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The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star    by Susan Wittig Albert Amazon.com order for
Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star
by Susan Wittig Albert
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Alabama in the 1930s. Life was hard at the height of the Depression. Jobs were scarce, almost non-existent. Hunger was rampant. Everybody watched their pennies, which were worth a great deal more than they are today.

The small town of Darling is planning a carnival going all out with a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, food booths, crafts for sale and the highlight of the day a flying circus with airplane rides at a penny a pound per person!! As well as wing-walking. The ladies of the Darling Dahlias garden club are hosting this big day and bringing the Dare Devils Flying Circus to Darling. They are on pins and needles about this venture because last year's wasn't a total success.

The Dahlias' president, Liz Lacey, learns that Miss Lily Dare, owner of, and performer in, the Flying Circus has had her plane sabotaged and has been threatened. Could several of the male residents have been acquainted with Lily in a romantic way? She seemed to be a femme fatale. Hard to resist.

The plot thickens. It's a good one. Fun. Delightful. There is a source of natural beauty products that were used back in the thirties when women could not afford higher priced toiletries. Also some great southern-style Depression-era recipes grace the last few pages of this cozy, along with the beauty products' recipes.

I truly enjoyed reading of the 1930s. It was a tough time. My family lost a great deal as did most of the country. Born in 1932, I reminisced while reading. The clothes, the cars, the food, the sense that everyone tried to help those in worse circumstances than their own. 'Brother, can you spare a dime?' was popular. A dime was a big deal then. This is a good read from a prolific author.

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