Book Review: Flowerbed of State

Flowerbed of State
A White House Gardener Mystery 
Author: Dorothy St. James 
Pages: 320 pgs
Reading Level: Adult
Published: May 3rd 2011
Review Source: Berkley
Available: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Borders

Summary: (from goodreads) Cassandra "Casey" Calhoun's passion for gardening has carried her to President's Park on which sits the White House. But when she finds a dead body in a trash can, Casey has to root out a killer before she ends up planted herself.

First I want to say that I made the mistake of looking in the back of the book to read how to plant a pineapple, which Ms. St. James was so kind enough to tell us how. As I was flipping through the last pages, I accidentally read who the killer was! Which totally killed it for me because that’s what a murder mystery is all about; trying to figure out who the killer is. Besides that, “Flowerbed of State” is an amazing book. The characters are very well developed. There is never a dull moment through out the whole book. Ms. St. James did a wonderful job describing the characters and their surroundings. It made me feel like I was actually there following Casey and helping her look for clues. I also loved the fact that Ms. St. James brought her love for gardening into this book. You can really tell she loves what she does.

Casey is the newest member of the White House gardening team. Although she has only been there for two years, she really knows her way around compost and rose bushes. LOL Casey is attacked one night while she was pulling some weeds from the freshly planted tulip bed. That same night a woman turn up dead in the same area that Casey was attached. She doesn’t remember anything but shoes her attacker was wearing, which apparently are very popular. Turner, secret service hunk, has been given the duty of babysitting Casey because she is the only witness and the killer might come back to kill her, but Casey isn’t having it. She wants to find out who the killer is and since she has read many mystery novels, she thinks that she can figure it out - hopefully before the killer strikes again.

I love Casey’s character. She is a stubborn and witty girl from South Carolina, who is always getting herself into trouble and sometimes more than she can handle. I have to admit that I would prefer Turner over Richard. Yes, Richard is sexy and rich, but who doesn’t love a tough man with a six pack in uniform? Yummy right? If you are looking for a great murder mystery book with a surprise ending? You MUST read this book.


  1. This one sounds good :) I love gardening, so if the author does too, and its clear in her book, I'm sure I will love it! Thanks for the great review, I wouldn't have heard of this book otherwise.

    -Kate the Book Buff
    The Book Buff: Book Reviews for Regular People

  2. Like Kate, the Book Buff, I love gardening and I love mysteries. Flowerbed of State sounds like an exciting read! Thanks for the review.

    My Bookshelf


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