column in the paper before doing any real work. She loved Hiassen, read all his novels, too, and never missed his column.

She gathered her things once again, closed the car door, and pressed the button on the remote control to lock all the doors and the trunk. Some cars had been broken into in this garage, in spite of the security cameras. She wished Manny had sprung for a garage with a manned entrance, instead of the electronic surveillance; a guard on duty made her feel safer. Embracing her belongings, she walked around Manny's car and saw immediately why the interior lights were on: the driver's door was open. She took another step or two, reaching out for the door, then she peered over the things in her arms and saw what they had concealed until now.

Manny Jimenez was lying on the garage floor in an oddly contorted position.

Heart attack! Sara thought immediately. She had taken a CPR course at her church, and she knew exactly what to do. She put her things on the garage floor, reached out to Manny, and turned him over. Manny had not had a heart attack. A heart attack did not put a hole in his head, and particularly, did not spray his blood and brains across the inside of the Mercedes door. Sara did not pause to take Manny's pulse or put her ear to his chest. He was stiff as a board, and she knew what that meant. She picked up her things and ran for the elevator. As soon as she had opened the door with her key, she was digging in her briefcase for her cellphone.

Steven Steinberg stood on the eighteenth tee of the Doral Country Club's famous course, the Blue Monster, and gazed down the fairway, utterly relaxed and confident. He had played this schmuck from New York like a violin, and now he was going to take his money. Even though Steinberg had an official handicap of six, and even though he should have carried a card that said three, he had allowed his guest to play him neck and neck for seventeen holes. They were now tied at eleven over par, and it was time to crank the handle on the cash register.

Steinberg took his stance, his right foot back a couple of extra inches, and without a practice swing, hit the ball. It started to the right, then turned over and dropped into the middle of the fairway, two hundred and seventy yards down the course.

Fleischman stared after the ball with an expression of disbelief on his face.

"Something wrong?" Steinberg asked.

"Nothing at all," Fleischman replied, teeing up. He swung mightily at the ball and sliced it into a fairway bunker, two hundred and twenty yards down the fairway. He picked up his tee. "So how come, all of a sudden, after seventeen holes, you're outdriving me?"

Steinberg shrugged. "Every now and then I really connect. Don't you, sometimes?"

"Sometimes," Fleischman said. "But not usually on the eighteenth, and not for that kind of length."

They got into Steinberg's customized golf cart. "You know what I'd do if I were you?" he said to his guest.

"No, Steven, what would you do?"

"I'd take a seven wood and go for it."

"Out of a bunker?"

"Why not? It's a shallow bunker; there's enough loft on a seven wood to carry the edge, and you'd find yourself a nice little wedge from the flag. You got a seven wood? You want to borrow mine?" At this stage, he could afford to appear to be generous.

"I've got a seven wood," Fleischman said as the cart drew to a halt next to the bunker. He looked down the fairway toward the flag, checked the depth of the bunker, and pulled his seven wood from his bag.

"Come on," Steinberg said, "you can do it."

Fleischman lined up his shot. "Keep it smooth," he muttered to himself. "Nice easy shot." He swung the club and connected beautifully with the ball. It faded a little but dropped in the fairway, maybe eighty yards from the pin.

"Great shot!" Steinberg said.

"Thanks for the tip," Fleischman replied, getting into the cart.

They stopped next to Steinberg's ball. He didn't even glance down the fairway, just went to his bag and came back with a fairway wood.

"What are you doing with that club?" Fleischman asked. "It's only a hundred and sixty yards to the flag; you'll knock it into the next county."

"This is an eleven wood," Steinberg replied, lining up on the ball. He relaxed, took a breath and let it out, and took a slow-looking, liquid swing at the ball. It rose high into the air, sailed down the fairway, past the guarding bunkers, and dropped onto the green with only a single bounce, stopping four feet from the pin.

"I'm getting one of those," Fleischman muttered.

"You should," Steinberg replied, still holding his finish.

Then Steinberg's head exploded.

For a tiny second before he screamed, Fleischman wondered if cheating at golf could make your head explode.

Reprinted from Blood Orchid: A Holly Barker Novel by Stuart Woods by permission of G.P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © 2002, Stuart Woods. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.


