Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover by Susan Wittig Albert - #review #giveaway

NYT bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert returns to Depression-era Darling, Alabama…​where the ladies of the Dahlias, the local garden club, are happy to dig a little dirt!

In the seventh book of this popular series, it looks like the music has ended for Darling’s favorite barbershop quartet, the Lucky Four Clovers—just days before the Dixie Regional Barbershop Competition. Another unlucky break: a serious foul-up in Darling’s telephone system—and not a penny for repairs. And while liquor is legal again, moonshine isn’t. Sheriff Buddy Norris needs a little luck when he goes into Briar Swamp to confront Cypress County’s most notorious bootlegger. What he finds upends his sense of justice.

Once again, Susan Wittig Albert has told a charming story filled with richly human characters who face the Great Depression with courage and grace. She reminds us that friends offer the best of themselves to each other, community is what holds us together, and luck is what you make it.

Bonus features: Liz Lacy’s Garden Gate column on “lucky” plants, plus the Dahlias’ collection of traditional Southern pie recipes and a dash of cookery history. Reading group questions, more recipes, and Depression-era info at



Back in May of 2016, I was in a blog tour forr Ms. Wittig Albert's book, Loving Eleanor (the Eleanor being FDR's wife), and I became a fan.  Then I picked up The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose, which was my introduction to the good folk of Darling, Alabama  So, when The Darling Dahlias and the Unlucky Clover came up for a book tour, I was like, "Yes, please!"

The Darling Dahlias are a group of women in Darling, who have a garden club.  The books are set in the 1930's Great Depression Era, highlighting both the economic woes and the courage and practical ways in which the Dahlias met the challenges of that time.

Clovers are a well-known symbol of luck.  And in Darling, there is a barbershop quartet group called The Lucky Clovers, which may cause some rasied eyebrows due to the title of the book.  But we soon learn that one of the Clovers is indeed UNlucky, because he winds up dead, and not from natural causes.  

I think it is wonderful that of the two books of this series I have read, they feature different Dahlias, and assume this carries on to the other books in the series.  The Dahlias themselves are a diverse group of ladies with some widows, some married women, some single ladies of various ages.  No member is ever pressured to take part in an investigation, but the Dahlias are a supportive group and will answer a call for help if needed, be it economic or investigative.

Even after Confederate Rose, I could see myself being part of this sisterly club.  However, they'd probably leave me to the lifting and toting portions of gardening, because if I wanted a green thumb, I'd have to draw it on with a marker!

We find out a great deal about other members of the Darling citizenry.  Like about the victim, who was a partner in a number of local businesses - providing money at the outset for an on-going cut of the profits, and no obligation to ship in for repairs or upgrades ... ever.  Sweet deal if you can get it, but it's also bound to cause some hard feelings eventually.

The mystery is clever, the educational possibilities with this book (and indeed the entire "Dahlias" series) are enormous, and the descriptions of the cooking, let alone the recipes made my mouth water.  I love how many authors include recipes, as well as tips and lore about a major feature of the book (crafts, cooking, history, etc.)  For me it definitely adds to the richness of the reading experience.

The seed that was planted when I read Loving Eleanor, nurtured when I read Confederate Rose, has blossomed into full-on fanship of Susan Wittig Albert for me.  Ms. Wittig Albert is a prolific author, so my reading pleasure is assured for the forseeable future.



Susan Wittig Albert is the NYT bestselling author of over 100 books. Her work includes four mystery series: China Bayles, the Darling Dahlias, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and the Robin Paige Victorian mysteries. She has published three award-winning historical novels, as well as YA fiction, memoirs, and nonfiction. Susan currently serves as an editor of StoryCircleBookReviews and helps to coordinate SCN’s online class program. She and her husband Bill live in the Texas Hill Country, where she writes, gardens, and raises a varying assortment of barnyard creatures.

For more information please visit Susan Wittig Albert’s website. Visit the Darling Dahlias Facebook Page. You can also find Susan on FacebookTwitterGoodreadsGoogle+Instagram, and Pinterest.



Darling Dahlias


Click on the banner above to go to the tour page, where you will find links to more reviews of tis title.  Find out how to become a blog host for future book tours!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)


  1. What a fabulous review, LuAnn! I am so glad that you enjoyed meeting the Dahlias! Thanks again for hosting Susan's blog tour!

    HF Virtual Book Tours

  2. Thanks, LuAnn! I'll let the Dahlias know that you liked their mystery. They love it when people say nice things about their little town. :)--Susan Albert