Bodies. Midway thorough Stuart Woods latest Holly Barker mystery titled, Hothouse Orchid, I remembered why I had a mixed reaction to an earlier book in this series: there are just too many dead bodies. One murder or two can be enough for most mysteries. Beyond two, it’s just gratuitous violence that distracts from solving the mystery. In this installment, Holly is forced to take a vacation from her busy CIA job in Virginia, and she returns home to Orchid Beach, just in time to meet up with figures from her past, and a local crime spree. Holly Barker is a very interesting character, but Hothouse Orchid offers a weak vehicle to showcase her personality and skills. Woods fans will read out of habit, other readers may want to think twice.
Rating: Two-star (Mildly Recommended)
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