Excerpted from "Blood Orchid"
by .
Copyright © 2003 Stuart Woods.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Fast-paced [with] strong action scenes." -Publishers Weekly

"The bestselling author who "keeps you turning page after page." -Washington Post

"A suspenseful, exciting mystery that is sure to please Woods' many fans." -Booklist

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Blood Orchid (Holly Barker Series #3) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
It has been almost a year since Jackson died and Holly has buried herself in work trying to block out the pain. The Chief of Police of Orchid Beach, a coastal town on the East Coast of Florida, is usually very quiet. However, when Holly and her father visit a new friend Ed Shine, a sniper fires a shot that almost kills him. Ed is a property developer who bid on a piece of land in Orchid Beach that the federal government is selling and the two other bidders on the property are also assassinated.

Holly immediately connects the dots and sees a link since the property in question was used in drug smuggling. She contacts the FBI and an agent tells her that he is sending an undercover operative into the area on a completely separate assignment. The agent and Holly hit it off but Holly is too busy dodging bullets to give their relationship a chance to grow.

Stuart Woods famous for his Stone Barrington private eye novels has created a whole new series with it¿s own unique voice. The Holly Barker police procedurals are fun to read because the author imbues a subtle sense of humor in many of the characters. The heroine really doesn¿t know why she keeps getting shot at yet she still manages to produce a credible investigation. Mr. Woods just keeps getting better with each book he writes.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous 4 months ago
but still a good read
wearylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Palmetto Gardens has been purchased by a man that Holly likes very much; Ed Shine. While other land developers have been murdered, the shooter misses Ed (while Holly and Ham are visiting him). Meanwhile Harry has sent an undercover FBI agent to Orchid Beach. He will only tell Holly that the man is undercover. His mistake in not telling Holly the truth and all of the truth will wind up biting him in the end.This wasn't as well written as the first two Holly Barker books and I could have done without the sex scenes. Unlike the other two books, I knew who was involved and what was going on from the start. Nothing took me by surprise in the end. That said, it was still a good read.
CandyH on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The third in the Holly Barker series is an excellent mystery. Well worth reading.
SLuce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Listened to Book on Tape.Good for listening when exercising or cleaning the house.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read really enjoyed
acorley84 More than 1 year ago
Blood Orchid - Holly Barker is a riveting series I must say that I normally take to female authors, but I can certainly tell the difference between a male's writing and a female's writing, especially with this series! The subject of each book has been a more "manly" subject, per say, than many female authored mystery books! Which is actually a great thing for me, because it throws something new into the mix! I have quickly come to love the Holly Barker series, and am upset that I am halfway through it now! Typically I will wait a good while between reading books in a series, however, I have managed to read the first three books in the Holly Barker in a month's time, and I don't intend to stop until I'm finished with the last book! The narrators, Dick Hill and Susie Breck, really do an awesome job partnering up to read the books in this series! I appreciate having the same narrator throughout the series thus far, and especially appreciate one narrator of each gender to help distinguish between the characters! I have really come to know and love their voices and think that they do a wonderful job of reading the story! I also appreciate the music at the opening and closing of each disc! Nice extra added! I have really grown to like the writing of Stuart Woods, and the more I read of this series, the more I like the characters and want to know what happens with Holly Barker, the main character of this series! I appreciate that as a man, Woods was able to create one of the best female fictional characters out there! She is everything that I would want to be...strong, beautiful, independent Chief of Police who isn't afraid of what's out there or to tell anybody what she thinks or how she is going to run her town! I appreciate her bluntness and humor! I also really enjoy Ham, which I was disappointed to hear from a lot less in Blood Orchid! Instead, we meet his secret girlfriend, Jenny, which seems to be a great fit with Ham! I love the relationship between Holly and Ham! The plot, of a real estate scheme brings us back to Palmetta Gardens and the purchase of it by a retired New Yorker! It is definitely not a plot that you're going to read anywhere else, so I enjoyed the creativeness of the book! Overall, I loved Blood Orchid just as much as I have the past two books in the series, and I am going right out to get the next book in the series, Reckless Abandon. I see that it is a series combo, with Stone Barrington, so I am hoping that the fact that it is book #10 of the Stone Barrington series isn't going to damper my reading since I've not yet read any books from that series (although we briefly met him in Orchid Blues!) Until next time...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love love love this entire series. I was hooked from the first book. Great detective work with engaging charaters....They are must reads
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