The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover

The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover

by Susan Wittig Albert

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NYT bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert returns to Depression-era Darling, Alabama . . .

where the ladies of the Dahlias, the local garden club, are happy to dig a little dirt!

In the seventh book of this popular series, it looks like the music has ended for Darling's favorite barbershop quartet, the Lucky Four Clovers--just days before the Dixie Regional Barbershop Competition. Another unlucky break: a serious foul-up in Darling's telephone system--and not a penny for repairs. And while liquor is legal again, moonshine isn't. Sheriff Buddy Norris needs a little luck when he goes into Briar Swamp to confront Cypress County's most notorious bootlegger. What he finds upends his sense of justice.

Once again, Susan Wittig Albert has told a charming story filled with richly human characters who face the Great Depression with courage and grace. She reminds us that friends offer the best of themselves to each other, community is what holds us together, and luck is what you make it.

Bonus features: Liz Lacy's Garden Gate column on "lucky" plants, plus the Dahlias' collection of traditional Southern pie recipes and a dash of cookery history. Reading group questions, more recipes, and Depression-era info

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

"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 Starred Review

Product Details

BN ID: 2940158811180
Publisher: Persevero Press
Publication date: 03/06/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 112,331
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Susan Wittig Albert is the NYT bestselling author of over 100 books. Her work includes four mystery series: China Bayles, the Darling Dahlias, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and the Robin Paige Victorian mysteries. She has published three award-winning historical novels, as well as YA fiction, memoirs, and nonfiction. Susan currently serves as an editor of StoryCircleBookReviews and helps to coordinate SCN's online class program. She and her husband Bill live in the Texas Hill Country, where she writes, gardens, and raises a varying assortment of barnyard creatures.

