Contact email: mesreads AT
###Winner Announcement Posts are linked here.###

GIVEAWAYS ARE NOW LOCATED ON THEIR OWN PAGE - CLICK ON TAB ABOVE; Giveaways also linked on right sidebar.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Book Review with Giveaway: Nipped in the Bud by Susan Sleeman

This is a very fun read with a Biblical message on trying to control things with our own abilities.
Nipped in the Bud 
by Susan Sleeman

  • File Size: 370 KB
  • Print Length: 259 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1602605734
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
Print copies of this book may be available at
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: October 1, 2010

Prepare to attend the Pickle Fest in Serendipity, Oregon, along with Paige Turner and Adam Hayes. But first you must help them unravel the mystery of how the city manager wound up dead in a mound of mulch in the city park that Paige was hired to landscape. Can Adam’s knowledge of the law keep her out of jail and win her love?

Paige Turner (oh yes, there are puns like that throughout the book!) lost her parents when she was a child of ten. She doesn’t trust God to take care of her and seeks to control all aspects of her life.

Paige has her own nursery business in Serendipity, OR. She is expanding to include landscaping services and wants to make a good showing on a city project to win other jobs. Unfortunately, the city manager, Bud Picklemann, doesn’t like Paige.  But even Bud wouldn’t go so far as to get himself killed on her project site just to get her fired.  Paige is the number one suspect considering she made rash threats in an argument with Bud shortly before she found him toes up in a mound of dirt with her shovel as the apparent murder weapon. It doesn’t help Paige’s position that the local sheriff holds a grudge against her.

Paige’s best friend, Lisa, and her husband, a local commercial attorney, call in a criminal attorney. Adam is convinced he can help Paige but he would like to hire an investigator. Paige claims she can’t afford to hire anyone and, besides, she can do it herself.  Adam and Paige are attracted to each other but he is determined to keep her at a distance as long as she is his client.

Bud had several enemies in town and Paige soon has numerous other possible suspects. She refuses to pass the information on to the sheriff until she can clear her own name.  Will she be able to weed (sorry - couldn’t resist) through the clues in time to prevent going to jail?

This was our Ladies’ Book Club book and everyone agreed it was an easy and fun read. Paige hosts a radio program called “Through the Garden Gate” providing gardening tips.  Most  chapters begin with a blurb from a  prior radio episode and these are great ‘shake your head’ jokes.  Also Paige gives people flower names, like “shasta daisy”, “globe thistle” or “sedum.” This adds another layer of fun to the reading.

Ms. Sleeman does a good job providing many plausible suspects for the mystery plot and Paige gets help from a surprising source in the end. Between the word association, jokes and mystery clues there is not a dull moment in the book. Paige isn’t the most likeable character due to her extreme stubbornness and control issues but she does mellow out by the end. Adam and Lisa are nice characters and Lisa gets her own crazy moments. The Biblical message of trusting in God is woven into the story and not set out in a preachy manner.

The ending did seem a little rushed and might have been more neatly resolved. There is a second book in the series so perhaps that picks up to wrap up the trailing branches. (These puns are just too catching.)  One of our book club ladies wondered if the location name wasn’t also a purposeful pun by the author. Serendipity means a "happy accident" or "pleasant surprise"; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.

If you are ready for a light, fun mystery, perfect for the summer garden or other times of the year, I recommend this book.  I see some other series at her website and hope to read more of her work.
{Note- the Kindle version of this book had some good reading questions at the end that are not in the print book.}

Examples of Paige’s control problem:
Controlling my life kept me safe. Let me sleep at night. If that meant Adam moved on after this was all over, so be it. I would, as usual, be in charge of my life, and everything would be fine. Location 2453.
I needed to work harder. Smarter. Faster. Location 3373.
I purchased this book for my local Ladies' Book Club. I have two copies left over so I am adding one to my Review box for giveaway selection and offering one now for giveaway.

This book is set in Oregon for my Where Are You Reading Challenge. I will also add it to my New Author and Cozy Mystery challenge lists.

1. Visit the author's website and tell me something you find of interest. This is required for entry.

2.  For an extra entry, become a follower on any media (GFC, Twitter @MSEREADS, Facebook fanpage: , Goodreads or Linky - links on right sidebar) or tell me if you are already a follower.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Two total entries possible.)

* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on August 24, 2012.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on August 25, 2012.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.  


  1. Her books are all written with a message of spiritual hope and no R rated language. They are meant to be enjoyed by all ages. That's a nice change.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  2. I am a GFC follower

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  3. I checked for more information about the author. I found out that she is the only one of her immediate family who cannot raise one eyebrow at a time but she can curl her tongue. The same for me! Are we related? LOL

    One of the ways that I follow your blog is by GFC, Carol N Wong.


  4. 1. I always love discovering other books writen by authors on their websites.

    2. GFC follower


  5. I find it interesting she's lived in 9 states.

    I follow via email.



Your comments are always appreciated!


Related Posts with Thumbnails