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Authors: Kate Collins

To Catch a Leaf

BOOK: To Catch a Leaf
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Table of Contents
 
 
PRAISE FOR THE FLOWER SHOP MYSTERIES
Night of the Living Dandelion
“Great plotting and interesting secondary characters add depth and humor. . . . Abby and Marco's relationship strengthens and sizzles.”
—
Romantic Times
 
“A heartwarming cozy. . . . Fans of the series will feel mesmerized by the plot.”
—Genre Go Round Reviews
 
Dirty Rotten Tendrils
 
“Each book in this series contains murder, continuous mayhem, a bit of sizzle, and one justice-seeking amateur sleuth.”
—Once Upon A Romance Reviews
 
“Abby is an excellent heroine who finds herself in some of the most unlikely, entertaining situations.”
—The Mystery Reader
 
“A fun read with interesting twists and turns.”
—The Romance Readers Connection
 
Sleeping with Anemone
“A nimble, well-crafted plot with forget-me-not characters.”
—Laura Childs, author of the Tea Shop Mysteries
 
“A treat not to be missed.”
—Kate Carlisle, author of the Bibliophile Mysteries
 
“Foul play fails to daunt a lively heroine who knows her flowers. A clever, fast-moving plot and distinctive characters add up to fun.”
—JoAnna Carl, author of the Chocoholic Mysteries
 
“A cleverly plotted mystery.”
—The Mystery Reader
“[A] roller-coaster ride of a mystery with the feisty Irish lass Abby Knight at the helm.”
—Fresh Fiction
 
“Kate Collins has succeeded in keeping this wonderful series fresh as a daisy . . . upbeat, humorous, and appealing. Abby has definitely turned into one of the best amateur sleuths in the world of fiction.”
—Reader to Reader Reviews
 
Evil in Carnations
“Collins isn't losing steam in her eighth foray into the world of florist and part-time accidental detective Abby Knight. The fun, family, and romance are still fresh, and the mystery is tidily wrapped up, with just enough suspense to keep readers flipping pages.”
—
Romantic Times
 
“Ms. Collins's writing remains above par with quality and consistency: fun and breezy, intriguing and suspenseful, excitement and sizzle.”
—Once Upon a Romance Reviews
 
Shoots to Kill
“Colorful characters, a sharp and funny heroine, and a sexy hunk boyfriend.”
—Maggie Sefton, author of the Knitting Mysteries
 
“Once again Kate Collins delivers an entertaining, amusing, and deliciously suspenseful mystery.”
—Cleo Coyle, author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries
 
A Rose from the Dead
“The latest Flower Shop mystery is an amusing graveyard amateur sleuth that will have the audience laughing.”
—The Best Reviews
 
Acts of Violets
“A delightful lighthearted cozy.”
—The Best Reviews
 
Snipped in the Bud
“Lighthearted and fast-paced, Collins's new book is an entertaining read.”
—
Romantic Times
 
Dearly Depotted
“Abby is truly a hilarious heroine. . . . Don't miss this fresh-as-a-daisy read.”
—
Rendezvous
 
“Ms. Collins's writing style is crisp, her characters fun . . . and her stories are well thought out and engaging.”
—Fresh Fiction
 
Slay It with Flowers
“What a delight! Ms. Collins has a flair for engaging characters and witty dialogue.”
—Fresh Fiction
 
“You can't help but laugh . . . an enormously entertaining read.”
—
Rendezvous
 
Mum's the Word
“Abby Knight [is] rash, brash, and audacious. Move over, Stephanie Plum. Abby Knight has come to town.”
—Denise Swanson, author of the
Scumble River Mysteries
 
“A bountiful bouquet of clues, colorful characters, and tantalizing twists . . . Kate Collins carefully cultivates clues, plants surprising suspects, and harvests a killer in this fresh and frolicsome new Flower Shop Mystery series.”
—Ellen Byerrum, author of the Crime
of Fashion Mystery series
 
“As fresh as a daisy, with a bouquet of irresistible characters.”
—Elaine Viets, author of the Dead End Job Mysteries
 
“This story was cute and funny, had a good plotline which entwined a lot of interesting threads . . . an enjoyable read and a fine debut for this new mystery series.”
—Dangerously Curvy Novels
 
“A charming debut.”
—The Best Reviews
Other Flower Shop Mysteries
Mum's the Word
Slay It with Flowers
Dearly Depotted
Snipped in the Bud
Acts of Violets
A Rose from the Dead
Shoots to Kill
Evil in Carnations
Sleeping with Anemone
Dirty Rotten Tendrils
Night of the Living Dandelion
OBSIDIAN
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
First published by Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
First Printing, November 2011
 
Copyright © Linda Tsoutsouris, 2011
ISBN : 978-1-101-55887-4
All rights reserved
 
OBSIDIAN and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
 
PUBLISHER'S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
 
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.

http://us.penguingroup.com

To the memory of my beloved husband and soul mate, who will be in my heart forever.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank my editor, Ellen Edwards, for her patience and understanding through these most painful, difficult months; my agent, Karen Solem, for her support and guidance; my sister, Nancy, for traveling the road with me; my best friend, Barb, for her voice of wisdom; and my dearly beloved family—Jason, Julie, Tasha, Kerry, my cousins, my stepmom, Bonnie, and my many kind friends. A special thanks to my fellow cozy mystery authors for their help—Deb Baker, Lorraine Bartlett, Maggie Sefton, Leann Sweeney, and Jennifer Stanley.
And a special shout-out to my uncle Lyndon and aunt Pat for always being there for me.
CHAPTER ONE
Monday
 
H
appiness oozed from every cell in my body. No, wait. Ooze sounded bad, and what I was feeling was definitely not bad. Not by a long shot. I was in a zone. I
radiated
bliss. As my assistant Lottie pointed out, I had a certain glow about me.
The best part of a glow of this magnitude was that nothing could dim it, not the ding in the paint on my refurbished yellow Corvette, not the snarl of traffic from a stoplight malfunction, not even the knowledge that my mother had completed a new art project and was going to deliver it after school let out for the day.
The reason for my blissful state was that after weeks of having to keep my news under wraps, the secret was out at last. I was officially engaged to the sizzling-hot man of my dreams, my sexy neighbor, former Special Ops Army Ranger–turned-owner of Down the Hatch Bar and Grill, Marco Salvare. Yes, the very male who turned the heads of women all over town, the pragmatic, enigmatic, charismatic, and, yes, sometimes autocratic Marco, my Italian American hunk, was now engaged to little ol'
moi
.
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