Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Friday, September 7, 2012 / “The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose” by Susan Wittig Albert

Today’s featured book is The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose by Susan Wittig Albert.
"The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose" by Susan Wittig Albert
Why I chose this book:

Susan Wittig Albert is a long-time writer of historicals from various time periods. Her latest series,“The Darling Dahlias” is set in the South (Alabama) in the 1930s during the Great Depression with“Confederate Rose” being third in the series. There are two puzzles to be solved (along with deciphering the odd behavior of several residents of the town). The first puzzle is the accusation of theft against one of the members of the Dahlia Garden Club. The second is the unraveling of a secret code found sewn inside an heirloom pillow. The antics of the townsfolk are never-ending and provide constant activity, action, and amusement. I love the wistful references to products and companies long gone (or still standing) that I personally remember from conversations of people around my childhood or experienced myself (having eaten many bowls of Post Toasties with my own grandmother listening to whatever was on her old Philco radio, for example). Albert’s attention to historical detail bring the mystery to life with a believable plot along and more-than-plausible Southern gentle-ladies (being from the South, I recognize them as some of my aunts and cousins). It is fast-paced and a delightful, nostalgic novel that aptly reproduces life in 1930s Depression-era Alabama. If “cozy” is your genre, then this one should be at the top of your list to read.

From Amazon:

“National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert returns to the small town of Darling, Alabama, in the 1930s – and the Darling Dahlias, the ladies of a garden club who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty solving mysteries…

Just in time for the Confederate Day celebration, the Darling Dahlias are ready to plant Confederate roses along the fence of the town cemetery. Of course, Miss Dorothy Rogers, club member and town librarian, would be quick to point out the plant is in fact a hibiscus.

The Confederate rose is not the only thing that is not what it first appears to be in this small Southern town. Earle Scroggins, the county treasurer, has got the sheriff thinking that Scroggins’ employee Verna Tidwell (also the Darling Dahlias’ trusted treasurer) is behind a missing $15,000. But Darling Dahlias president Liz Lacy is determined to prove Verna is not a thief.

Meanwhile Miss Rogers has discovered her own mystery – what appears to be a secret code embroidered under the cover of a pillow, the only possession she has from her grandmother. She enlists the help of a local newspaperman, who begins to suspect the family heirloom may have larger significance.

With missing money, secret codes, and the very strange behavior of one resident, Darling, Alabama, on the eve of Confederate Day, is anything but a sleepy little town…

Includes Southern-Style Depression-Era Recipes”

If you want to make your own comments on this selection, we would love to hear from you. Join ourFacebook Killer Nashville group page or our blog and join in the discussion.

Remember that these books are listed at a discount through Amazon. You also don’t have to purchase the version that is featured here. Many of these books are available in multiple formats: e–book, hardcover, softcover, and audio. Enjoy!

– Clay Stafford, Founder of Killer Nashville


About Clay Stafford

Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker ( and founder of Killer Nashville ( As a writer himself, he has over 1.5 million copies of his own books in print in over 14 languages. Stafford’s latest projects are the feature documentary “One of the Miracles” ( and the music CD “XO” ( A champion of writers, Publishers Weekly has identified Stafford as playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” throughout “the nation’s book culture.” (PW 6/10/13)
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