2010 Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel — Winner
Bliss’s life becomes anything but blissful when she encounters the world of rural pot cultivation.
From country club to trailer park …
Swindled out of a fair divorce settlement, former socialite Bliss Moonbeam Cornwall works a number of part-time jobs to pay the rent on a rundown trailer and keep her motorcycle on the road. House cleaner, yoga teacher, library assistant, cemetery groundskeeper, drudge for her agoraphobic cousin – the work never ends. But Bliss still can’t save enough money for another day in court. So, when her cousin offers her a generous fee to find a pollinating mate for his giant jungle plant, she agrees to help. How hard can it be?
That’s when she discovers that her neighbours, employers, and even her cousin are involved in a string of illegal activities – including grow-ops and suspicious deaths. Police Chief Neil Redfern’s persistent scrutiny is interfering with her goal, and Bliss suspects he himself may be up to his badge in the crimes he’s "investigating." With no one to back her up, Bliss must make a decision: she can give up on her dream, or she can start fighting dirty. Either way, she risks becoming another murder victim.
About the author
Gloria Ferris is a former procedure writer for a nuclear power plant who now writes mysteries, both paranormal and humorous. Corpse Flower won the Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award in 2010, and her first novel, Cheat the Hangman (published 2011), was shortlisted in 2009 for the same award. Gloria lives in Guelph, Ontario.
- Winner, Unhanged Arthur Award
Ferris does fine work in keeping multiple plot threads interlacing and pushing the mystery forward. The charm of her characters is undeniable…
Corpse Flower is of the mystery genre, but it is also so much more. I'd like to think of it as an all-encompassing story with a murder, mystery and intrigue, humor and quirk, and even a little bit of romance. Ferris builds up a stellar cast of characters to carry forward the series... an absolute treat to read, this one is highly recommended.
Gloria Ferris of Guelph has written an outstanding mystery tale with a funny, feisty heroine who will have you laughing out loud.
…a rollicking blast of an adventure story. Ferris certainly has the narrative chops to keep a reader’s interest. Bliss herself is an illustration of what happens to women thrown out on their own with nowhere to go. It's a good look at contemporary mores, and Ferris has a subtle eye and a light touch. All in all, a very enjoyable read.
Mystery Scene Magazine
…a jolly read with an amusingly balky protagonist.
Stratford Beacon Herald
This Arthur Ellis Award-winning story is the first book in the Cornwall and Redfern Mystery Series and is a well-written tale chock full of action, humor, and quirky characters ... Guaranteed to keep you invested in the life of the protagonist from start to satisfying end of the story, it's just the right kind of book to lighten your day or take to the beach.
VP, Chesapeake Chapter, Sisters in Crime and www.bluemoonmysterysaloon.com
Not every writer can write for laughs and make it work. It takes great skill to do both. Enter Gloria Ferris who...won the Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award [for Corpse Flower] in 2010 from Crime Writers of Canada.
Mystery Maven Canada
Similar to reader's attachment to Joanne Kilbourn of Gail Bowen's famous series, Bliss is someone that I would look forward to reading more about for many future books to come. She’s got a foul mouth and a spunky attitude, but she’s an extremely hard worker and her disdain for her 'weasel' of an ex-husband is absolutely hilarious.
...I chuckled a great deal over the antics of Bliss Moonbeam Cornwall, whose steely resolve, madcap pluck, and hardworking determination serves her well as she uncovers the pot-fuelled secrets of her entire town.