William F. Deeck

ANNE NASH – Cabbages and Crime. Doubleday Crime Club, hardcover, 1945. No paperback edition.

   After the Easter rush, Nell Winters and Doris (Dodo) Trent decide they deserve a vacation from their flower shop. Death Valley, bereft of gardenias and violets, strikes their fancy. Unfortunately, as they begin their trip, they stop off to see Dodo’s cousin, who operates a dog kennel.

   Because of a birth and measles, Nell and Dodo have to take charge of the kennel, with the help of Sif, a German shepherd. Not an easy task, particularly for Dodo, who is just a tad overweight. Even Nell says: “Did I ever complain about flowers? Those silent expressions of Nature. The worst they ever do is to up and die when your need is the sorest. But they do it without one yip.”

   While Nell and Dodo don’t get to Death Valley, death comes to them, in the form of a corpse in a cabbage sack. Don’t read this one for the mystery aspect, which is disappointing. Read it for the travails of Nell and Dodo as they try to cope with their furry charges.

— Reprinted from MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL, Vol. 6, No. 4, Winter 1990, “Beastly Murders.”

      The Nell Winter and Dodo Trent series —

Said with Flowers. Doubleday, 1943.
Death by Design. Doubleday, 1944.
Cabbages and Crime. Doubleday, 1945.

FYI:   J. F. Norris has a long and interesting review of Said with Flowers on his blog from earlier this year. (Follow the link.)