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

Danville, Illinois


Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

Customer Reviews

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The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great blend of history, with daily life thrown in.
MaraBlaise More than 1 year ago
After reading a couple of other books by Susan Wittig Albert (A Wilder Rose, Loving Eleanor and The General's Women) was I curious about her works. So, I was thrilled when I the chance to read The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover, book seven in The Darling Dahlias series. As a new reader to this series can I conclude that I besotted in this series. Yes, utterly charmed and in need of the previous books. From the very first page was I intrigued by the story and engrossed in the mystery of one the missing man, a member of the Lucky Four Clover quartet. To be honest, I would have read this book without the mystery, I was so charmed by all the characters, their lives in the little town during the depression with bootleggers and a struggling telephone system. And then we have The Darling Dahlias, the garden club, the heart of this book and their digging into the mystery of the missing man and what happened to him. I found that Susan Wittig Albert has really captured the 30s. The book is atmospheric and the characters are, despite being new to me, easy to remember and I found myself quite enjoying their everyday plight with money and relationship problems. The 30s is such a fascinating period and it's interesting to read about ordinary people's lives in a little town during the depression. Of course, with the addition of some mysterious events.
gmcootie More than 1 year ago
It's 1934 in the small town of Darling, Alabama and economically things are starting to look a bit better. The Darling Dahlias Garden Club members have a strong sense of community and support for each other and work hard for their town. But some things have gone wrong that may not be easy to fix: the Lucky Four Clovers may have to drop out of the Dixie Regional Barbershop Competition, the telephone system and some businesses in Darling are in dire need of repairs and the limited partner who refuses to chip in any money is missing. The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover is the seventh book in the Darling Dahlias series, but the first one I have read. Having read any or all of those books prior to this one would have given me some insight into and backstory on some of the main characters but this story is complete as a stand-alone. The characters and the setting are described in sufficient detail that you don't feel you have missed any significant plot points. The Dahlias are strong women with multiple roles in their lives. There are detailed descriptions of the time and the setting and the food and life in general, from telephones to shopping to dating to making moonshine. It's a trip down memory lane, a glimpse into a world much different - maybe simpler, maybe not - than today's world of fast cars and fast food and social media all around us. For those that have read previous books in the series I imagine this story moved the lives of the main characters along, and the ending left things open to anticipate the next book. Thanks for NetGalley for providing an ARC of The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story, but it really annoys me when an author ends the story without bringing the plot to a close. Albert doesn't usually do this. Why this time? Does she feel like she needs cheap tricks like this to get people to continue to buy her books? Very disappointing. Stephanie Clanshan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was enjoyable but then it just ended. The story was not complete. Did she just get tired of writing? Very disappointing and unsatisfying.
TarynLee More than 1 year ago
I've read another series by this author which I enjoy immensely but this was my first foray into this one and I was very pleased with it. I love period mysteries and this one didn't disappoint. Set in the 1930's during the great depression you are introduced to a group of ladies in a gardening club who make the most of life no matter the times. Follow along as they deal with one piece of bad news after another. Even though times are hard they always find a way. This was a truly fun read, it was great to see how a mystery could be solved in a time without cellphones, and the internet. I loved the southern setting and the sayings, being from the south I always get excited when hearing another person perspective of it. I look forward to going back to the beginning and catching up on everyone before the author comes out with another book. The characters were a treat to get to know.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
The Darling Dahlias And The Unlucky Clover is the seventh book in the Darling Dahlias series. I’ve read all of the Susan Wittig Alberts mystery series books and the series written as Robin Page and wonderful books they all are. Albert is one of the truly great wordsmith writing today. All of her books are all very well-plotted and all have a well-developed cast of believable characters. I’m so glad that this series found a new home and that there will be more to come. This series just makes it into my criteria for a historical series, being that it takes place before I was born. Granted it is only ten years. Albert’s descriptive writing in this series is probably the thing that I like the most. As I read this book, I feel that I am transported back to the 1930’s and walking through the interesting community of Darling, Alabama. The story has been well researched and I particularly enjoy reading the prices of food items, listening to residents provide the views on prohibitions and moonshiners. Albert even provides some political views of residents as to how the upcoming election of FDR and Huey Long. It’s 1934 and the Darling Dahlias are busy canning and baking pumpkin pies for the Darling Blessing Box and the Dixie Regional Barbershop Quartet competition. The Lucky Four Clovers get some bad news when the lead singer is ordered by his doctor to not sing for a while. A replacement, Mr. Whitney Whitworth, is found things look good for the Lucky Four Clovers. Liz Lacy’s gets a phone call from Benton Mosely, asking her to go over the Regina Whitworth’s and see why she is in such a panic-stricken state. Liz soon finds out that Whitney hadn’t come home last night. At about the time that Liz is heading to see Regina, Charlie Dickens, editor of the Darling Dispatch gets a phone call and rushes to the scene of a car wreck on a narrow county road. The body in the car is identified at Whitney Whitworth. Dickens is making notes at the scene of the accident scene and notices some damage to the car that appears that it was no accident. Dickens then provides Sheriff Norris. Sheriff Norris with the help of several residents begins to investigate and soon discover that Mrs. Whitworth was planning on filing for divorce and three businesses that Whitney was a “silent partner” in had gone to him for additional capital and he had turned them down. Could one of them have gotten even, rather than getting madder? Delicious sounding recipes are also included with the book. I’m hoping that there will be more books coming in this series. I so look forward visiting Darling and learning what the colorful residents have been up to since the last visit.
teachlz More than 1 year ago
My Review of "The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover" by Susan Wittig Albert I appreciate the intriguing way that Susan Wittig Albert, Author of "The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover", weaves her charming, delightful and mysterious story and colorful characters together. The timeline of this story is around the depression in Darling, Alabama. The genres for this story are mystery, cozy mystery, fiction with some historical fiction. The author describes her characters as quirky, likeable, neighborly, nosy, and flawed. This is the seventh book in the series, and the first book that I am reading and reviewing. It can be read as a stand- alone, and I would be interested in reading the others. Alcohol is now legal, but bootlegging still exists, and is a big business by the swamps, and prison. It is fascinating to hear reference to Party phones, the automobiles of the time, and the way people had different complications. Although times were less complex, there still were hardships. There were financial hardships after the Depression. There is talk of a "New Deal" that promises more jobs. There is news of Kidnappings for money. Since money is hard to come by, there is an old broken- down phone system, and some businesses might have to close. One of the limited partners in these businesses doesn't want to provide the monies necessary to improve and keep these things running. To top it off, the "Lucky Four Clovers" the town's winning quartet is having problems of its own. The Women's "Darling Dahlias", the local garden club helps boost the morale, by making pies, and being a support system to one another. In addition, the town is faced with a murder. There are a few characters that could be suspect. In a small town, it is hard to keep secrets and information from getting out. The women of this town are hardworking, resourceful, enterprising , and creative with the lack of funds. I appreciate that the author discusses the roles of women during the depression, family, friendships, neighbors, and community. I would recommend this cozy mystery to readers that appreciate mystery, and fiction. I received an Advanced Reading Copy for my honest review.