Friday, January 24, 2014

Take the Trophy and Run

AUTHOR: Gail Sattler
Publisher: B&H Books
November 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4336-7729-8
Genre: women’s fiction

Like Mitford and Lake Wobegon before that, Bloomfield is a place we could all call home. Here, the residents enjoy a splash fountain in the town square, dine at the “Fancy Schmantsy” on tree-lined Main Street, and dream of reaching the 10,000 population mark -- only 22 more folks to go!

The Bloomfield Garden Club, an all-ages group of lovable oddballs that will stop at nothing to make everything beautiful, maintains this piece of heaven on earth. But even such idyllic places as this have their share of
dramatic characters and stories to be told.

Take, for instance, craft store owner Amber Weathersby. She wants to be a member of the garden club but has never received the blessing of a green thumb. Her friend, Stan the mechanic, has helped as much as he can -- even adding a timed sprinkler system to Amber’s garden -- but the results never live up to the club’s expectations.

Her only claim to fame with that gang is her semi-famous garden gnome, Gnorman, who gets to hold the prized trophy each year in the Bloomfield Spring Fling contest’s winning garden.

But this year, instead of being the life of the party, her little star is gnomegnapped, and worse, the club’s irreplaceable trophy has gone missing with him. While Amber is chasing the gnome around town trying to win the trophy, Stan is chasing Amber, trying to win her heart.

TAKE THE TROPHY & RUN is the first book in Ms. Sattler’s new series A Bloomfield novel. There is a romance in it, but it is mainly about the garden club and her “kidnapped” gnome and trying to solve the mystery of who-dun-it and why. While not a scary mystery with a death, this book has everyone in the garden club in a dither trying to find the missing gnome and the kidnapper.

Who would kidnap a garden gnome and why? Is someone sinister a member of the garden club?

There are a lot of characters in this story which makes it confusing at time and it isn’t the best written book I’ve read—but Ms. Sattler’s trade-mark humor is out in full force. There are a lot of deliberately misspelled words – like gnaturally (at the end of the book) with the keeping of the gnome theme.  Fans of Ms. Sattler, cozy mysteries (without bodies and murderers) and humor will likely enjoy this book. 320 pages $14.99. 

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