Cover image for Blood orchid
Blood orchid
Woods, Stuart.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Putnam, 2002.
Physical Description:
296 pages ; 24 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clarence Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Collins Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Concord Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
East Aurora Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Elma Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Lackawanna Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Marilla Free Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Orchard Park Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Anna M. Reinstein Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Riverside Branch Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Williamsville Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Audubon Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



Blood Orchidis the third adventure of one of Stuart Woods's most engaging characters, Chief of Police Holly Barker. This time out, Holly is trying to get her life back together after the shattering loss of her fiancé. With the help of her wily Doberman, Daisy, and her father, Ham, she throws herself back into the job with a vengeance. At a local restaurant, Holly and Ham meet a gentleman new to the area, rich and dapper developer Ed Shine, who has found an evocative name for both his favorite flower and his latest real-estate venture: the "Blood Orchid." But before Holly can settle into her routine again, bullets crash into the home of a friend and a floater is found bobbing in the Intercoastal Waterway. Holly connects these events to the death-by-sniper-fire of two Miami businessmen and a man evading questions at a Federal agency-but she can't imagine how these violent occurrences could be related to her own quiet, unspoiled town of Orchid Beach. Joining forces with a handsome FBI agent, she tracks the clues straight to their source, only to find a scam more lucrative and more dangerous than any this idyllic town-or Holly-has ever seen.

Author Notes

Stuart Woods was born in Manchester, Georgia on January 9, 1938. He received a B. A in sociology from the University of Georgia in 1959. He worked in the advertising business and eventually wrote two non-fiction books entitled Blue Water, Green Skipper and A Romantic's Guide to the Country Inns of Britain and Ireland. His first novel, Chiefs, was published in 1981. It won an Edgar Award and was made into a TV miniseries starring Charlton Heston. His other works include the Stone Barrington series, the Holly Barker series, the Will Lee series, the Ed Eagle series, the Rick Barron series and the Teddy Fay series. He won France's Prix de Literature Policiere for Imperfect Strangers.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Woods' popular heroine, police chief Holly Barker, returns for her third adventure. When two real estate developers are murdered by sniper fire and a third barely escapes a bullet while in Holly's company, Holly immediately becomes curious about the motivation behind the crimes. Developer Ed Shine bid on a property that was confiscated from drug dealers, and it turns out the two murdered developers had placed bids as well. When Harry Crisp and the FBI step in, Holly fears that the case will be taken out of her hands. She finally uncovers the killer, but by the time she gets to him, he's floating in a river with a bullet in his skull. The man's cousin is unwilling to help, and the man's fiancee, Marina, doesn't seem to know anything, though she is in possession of a notebook that might contain crucial information. In addition, Holly is pleasantly distracted by Grant Early, a handsome undercover FBI agent who won't tell Holly anything about what he's working on, even though it might be related to her case. The third entry in the Holly Barker series is a suspenseful, exciting mystery that is sure to please Woods' many fans. --Kristine HuntleyAdult Books Young adult recommendations in this issue have been contributed by the Booklist staff and by reviewers Nancy Bent, Carrie Bissey, John Charles, Tina Coleman, Patty Engelmann, Sally Estes, Gordon Flagg, Connie Fletcher, Roberta Johnson, Judy King, Beth Leistensnider, Regina Schroeder, Candace Smith, and Linda Waddle. Titles recommended for teens are marked with the following symbols: YA, for books of general YA interest; YA/C, for books with particular curriculum value; YA/L, for books with a limited teenage audience; YA/M, for books best suited to mature teens.

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Woods's 24th novel-his third in the Holly Barker series (after Orchid Blues)-the prolific bestselling novelist revisits savvy, sexy ex-MP officer (and her dog, Daisy), now police chief of the small Florida east coast town of Orchid Beach. As the fast-paced but fluffy and rather predictable thriller begins, two out of three Miami bidders for a glitzy, gated residential complex with golf course are shot and killed. The third bidder, orchid fancier Ed Shine, a former New York real estate mogul and new resident of Orchid Beach, narrowly escapes the same fate. Shine renames his newly acquired property Blood Orchid, after an exotic hybrid blossom he has developed-a name that seems gruesomely prophetic when it turns out that the Miami mob may be involved with the property. Meanwhile, Barker, investigating the case and trying to discover who is bugging her beach house, spots the intruder's van from the plane of her flying instructor, Ginny (who is also her dad Ham's new bedmate). The two women make an emergency landing on the beach and scare the perp away, but his body is soon found floating in the Indian River. The trail leads to a shifty Cuban locksmith in Fort Lauderdale and the late intruder's fiance. Enter a Miami restaurateur with mob ties, and corpses pile up as the plot thickens. Woods writes strong action scenes, but his usual flair for tight, creative plotting is sadly missed here. Author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Woods's third novel featuring Orchid Beach, FL, Chief of Police Holly Barker is a suspenseful thriller. This intriguing case begins when she and her father, Ham, visit a new friend, Ed Shine, a property developer from New York who is bidding on prime real estate that the government is selling. During the visit, Ed is shot at, and, shortly after, a body is found floating in the Intercoastal Waterway. The FBI, it turns out, is as interested as Holly, especially after she connects the two crimes. She and an agent join forces but find themselves at odds when the agent, with whom she becomes romantically involved, refuses to share information. Very persistent, Holly proceeds on her own, dealing with a mob operation in Miami and shady activities within her own jurisdiction. Woods's detailed character and plot development are quite apparent in the unabridged version, well read by Dick Hill and Susie Breck. In the abridged program, Alison Fraser captures the essence of the book and still provides a high level of suspense and entertainment. Libraries opting for the abridged set may have to repackage for circulation. Recommended for public libraries.-Steven J. Mayover, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



