The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree (Darling Dahlias Series #1)

The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree (Darling Dahlias Series #1)

by Susan Wittig Albert

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The good old ladies of Darling, Alabama, are determined to keep their town beautiful. The Darling Dahlias garden club is off to a good start until rumors of trouble at a bank, an escaped convict, and a ghost digging around their tree surface. If anyone can get to the root of these mysteries, it's the Darling Dahlias.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425242162
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/05/2011
Series: Darling Dahlias Series , #1
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 167,194
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Susan Wittig Albert grew up on a farm in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. A former professor of English and a university administrator and vice president, she is the author of the China Bayles Mysteries, the Darling Dahlias Mysteries, and the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. Some of her recent titles include Widow’s Tears, Cat’s Claw, The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose, and The Tale of Castle Cottage. She and her husband, Bill, coauthor a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries under the name Robin Paige, which includes such titles as Death at Glamis Castle and Death at Whitechapel.

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

Danville, Illinois


Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

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The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Set in the Spring of 1930, the garden club of Darling, Alabama is celebrating the life of the founding member, Mrs. Dahlia Blackstone, by renaming their club in her honor.” Henceforth and forever, the would now as the Darling Dahlias.” The club was also left the Blackstone home and gardens to use as their clubhouse. The home isn’t too large but the gardens have been written about in the Montgomery Advertiser and the Selma Times Journal. There is also a large cucumber tree in front and another in back of the house. Town librarian and Dahlia club member insists they be called by their proper Latin name, Magnolia acuminata, but they are now and will forever be cucumber trees to the people of Darling. Both the house and the gardens need work as Mrs. Blackstone health was failing she was unable to keep up with everything. Inheriting the home was totally unexpected by the group but they will do what they need to do to restore everything. Life in Darling isn’t all a garden party though. A convict has escaped from a nearby prison, a car is stolen, there are rumors started about the local bank being in trouble and a ghost has been sighted digging in the backyard of the Dahlias new home. The Dahlias start digging themselves for information to see if the can get to the root of all these mysteries. Dollycas’s Thoughts While reading this I was struck at how similar life is today with what was going on in 1930. We keep hearing that this economic downfall is as bad as the “great depression”. This story shines a light on the struggles being faced then and it is glaring in the similarities being faced by people today. The author has created wonderful characters that are each vastly different but come together through their love of gardening. They also come together to help each other when without the garden club they may not even be friends. We are introduced to each and learn how the fit together while they use their individual talents to solve a series of problems plaguing their beautiful town. A wonderful debut to what I am sure will be a wonderful series. Susan is a very talented author and I would expect no less. This is the perfect time of year to curl up with the Darling Dahlias and their mysteries.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This will keep you enthralled and guessing. The group of ladies is diverse and interesting. The setting is new as is the time period and it makes for a really enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A delightful story set in the South during the Depression. The characters are engaging and the plot is well developed. Susan Wittig Albert is an excellent writer who style keeps you reading and asking for more.
aunthez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first in a great new series of life in a small town in the 1930's with a little mystery besides.
Danielle_B on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved this book! I am a big Susan Wittig Albert Fan....China Bayles is simply the best series ever! However, I am anxiously awaiting the next book in Susan's newest series about the Darling Dahlias...The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies coming out July 2011.
khiemstra631 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Here begins what I assume is a new series for Susan Wittig Albert. This one was kind of fun because it takes place in the early 1930's in the deep South. This is not a time period one encounters very often in mystery series. The Dahlias are a garden club in Darling, Alabama. They have inherited a house from a newly-deceased member and need to put a new roof on it. Meanwhile, a ghost is digging in the garden, and a drug store worker is killed in a car accident that is suspicious in nature. My only complaint was that it took a very long time for the crime action to start, and then it wound up extremely quickly. Perhaps the pacing might be a bit more smooth in the next novel.
Romonko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love the Dahlias! I mistakenly read the second book in the series before this one which was the first. I'm glad I came back to read book number 1. These characters are truly wonderful and the time and setting are authentic. The books are set in Alabama in the 1930's, and the Dahlias are a group of women in a garden club in the town of Darling Alabama. That is all you need to know to get going on this series and if you like cozies, I think you'll like this series. Come meet Lizzie, Verna and Myra May as well as the rest of the club. They are an absolute southern delight.
NewsieQ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It¿s May 1930 in Darling, Alabama. The ladies of the Darling Dahlias Garden Club are enjoying the new club house Mrs. Blackstone, their organization¿s founder, willed to them ¿ much to the chagrin of her late husband¿s greedy nephew Beatty, who had coveted it. But that¿s not the main story in The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree. The main story is about Bunny Scott, a flirtatious young woman in Darling, not a member of the Dahlias, who seems to be missing. The very proper landlady at Bunny¿s boarding house reluctantly lets Verna Tidwell, treasurer of the Dahlias, look through Bunny¿s room. What Verna finds there convinces her that Bunny has not run away. When Bunny turns up dead in a crashed stolen car ¿ and the sheriff thinks Bunny was the thief -- the Dahlias are on the case, using their sources and resources to figure out what really happened to poor Bunny. In the meanwhile, there are other things for the Dahlias to attend to: an escaped convict on the loose, a possible ghost, and a bank examiner. Susan Wittig Albert is a wonderful writer and she has outdone herself with The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree, the first in a new series. Ms. Albert has written other historical series, both set in England, but this is her first foray into an historical mystery set in the US. As usual, her characters are terrific, and she manages to bring the spirit of the depression-era south to life without laying the historical details on too thickly. Two special sections in the book¿s last pages give tips of ¿makin¿ do¿ with whatever we have ¿ and five recipes from the Dahlias. This is a top notch mystery. Readers of cozy mysteries will love The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree.
booboobad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
cute start to a new series
oldbookswine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A cucumber tree or a magnolia acuminata? Only one of the mysteries in this first book of a new series. The Dahlias as a gardening club who have been left a clubhouse. Complete with lovely gardens they have a task ahead of them in getting it into shape.Meanwhile, a young lady is murdered outside of town and the ladies of the club decided to investigate. While the young lady was quite attractive, little did the Dahlias know all of her activities. Several men in Darling were involved as well as Mortonville down the road.Taking place in the 1930's the story following historical events of the depression. It shows the cultural roles of the women and men of the period. A pleasant read and one I recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Susan Wittig Albert's China Bales series were awesome...I'm waiting for more in that the meanwhile, this series, in Alabama is also great writings...thank you Suan! hedy
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
The Darling Dahlias & the Cucumber Tree gently exposes a small town in Alabama in the 1930’s where life revolved around family and friends, and many people faced financial ruin. The story centers on women involved in a gardening club back in the day when flower gardens and vegetable gardens presented women with a pleasure. The women competed and canned and shared the fruits of their labors with one another. A pretty face and beguiling manner quickly charms the men of the town, but that creates a problem. I thoroughly enjoyed the analysis done by the women in solving two crimes. The writing starts slowly, but lures the reader into the story. A very pleasing portrait of Southern life in the 1930’s.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While this book is technically quite well-written, the story itself is boring and tedious. There are too many main characters for any of them to be very well-developed and the author uses paragraph after paragraph to try and infuse historical information from the Great Depression. I am a history lover but these passages do not fit into the story as they should and come across as gratuitous and filler-type material. Since this is the first book in the series, I will read at least one more so the author has a chance to settle in to the new series. Hopefully it will get better. Stephanie Clanahan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fun read. It holds your attention. Great cast of characters and a wonderful period piece. Very enjoyable. Definitely recommend it.
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