I love to launch stories from “what if” questions about plants. Some readers say these books have a touch of magic. My aim is to entertain readers through compelling literary mysteries that feature alluring plants. Plus, they’re often set in France!
Fresh off a divorce, April Pearce arrives in Provence to photograph its hidden places for a travel magazine. But on her first night in a lavender field, she accidentally snaps a teenager running in the distance covered in blood. When she enquires about him in the local village, no one wants to talk. They don’t like April and she can’t figure out why.
As she witnesses other disturbing events, her concern for the teen grows, but the more she investigates, the more she’s threatened and her work vandalized. Then she meets some wealthy celebrities who may or may not help her. As April struggles to stand up for what’s right, she in turn reveals the shameful secret the village has kept hidden for years.
Botanist Andre Damazy lands the opportunity of a lifetime when he discovers a rare medicinal apple in Kazakhstan and brings back tree cuttings to his hidden greenhouse in Paris. But a mysterious stranger constantly thwarts Andre’s work, sending harassing calls and menacing effigies, stalking Andre, and vandalizing his trees. Andre doesn’t understand why anyone would do this but wonders if it’s related to a past project that resulted in a deadly mistake. So with the help of his friend Renia (The Forgetting Flower), he struggles to outmaneuver his enemy while uncovering a more dangerous plot that threatens all Andre holds dear, including the woman he secretly loves.
Praise for Harvesting the Sky
Karen Hugg’s HARVESTING THE SKY is superbly balanced and delightfully complex, with finely intertwined roots of mystery, romance, and the drive for personal redemption.
Hugg tells a captivating story in a novel brimming with elegant prose and lurking menace, and Paris feels as alive as the unique plants that make this book such an original delight.”–Mark Pryor, author of the Hugo Marston mystery series
Karen Hugg has created a unique spot for thriller readers. She offers a rich, specialized blend of horticultural knowledge, deftly-crafted characters and setting, elegant prose and page-turning suspense.
In Harvesting the Sky, the quest to grow a medicinal apple from a perilously-obtained sapling plunges Andre Damazy into a dark game. It’s an engrossing novel, and the reader comes away breathless and possessing fresh knowledge of the plant world as well.– Sidney Williams, author of Fool’s Run
Renia Baranczka is living the life she always hoped for in Paris. She manages a chic plant shop though her rarest plant is locked away and not for sale. Its flowers emit a special fragrance that can erase a person’s memory. She can’t just destroy it, she promised her mentally unstable sister she wouldn’t. But one day, when Renia’s favorite client turns up dead, she realizes the plant may be more dangerous than she thought. Without her client’s business, the shop can no longer stay afloat.
So when a shady character from her past appears with a nefarious proposal, Renia does what she’d pledged she’d never do: sell the flowers for cash. As she navigates the underworld of blackmarket mobsters, she must fend off unwanted advances, physical abuse, and intimidating threats until finally, she must fight not only to save the plant, but her sister, and ultimately, herself.
Praise for The Forgetting Flower
“A lush mystery with the underpinnings of a fairy tale shot through with magic and tragedy. Karen Hugg is the rare author who can blend wonder and suspense.”—Emily Carpenter, Author of Until the Day I Die and Burying the Honeysuckle Girls
“Intriguing and atmospheric, The Forgetting Flower has a fairytale quality, a journey into the sensuous magic of plants. The florescent beauty at the heart of this eerie story of sisterly love and redemption is the extraordinary mountain hybrid Violet Smoke with its scent of burnt apricot, as dangerously potent in Paris as it was in its beginnings in Poland.”—Deborah Lawrenson, Author of The Lantern and 300 Days of Sun
“The delight and grit of Paris, the desperation of poverty, the love of plants and family — all beautifully and authentically told. The literary side of the novel brings sensitivity and texture to the struggling characters and their surroundings, and the thriller side kept me up late, anxious to find out what happens next.”—Sue Burke, Author of The Semiosis Duology
“Karen Hugg’s The Forgetting Flower instantly captures a reader’s imagination. A book for those who love not only Paris and flowers, but also intrigue and danger.”—Marty Wingate, Author of A Potting Shed Mystery Series
Vero Leclaire has moved back home to care for her sick cat Sophie while her mom is in rehab. But after Sophie dies from a heart attack and is revived by a vet, she leads Vero to a tree hollow where a strange humming emanates. Unsure whether the tree is haunted or she’s imagining things, Vero goes on a quest to solve the puzzle, finding an exotic fern, a Native medallion, and an old cassette tape. Together they unravel the truth about her dark family history. In the end, Vero must battle not only her penchant for living in the past but save her mom before she dies at the hands of the person who knows what’s buried beneath the tree.