William F. Deeck

ANNE NASH – Said with Flowers. Doubleday Crime Club, hardcover, 1943. Bart House #19, paperback, 1945.

ANNE NASH Said with Flowers

    ’Twas the week before Christmas when the general factotum and chief roustabout of the flower shop owned and operated by Doris (Dodo) Trent and Nell Witter fell and broke his leg. Fortuitously, but perhaps not fortunately, a new young man in town visits the shop and appears qualified to fill in during the busiest time of the year.

    A day later a friend of Dodo’s and Nell’s is found stabbed to death, with one of the knives used for dethorning roses, outside the flower shop. On her body is the emblem of a fish, the trademark of Killer Karp — named thus, God help us, by the newspapers because of his habit of leaving the drawing of a fish with each murder victim — a serial murderer who had been working his way west from Boston and murdering lovely, young, and unmarried females in his travels.

    If the woman killed outside the flower shop is one of Karp’s victims, the serial killer had deviated almost totally from his previous pattern. If she had not been murdered by Karp, who in the small town of Pinecrest would murder a woman seemingly loved by all? Is the new flower shop assistant Killer Karp?

    Dodo and Nell join forces, when they can take the time from their hectic Christmas business, with detective Mark Tudor and his dog Svea to try to find the killer. There is excellent atmosphere, Dodo and Nell are real people, and the novel is well written if you don’t mind a colloquial style. The killer was evident fairly early on to this reader, but it didn’t spoil the enjoyment.

— From The Poisoned Pen, Vol. 7, No. 1
(Whole #33), Fall-Winter 1987.

Bibliographic Data:   Anne Nash was the author of three detective novels starring Dodo and Nell between 1943 and 1945, then one stand-alone in 1946. All four published were under Doubleday’s Crime Club imprint, with Said with Flowers being the first.