Rebecca Burns Aldridge

Author of The Flower Girls mystery series:

Drop Dead Handsome

Paradise Lost (NOW AVAILABLE!)

Both books also available at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC, and Quail Ridge Bookstore in Raleigh, NC.

A deserted sailboat. A gruesome “catch” by a fisherman. A woman’s “accidental” death. Her friends’ suspicions. Their subsequent dangerous–sometimes comic–investigation.

Four women, who live in various places of the South and are known to one another only through email, are brought together by a shattering phone call. That call tells them of the shocking and, to them, unsatisfactorily explained death of their mutual friend, Maggie Muldoon Palmer, a wealthy philanthropist in Mississippi. At Maggie’s funeral, in a simultaneous move that surprises the four strangers, they each lay a yellow rose, Maggie’s favorite flower, on the casket.

“The flower girls,” as they refer to themselves after the funeral, are not the usual run-of-the-mill detectives. Ranging in age from mid-forty to seventy, they are not the svelte, hip, grown-up version of Nancy Drew. It’s “The Golden Girls” meet Agatha Christie!

Although they are all single-or-single-again southern women, they are as different as can be. Tootsie dresses garishly, constantly nibbles peanut butter, and lives on the edge; the only thing Bippy likes more than eating is playing matchmaker; Penelope avoids wearing hearing aids because she is just “a little hard of hearing” and wears clothes that look as if she robbed a Goodwill box; Rosemary, a forty-something African American newspaper editor, betrayed by her ex-husband, is trying to resist falling in love.

With good humor, suspicion, and determination to get to the bottom of things, they distrust everyone: the man Maggie was going to marry, her brothers, and even the detective assigned to the case. All four Flower Girls are unprepared, not only for the danger which lies in wait for them by their stubborn refusal to accept Maggie’s death as an accident, but for the extent to which their lives are changed forever by their friendship.

[COMING SOON!]

A remote island paradise in the off season when few people are around. The startling washing ashore of bodies. The medical examiner’s ghastly discovery. Shocking warnings and life-threatening “accidents.” A life-or-death struggle. Lives changed forever.

In this sequel to Drop Dead Handsome, Tootsie, Bippy, Penelope, and Rosemary, who met and dubbed themselves the Flower Girls when they simultaneously placed a yellow rose on their friend Maggie’s coffin, reunite for a trip to a little-known barrier island off the North Carolina coast. These four friends, who were convinced that Maggie’s death was not an accident and pursued their own investigation, made a vow at that time to be forever “All for one, one for all.” Their commitment then to get together at least once a year to continue their new friendship leads them to the off-the-beaten-path island and to a danger so forbidding that they are forced to confront the very real possibility that they may be in too deep this time for one or all of them to survive.

When the idyllic scenery of White Sand Island is horrifically marred by bizarre murders, and a new friend on the island is harassed and threatened, the Flower Girls, with their characteristic good humor, intelligence, and steely determination, decide to get to the bottom of the mystery. In doing so, not knowing whom they can trust, they put their own lives in danger to an extent they have never before experienced. Even the four men who worked with them to solve their friend’s murder in Mississippi and who join them on the island—Maggie’s two brothers, the police lieutenant, and the man who found Maggie’s body—are unable to protect the Flower Girls from the danger that hounds and threatens them. Who is behind their terror? Who is so desperate to have them silenced? Will this be the end of one or all of them, these four who have pledged, “Tous pour un, un pour tous”?

REVIEWS

“If you’re a fan of Fannie Flagg, Rita Mae Brown, or Mary Kay Andrews, you need to make room at the table for Rebecca Burns Aldridge, whose Drop Dead Handsome you are likely to devour. Aldridge serves up a delicious mystery served with a delightfully large dollop of Southern humor and charm, and every page brims with flat-out fun. Four vividly drawn strangers become a team of amateur female detectives determined to explain the unexpected death of a dear mutual friend in this character-driven cozy whodunit. Pour yoursell a glass of sweet tea. Make some peanut butter crackers. Then start reading, but beware: you’ll be sorry to say goodbye to these smart, clever, endearing women.”

—W. Edward Blain, author of Passion Play and Love Cools

“A smart, sassy, southern mystery—shades of Steel Magnolias and The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. After the untimely death of Maggie Muldoon Palmer, four of her longtime friends bond and become instant lady sleuths. Tootsie, Bippy, Pen, & Rose are quirky characters who become like friends and family. They’ll win your heart and tickle your funny bone. Aldridge captures the reader with engaging writing and delightful characterizations.”

—Pat Benedict Jurgens, Author of Falling Forward: A Woman’s Journey West

“I love this book! I couldn’t put it down. The character development is absolutely wonderful.”

—Patricia Slorah, PhD, author of Grandparents’ Rights: What Every Grandparent Needs to Know

Click here to read more reviews for Drop Dead Handsome and Paradise Lost