Navigating a deadly landscape

cover art by Kim Mendoza

Lilacs, Litigation, and Lethal Love Affairs
by JL Wilson
published by the Crimson Rose line of The Wild Rose Press
(my review copy was a personal purchase)

In romantic suspense author JL Wilson’s Lilacs, Litigation, and Legal Affairs, the first in the author’s Deadly Landscaping series for Crimson Rose, Cassie Whittington, is making a new start for herself, as a divorcee, in a new home, going back to school, turning her interests to the landscaping business. While taking care of her school’s greenhouse, one afternoon witnesses a conversation between her boss Sam Barlow and his rival. Minutes later, that rival is dead. Then Cassie’s boss shows up at his nursery, and Cassie jumps to the conclusion that Sam’s the killer and sics the police on him, who only clear him of the murder. Sam later visits Cassie at home, and explains his relationship with the dead man. Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all?

There’s also a stalker on the loose, who has a penchant for breaking into women’s houses, via their stolen garage door openers.

To add to the fun, Cassie’s got her ex-husband Charlie Whittington to think about. Why doesn’t anyone understand ex’s can be friends? Why doesn’t Sam allow for the fact that she can (oops) fall for him, yet still stay close to Charlie? Then there’s the little trouble of vandalism at Sam’s greenhouses, and the bequest Cassie receives from Charlie’s grandmother. With the bequest, she won’t have to work for Sam anymore, so she could either, a) escalate her growing relationship with him or b) return to Charlie.

There’s a lot going on in this book, a bit too much, actually, and I kept expecting something that didn’t quite go the way I’d originally thought (I won’t spoil it by telling you what). But all in all, I found JL Wilson’s Lilacs, Litigation, and Legal Affairs interesting, she even added a comedic thread to the mayhem in the form of Cassie’s ever-full spam email folder. So yes, I can say without a doubt I look forward to the follow-up volumes in the series. If you like Romantic Suspense (or, in my opinion this would probably fall more correctly into romantic mystery), you may want to check this one out. It was released this spring by The Crimson Rose line of The Wild Rose Press and can be purchased on the website here in paperback and ebook, or through Digi Books Café. It’s also available for Kindle and paperback via and for Nook and paperback at

My grade? I can give it a solid 4 3/4 pearls. pearls

Do check it out, romantic mystery readers. I think you’ll enjoy Ms Wilson’s novel. I did. 🙂

If you’d like to learn more about JL Wilson and her works, see her website at:

(Ed note: As ever, there’s a slightly different version of this review up at the Examiner, if you would please be so kind as to give it a click here. Thanks!)