Thursday, February 3, 2022

Dead Cereus Book Review

Cozy mysteries often find their way onto my reading list--and this week as been no exception.  After sharing reviews of Fiona Quinn Quick Mysteries and Matrimony, Mayhem & Murder
earlier in the week, I have Dead Cereus in our review feature spot today! Check out the book, read my thoughts, and learn about the author!

Book Title: Dead Cereus by Kira Kanani Seamon ​
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+), 276 pages
Genre:  New Adult Cozy Mystery 
Publisher:  Kira Kanani Seamon
Release date:   January 2021
Content Rating:  PG-13: mature subject matter.

Here is what The Prairies Book Review had to say about Dead Cereus:

Seamon is a master at creating atmospheric settings, and cozy mystery lovers will find it easy to fall under her spell. An appealing, witty heroine, a gem of a leading man, and well-constructed setting and plot make this one a must-read for both mystery lovers and fans of chick-lit literature. Readers will look forward to more of Holly and William’s adventures.

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About the Book

Holy holly berries! "Hurricane Holly" creates shenanigans on the Olympic level. This mischievous charmer has found herself in many strange messes, but this one takes the carrot cake!

With her college scholarship already on frost alert, when Holly accidentally douses the college's most distinguished donors, she sees her degree and her relationship with the hot Master Gardener quickly wilting.

Her only chance of remaining in Shellesby is to win a vaunted internship with a famous chocolatier. The only problem? The other candidate is Holly’s biggest rival, a stuck-up queen bee-and she just might have her sights set on Holly’s swoon-worthy boyfriend as well!

With a a chance to win over the prestigious chocolatier when the rare night-blooming cereus plant is scheduled to open its petals at the Night Lights Gala, Holly is there-and so is a killer. Events unfold that not only place her scholarship on the line, but also her life…and that of her rival.

Holly finds herself racing the clock to save her arch nemesis, secure her scholarship, and catch a murderer, if she can!

Enjoy this lighthearted romp with its plethora of plants and wonderful characters by picking up a copy of Dead Cereus today! Can Holly stand the heat in the hothouse or is she headed for a spectacular meltdown?

This is an epic romance and a fantastic, unique mystery rolled into one hilarious story. With all the feels, this novel can’t help but implant itself in your heart and grow into one of your favorite reads. Put your petal to the metal and see what all the buzz is about. Dead Cereus is to die for!

Come for the mystery, stay for the food. Chocolate plays a big role in this book; you will ‘chocolate’ as you've never ‘chocolated’ before! Hot new debut author Kira Seamon makes botany cool again, one plant at a time.


My Review

Dead Cereus May Require a Bit of Patience to Settle Into the Story. I had difficulty settling into the storyline and connecting with the characters. Much of the book shares a lot of fascinating botany-themed information--with some foodie-friendly scenes too. While I did find the botany topics interesting--it took a while for me to find my way into the story. The pace did pick up after a few chapters. The author did throw in some growing challenges and conflicts for her characters to face. There were murders--but they almost took a back seat to some of Holly's personal issues. As Holly's side stories began to develop--an internship application, her consistently lousy decision making, a scholarship revocation looming--I became interested in watching her personal life issues unfold.


The Characters May Not Be Endearing. Honestly, I wouldn't say I liked any of the characters in this book. I think I liked the plants more than the characters at times. I didn't feel that Holly's maturity level often fit her role in the plot--nor did her actions seem very plausible. Part of the fun of cozy mysteries is watching a likable yet unlikely lead character take on the role of crime solver. Holly participates in the murder solving, but her actions often seem to hurt and distract than help the story resolution.  


Would I Recommend Dead Cereus by Kira Seamon? I didn't love the characters, but I felt invested in seeing all of the loose ends tie-up. I did really enjoy the food references and the plants a lot--having the glossary and "recipe book" at the end of the book was interesting as well. If you enjoy botany and food themes--combined with a bit of murder mystery--you may find things to love about Dead Cereus.


Buy the Book:
add to goodreads


Meet the Author:

Kira Kanani Seamon was born and raised in Hawaii. She attended the prestigious Punahou School as an award-winning honor student.

A polymath, Kira is a gold medal/state winner in piano performance and a national and two-time regional dance champion. In ten years of competing in dance competitions, she won 18 awards, including special awards from the judges and platinum awards. Additionally, she’s an award-winning photographer and has had her art accepted and sold in national and regional juried shows. She’s had over fifty newspaper cover stories about her art and is a fourteen-time grant recipient from cultural councils. She celebrated her first solo museum exhibit of her work in 2020.

Now living in Massachusetts, she was recently the inaugural artist-in-residence in Natick, Massachusetts. She received a personal letter from the Massachusetts Senate President and a Certificate of Recognition from the Massachusetts State Legislation in recognition of her grant from Framingham, Massachusetts. All of this culminated in her receiving the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, for which she appeared in the Wall Street Journal in 2020.

She took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Machu Picchu, Peru with the Punahou Alumni Association and her travel tale about that expedition is published in the 2021 September/October edition of the Writers and Readers Magazine. Additionally, her Peru photography is the editorial feature in the 2021 fall edition of DRIFT Travel magazine.

DRIFT Travel is an upscale travel and lifestyle magazine with each issue being emailed to 4+ million digital magazine readers worldwide. Additionally, DRIFT is also part of the PressReader magazine/newspaper digital platform that puts DRIFT in thousands of hotels, cruise ships, resorts and airlines around the world, opening the door to an additional 300 million users annually.

Kira has never met a story from Greek mythology that she didn’t love and has kept a daily journal since her teens. Dead Cereus is her first novel.

connect with the author: website facebook ~ instagram - goodreads

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