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The LAST CAMELLIA: a Novel ~Sarah Jio

You can almost smell the flowers in this suspenseful mystery by Sarah Jio.  THE LAST CAMELLIA is a bouquet of intrigue, twists and turns about a young FLORA, an amateur botanist, leaving her family bakery in New York, pre –World War II, to find a garden and a specific Camellia tree for what turns out to be a Thievery network. Flora finds love and digs up a huge murder mystery that captures her imagination and the reader’s also.

More than 25 years later another American will leave NYC for this same garden estate in England and she will be drawn into the mystery also, while having to deal with her own scary stalker.  Addison is a gardener by trade and married to the son, a novelist, of the new owners of the estate. Can you imagine a whole orchard of exotic camellias?

I was still back in the bakery smelling the wonderful descriptive aromas of the fresh loaves for the first few segments of this story.  I did not mind.   I do not read the preview, “try to write about these parts of the book” sheets before I read the book, and I thought this was just a fictional story and did not realize the mystery needed all the pieces firmly in mind, so I had to go back and begin the book again to comprehend and try to resolve it.

Now that I have read the pre-review sheets, I am so glad I did not them; it would have ruined the LAST CAMELLIA for me. These information sheets just told too much and the review on Amazon was too telling also – I would not have needed to read the book at all.   Though I did get a lovely email from the author and that truly made me want to dive into this book.  I do so love flowers.

The book was great entertainment reading and I so enjoyed the loving care given to the children in the story.  The details and the descriptions did not bog one down, and it soon became apparent they were all in there to solve the mystery and reveal the culprit.   I loved the pacing and that I was able to put the book down and water my flowers or fix dinner and not miss the action, as a matter of fact as I stuck my hands in the soapy water after dinner, I realized I was trying to figure out “who dun it”!

Being set in a UK garden made it even more interesting as I can conjure up a number of stunning gardens in my mind from my tour there.  Of course, it too was like playing a game of CLUE with all new characters in the mansion.   THE LAST CAMELLIA is great fun.

Sarah Jio lives in Seattle with a golden retriever named Paisley, 3 young sons, and a fine husband. THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, is a Library Journal Best Book of 2011.  Facebook.

tlc logoI received a KINDLE copy of this book from TLC online tours and PLUME BOOKS and they will be giving away a free copy of this book at the end of the tour for a great comment.   Looking forward to your great thoughts in the comment section.

Jio has written several more books and I think I would like to read another.  There are lots of book reviews under the contents tab RECOMMENDED READING.  Plenty of good beach reads.

Related Reading:
He’s Gone
Walter’s Muse
The Love Ceiling

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site, I will receive a few flowers in my bouquet.  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed.

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10 Responses to “The LAST CAMELLIA: a Novel ~Sarah Jio”

  1. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Patricia — I love your lead-in line, “You can almost smell the flowers…”

    I, too, want to solve the mystery! As such, I’ve added the title to my must-read list. Thank you for another wonderful review!

    Patricia Reply:

    Thank you. I enjoyed this one very much am sharing this one with one of my book groups to add to our list. I did read it in the park and I think that was helpful :)

  2. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea Says:

    Patricia, I do like the sound of this – it’s on my summer “to read” list — thanks for sharing.

    Patricia Reply:

    Nice flow to the story and I am sure I have read one of her other “flower” mysteries – A good read

  3. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours Says:

    I’m glad you avoided the spoilers and were able to enjoy this beautiful book!

    Thanks for being on the tour.
    Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours recently posted..Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman, authors of Freud’s Mistress, on tour August/September 2013My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Heather J
    Movie trailers and spoilers just are sometimes too much and they ruin the story. After reading a book, they are great fun :)

    I can hardly wait until my new computer is up and running – think that will be good for everyone!

  4. Talon Says:

    As a gardening freak, a mystery set in a garden sounds just the sort of read I need while sitting in my pergola, Patricia! :)

    As always, a fabulous review.

    Patricia Reply:

    Thank you for you nice words…if was just a perfect read for a lazy summer moment or two

  5. Sara Says:

    Wow. I will definitely look for this as mysteries are my favorite. This one sounds very interesting, especially with the flower angle and the botanist and gardener. Great review, Patricia:~)
    Sara recently posted..Need a Hug?My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    I think you would like this one very much and it is full of the twists and gentle turns you very much like – oh yes and gardens! What a mystery
    Patricia recently posted..THE EXILES: A Novel ~Allison LynnMy Profile