The Scarlet Pepper by Dorothy St. James is the second book in the “White House Gardener” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, April 2012
As the official organic gardener for the White House, Casey Calhoun is usually up to her elbows in something or other. But when someone starts tampering with the Presidential vegetable garden, she soon finds herself in way over her head.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that red peppers are growing instead of green ones and cabbage is popping up where the First Lady’s favorite lettuce should be-a hard-nosed investigative reporter is found dead after targeting the President’s unpopular Chief of Staff.
Raking over the clues and rumors, Casey knows that someone is sabotaging both her garden and the First Lady’s reputation. But when she has one close call too many, Casey realizes that the next thing buried in the dirt might just be her.
This was a very enjoyable read. Someone is digging up the vegetable garden and leaking information, putting Casey in jeopardy. When a reporter is found dead and Casey starts receiving threatening messages, Casey will have to dig deep to find the culprit. This was a fast-paced, action-packed drama with plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing. The author did a great job at keeping me in suspense as the story moved forward with spurts from Casey’s traumatic childhood. Gordon, Alyssa and Jack are back in this charming whodunit and I look forward to more exciting adventures with this crew.