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Publisher's Summary

A Harper has always lived at Harper House, the centuries-old mansion just outside of Memphis. And for as long as anyone alive remembers, the ghostly Harper Bride has walked the halls, singing lullabies at night.

Trying to escape the ghosts of the past, young widow Stella Rothchild, along with her two energetic little boys, has moved back to her roots in southern Tennessee - and into her new life at Harper House and In the Garden nursery. She isn't intimidated by the house - nor its mistress, local legend Roz Harper. Despite a reputation for being difficult, Roz has been nothing but kind to Stella, offering her a comfortable new place to live and a challenging new job as manager of the flourishing nursery.

As Stella settles comfortably into her new life, she finds a nurturing friendship with Roz and with expectant mother Hayley. And she discovers a fierce attraction with ruggedly handsome landscaper Logan Kitridge.

But someone isn't happy about the budding romance...the Harper Bride. As the women dig into the history of Harper House, they discover that grief and rage have kept the Bride's spirit alive long past her death. And now, she will do anything to destroy the passion that Logan and Stella share.

©2004 Nora Roberts; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"Roberts, the queen of romance, launches a new trilogy with a captivating tale in which her considerable talents at creating richly compelling characters and witty, spellbinding stories come into full bloom in a paranormal-tinged romance." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Wonderful Series--How Does She Do It

This is the first of a triology that is absolutely wonderful. I am constantly amazed at how Nora puts so much detail in to her books on so many different subject matters. This series the subject is gardening. Makes the books individual & interesting. Good narrator, too.

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Original Story

Would you consider the audio edition of Blue Dahlia to be better than the print version?

I didn't read the print version.

Any additional comments?

I liked that it was an original story but was a bit disappointed that the end was a bit cheesy for my likes. GREAT love story though!

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Couldn't finish this one

I am not an avid Nora Roberts fan but have listened to and read half a dozen of her books and enjoyed them. However, I could not make it to the end of this one. I think it might be one of her older books that has been reissued. The narrator was good but the plot was very predictable. Most romance plots are predictable and I can still enjoy them but this one was boring. The characters were nor very interesting either. There are better Nora Roberts books so don't waste your money or credit on this one.

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This is a wonderful series

I love this series! The depictions of the gardens, the amazing strong women and the struggles they overcome. I actually want to visit Memphis now that I've read this book!

Spoiler alert: I think the story would stand alone without the mystery of the ghost, but others will enjoy the historical context it brings.

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Romance, Likable Characters & Interesting Plot

The ending had me searching for the next book in the series. If you like Nora Roberts, this book is for you.

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  • Debra
  • Veedersburg, IN, United States
  • 06-11-13

Traditional Nora Roberts, but I like the genre.

Would you listen to Blue Dahlia again? Why?

Probably not, but I seldom listen to a book twice.

What other book might you compare Blue Dahlia to and why?

I have read or listened to several Robert's series and while they all have the same formula, they are all different.

Which scene was your favorite?

When the spirit took over the boy's room

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both

Any additional comments?

Keep them coming, Ms. Roberts!

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  • scimone
  • South Windsor, CT, United States
  • 06-01-13

Classic Nora Roberts

What made the experience of listening to Blue Dahlia the most enjoyable?

Characters are loveable and you feel like you belong with them. It is predictable but perfect for an easy listening book to make you smile.

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Another winner

Would you consider the audio edition of Blue Dahlia to be better than the print version?

Only have audio (I travel alot - drive) so really can't say. Although, I do enjoy listening to the characters.

What did you like best about this story?

The realness. I found myself laughing out loud occasion - which is pretty funny when you're listening in public.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ghost looking for the boys. She honest sorrow and how the Mom realizes what's wrong.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

southern ghost story

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Garden erotica if ever it existed

Never was drawn to Nora Roberts, but Blue Dahlia tugged at my passion for dahlias and not having ever seen a blue one. The extraordinary landscape designs, the luscious nursery set up, the amazing skills of the gardeners were far more erotic than her sex scenes! (which were pretty steamy.) Oh yeah, the plot was great, the characters, spanning 3 generations, are all folks you root for (pun intended) and there's even a very unpredictable ghost in the magnificent southern ancestral home. Though I'd had two other books lined up, when Blue Dahlia was done I immediately got the next in this series, The Black Rose, because, well, there was no choice. Irrevocably hooked was I.

As talented and sweet to the ears is narrator Susie Breck, the characters, especially the men, confused me at the start. Had to re-wind over and over (actually broke down and bought the paperback). So, here's a list of the characters, that I wish I'd had, to make the first scenes more enjoyable, as this is one delicious series of books:
Setting: In The Garden Nursery at Harper House near Memphis, Tennessee
All the women are gorgeous, the men good looking and the children way beyond average.
STELLA (35ish, widow with two young sons from Minnesota - token Yankee)
ROZ Harper (45ish, matriarch of Harper household, owner/head gardener of Nursery, widow having raised three (?) boys)
HAYLEY (25ish, pregnant with no husband and thus banished from her southern home where she was raised by her father. Distant cousin of Roz)
LOGAN (Late 30's? Landscape designer and gardener, long time employee of Roz, grew up in the area)
DAVID (Late 30's, best buddy of Logan and banished from his family cause he's gay. Manages the Harper House and In The Garden Nursery, family gourmet cook and sage adviser to all.
HARPER (guess he's Harper Harper, haha, she doesn't call him by any other name in the novels. late 20's? Son of Roz, grafter/cultivator extraordinaire)

If you get those folks straight, it's all smooth sailing from there. Excellent muli-dimensional plot and terrific bits about cultivation, grafting and garden design. (Course, it doesn't sound like Tennessee has gophers. Lucky them.)

This is obviously a fantastic place to start with Nora Roberts. Humorous, inspiring female characters, educational with an intriguing mystery—how pleasantly surprised I am to find how well Roberts crafts a story AND sows a seed!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Godizgd
  • Tulsa, OK, United States
  • 04-18-13

Funny, entertaining and uplifting

This book is a hoot! The home sounds comfortable, open and inviting...even with a ghost. The characters are real aren't they? The narrator brings each one of them to life and I'm almost jealous that I don't have that southern drawl...it sounds so cool.

I chose this because of the good reviews by others. They were not wrong. Try it...