The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush (Darling Dahlias Series #5)

The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush (Darling Dahlias Series #5)

by Susan Wittig Albert


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The New York Times bestselling author of the China Bayles Mysteries takes readers back to Darling, Alabama, in the spring of 1933—where the women of the Darling Dahlias’ garden club are betting their bottom dollar there’s going to be trouble…

When the local bank suddenly closes, the small town of Darling is caught short on cash. To avoid disaster, town leaders hatch a plan to print Darling Dollars. The “funny money” can serve as temporary currency so the town can function. But when the first printing of the scrip disappears, the Darling Dahlias set out to discover who made an unauthorized withdrawal.

Meanwhile, County Treasurer Verna Tidwell questions whether she can trust the bank’s new vice president, Alvin Duffy—or the feelings he stirs up inside her. And Liz Lacy learns her longtime beau may be forced into a shotgun wedding. Seems other troubles don’t just go away when there’s a crisis. There’ll be no pennies from heaven, but if anyone can balance things out, folks can bank on the Darling Dahlias…


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594761174
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/02/2014
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 316,447
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(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 Death Come Quickly, Widow’s Tears, 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

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for the Darling Dahlias Mysteries:

“The prolific Albert excels at the period piece, with a gracious plenitude of Southern color and Depression-era detail, and again offers an uplifting meditation on how friends, neighbors, and strangers combined to help each other during America’s darkest economic days.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“This sweet book captures the true tone of a small town.”—The Times-Picayune

“Captivating…Charming characters, a fast-paced plot, and a strong sense of history help make this a superior cozy.”—Publishers Weekly

“Cozy fans will be delighted…Another exceptional series.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Plenty of charm and period detail.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The author of the popular China Bayles Mysteries brings a small Southern town to life and vividly captures an era and culture—the Depression, segregation, class differences, the role of women in the South—with authentic period details. Her book fairly sizzles with the strength of the women of Darling.”—Library Journal

Customer Reviews

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The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
sassy69 More than 1 year ago
The characters will become your friends as the story develops you will become very involved. I love this series and can't wait for the next book.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Susan Wittig Albert takes readers back to the small town of Darling, Alabama in the 1930's in her latest book, The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush. Albert gives readers a delightful set of characters that are both eccentric and daring in their own way. This a cozy mystery with tons of historical background, as well as, and intriguing mystery that has the Dahlias scrambling to find out what happened to a batch of homemade money! A great addition to the series! What I liked: Susan Wittig Albert is an author that understands characterization. She does such a wonderful job of making the people in her stories come alive. The reader will find themselves becoming very involved in the daily life of these characters. They will experience the ups and downs of life in a small depression era Southern town in Darling Dahlias books. Each character is so distinct and different from the next. Though there are several ladies in the group, each one has her own set of problems and ways to go about solving them. Each one is unmistakably unique. I loved that about this series. Albert did a great job in The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush of showing how the banking crisis effected each one of the Dahlias. Her characters are real and dealt with real issues and did a bit of sleuthing on the side. The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush has so much historical background. I have enjoyed reading each of the books in this series because of the fact that they deal with different aspects of the depression as well as providing a top notch mystery to be solved. In this one, readers get to see what it might have been like to experience that time in history when money became practically impossible to come by. I loved seeing the people of Darling come together to try to solve their problems by making 'scrip' money to keep their economy going. I thought Albert did a fantastic of job of showing the realism of what these people went through. Really great job on that part of the book. What I didn't like: As with any good mystery, there needs to be a bit of suspense. A reason that this mystery has to be solved right now. It has to carry a bit of tension to make the mystery aspects of the book work. In The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush, that sense of urgency was a bit understated. Though the historical aspects of the book carry the story, it was missing that punch that was needed to make it grab the reader. The pace was somewhat slower than in past books in the series and it was based more on the mayhem of economic disaster than on murder. Bottom Line: I liked this book a lot because I am a former history major. As usual, I loved the characters and Albert's individualistic approach to writing them. I loved the way the residents of Darling came together to save their town, but the actual mystery was not as mysterious as I had hoped. It just didn't pack the punch needed to make this one great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too much repetition of information from the previous books in the series. It seemed like the book was 75% old information and 25% new story line.
BeckyMcF More than 1 year ago
Since I love the China Bayles series, I wanted to try a Darling Dahlias book. Now I want to read all of the books! The Darling Dahlias are members of a garden club that not only cares for flowers and plants in a small town in Alabama in the thirties, but also a support, friendship group for most of the women. I enjoyed the garden club theme, the characters, the mystery telling, and the time period. There was a lot I learned about life in the 1930s from stills to "funny" money. I did not feel lost as a reader, because I started with book #5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read but not nearly as exciting as the last few. Stephanie Clanahan
Tiggedy2 More than 1 year ago
I just took my first trip to Darling, Alabama in the 1930’s. I had a delightful time, so I’m going again! But I’m getting ahead of myself. THE DARLING DAHLIAS AND THE SILVER DOLLAR BUSH, was my first book in this historical mystery series, but not my first book by author Susan Wittig Albert. I started reading her China Bayles books a few months. Wittig Albert is an exceptional writer. Her words seem to flow effortlessly from her pen/keyboard. At least, that’s how they read to me. I enjoyed getting to know Liz Lacy and the other ladies of the Darling Dahlias’ gardening club. These ladies prove that the women of the 1930’s were no shrinking violets. These ladies made this story feel a bit more character driven than some books. Indeed’ this book read a bit more like a “women’s fiction” than a mystery. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t mean that as a negative. I just wanted to point out that it transcended genre barriers and I think many readers will like that. The mystery was done very well and it was interesting to see how everything was resolved. And just for something I personally enjoy…the author included a character list at the beginning and she named each chapter. I just love that. ;-) There are also several southern-style depression-era recipes included at the back of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago