Black Orchid

Laura Burke
Strategic Book Publishing (2012)
ISBN 9781622123520

Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (5/13)

“Black Orchid” by Laura Burke is set in Watch Hill.  Watch Hill has always been a peaceful little fishing village on an island in Connecticut. Many of the residents tend to live there during the warmer months and move back to the mainland during the winter. Most of them know each other very well and are friendly. Of course, there are always some exceptions. The peacefulness of the village is shattered when black orchid blooms start washing ashore. Appearing to come from a mysterious stranger on a small boat, the residents quickly discover that they are deadly. When touched by human hand, a reaction occurs that can quickly lead to death if not treated immediately.

Wayne Minor is the first one to discover one of the mysterious black orchids. Fortunately, he is wearing gloves when he picks it up.  Excited about the uniqueness of the black color, he calls in an expert to find out more about this unique flower. The expert isn’t so lucky and quickly becomes ill. Not realizing that the orchid is responsible for this, a tragedy occurs. As Wayne continues to research this flower, he soon discovers that it has been altered by man. Trying to figure out why some would want to cause harm to the residents of this friendly little town gets this mystery going. At first it seems to be a case of evil revenge, but as law enforcement people from off the island become involved, it quickly becomes apparent that the situation is extremely complicated.

I really enjoyed reading this mystery, “Black Orchid” by Laura Burke. I found the premise behind the altered orchids to be fascinating. I believe that other readers will as well. I also enjoyed trying to figure out who was behind this travesty, and why they were doing what they were doing. As the bodies piled up, the mystery became extremely suspenseful and I stayed up past my bedtime to keep reading. The grand finale results in a total surprise and I believe that mystery fans will really appreciate the twists and turns that the story takes them on to be able to arrive at the grand finale when all of the questions are answered.

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