A Murder Mystery about Orchids
I thought about posting this on the Orchid forum, but thought it might be more interesting to those of a writing and reading persuasion.
A murder mystery has just been published (Random House), which features the wild orchids of the Dordogne region of France as clues. I have yet to read the book, since it is just hot off the press, but I do know the author and her husband, who is in real life an "orchidoligist". And they do live part-time in the Dordogne region of France. The name of the book is "Deadly Slipper", with "Orchid Shroud" to follow.
Here's the blurb (and, by the way, I am posting this not to promote book sales, but to share my enthusiasm for writing that features plants that I love. There's a lovely photo of an orchid on the cover...)
The first in a new mystery series that has it all Â a tragic puzzle, fabulous French food, and a peek into the fascinating world of wild orchids.
In 1984, a young Canadian woman vanished while on a hiking holiday in the Dordogne region of France. Was Bedie Dunn the victim of an accident? Or could she have been murdered? Haunted for years by the disappearance of her twin sister, Mara Dunn has moved to France to try to answer these questions.
MaraÂs amateur investigations finally begin to show progress when she discovers a camera she is convinced belonged to Bedie in a second-hand store. In it is an old roll of film, whose exposures turn out to be mostly of wild terrestial orchids. Mara turns to Julian Wood, an expatriate English orchidologist, for help with the impossible: can they use two-decade-old photos of flowers to trace BedieÂs last route, and find the end of her journey? Julian is reluctant to get drawn into this seemingly hopeless quest, but the last exposure on the film is irresistible to him Â an unknown species of LadyÂs Slipper Orchid. If discovered, it might be the key to botanical fame Â or it could be the marker to a shallow grave.
Michelle Wan was born in Kunming, China, in the middle of an air raid. She has lived in India, the US, England, France, Harare, and Rio de Janeiro, and now makes her home in Guelph, Ontario. She and her partner, a tropical horticulturalist, travel regularly to the Dordogne to photograph and chart wild orchids.