1 Sara Tennant arrived at her office building in downtown Miami promptly at seven forty-five a.m., as was her habit. She needed only to park her car and use the private elevator to the penthouse suite of Jimenez Properties; she would be at her desk in the little office next to that of her boss, Manuel Jimenez, when he arrived, promptly at eight o'clock, as was his habit. As she parked her new Toyota Avalon in the reserved space, next to that of her boss, she was surprised and not a little annoyed to see that his Mercedes was already in its spot. She was going to have to start coming in earlier, she thought; she couldn't have Manny getting there before she did. There was something odd about the Mercedes, she realized, through the fog of her recent sleep. Until she had her morning coffee, a double espresso, she would not think quickly. She sat in the Toyota with the motor still running while she tried to figure it out. The lights, she decided. The interior lights of the Mercedes were on, and unless she turned them off, Manny would soon have a dead battery. She gathered her small briefcase, purse, coffee thermos, and the Miami Herald and struggled out of her car. She set her things down on the driver's seat and smoothed her skirt before continuing. She was looking forward to reading Carl Hiassen's column in the paper before doing any real work. She loved Hiassen, read all his novels, too, and never missed his column. She gathered her things once again, closed the car door, and pressed the button on the remote control to lock all the doors and the trunk. Some cars had been broken into in this garage, in spite of the security cameras. She wished Manny had sprung for a garage with a manned entrance, instead of the electronic surveillance; a guard on duty made her feel safer. Embracing her belongings, she walked around Manny's car and saw immediately why the interior lights were on: the driver's door was open. She took another step or two, reaching out for the door, then she peered over the things in her arms and saw what they had concealed until now. Manny Jimenez was lying on the garage floor in an oddly contorted position. Heart attack! Sara thought immediately. She had taken a CPR course at her church, and she knew exactly what to do. She put her things on the garage floor, reached out to Manny, and turned him over. Manny had not had a heart attack. A heart attack did not put a hole in his head, and particularly, did not spray his blood and brains across the inside of the Mercedes door. Sara did not pause to take Manny's pulse or put her ear to his chest. He was stiff as a board, and she knew what that meant. She picked up her things and ran for the elevator. As soon as she had opened the door with her key, she was digging in her briefcase for her cellphone. Steven Steinberg stood on the eighteenth tee of the Doral Country Club's famous course, the Blue Monster, and gazed down the fairway, utterly relaxed and confident. He had played this schmuck from New York like a violin, and now he was going to take his money. Even though Steinberg had an official handicap of six, and even though he should have carried a card that said three, he had allowed his guest to play him neck and neck for seventeen holes. They were now tied at eleven over par, and it was time to crank the handle on the cash register. Steinberg took his stance, his right foot back a couple of extra inches, and without a practice swing, hit the ball. It started to the right, then turned over and dropped into the middle of the fairway, two hundred and seventy yards down the course. Fleischman stared after the ball with an expression of disbelief on his face. "Something wrong?" Steinberg asked. "Nothing at all," Fleischman replied, teeing up. He swung mightily at the ball and sliced it into a fairway bunker, two hundred and twenty yards down the fairway. He picked up his tee. "So how come, all of a sudden, after seventeen holes, you're outdriving me?" Steinberg shrugged. "Every now and then I really connect. Don't you, sometimes?" "Sometimes," Fleischman said. "But not usually on the eighteenth, and not for that kind of length." They got into Steinberg's customized golf cart. "You know what I'd do if I were you?" he said to his guest. "No, Steven, what would you do?" "I'd take a seven wood and go for it." "Out of a bunker?" "Why not? It's a shallow bunker; there's enough loft on a seven wood to carry the edge, and you'd find yourself a nice little wedge from the flag. You got a seven wood? You want to borrow mine?" At this stage, he could afford to appear to be generous. "I've got a seven wood," Fleischman said as the cart drew to a halt next to the bunker. He looked down the fairway toward the flag, checked the depth of the bunker, and pulled his seven wood from his bag. "Come on," Steinberg said, "you can do it." Fleischman lined up his shot. "Keep it smooth," he muttered to himself. "Nice easy shot." He swung the club and connected beautifully with the ball. It faded a little but dropped in the fairway, maybe eighty yards from the pin. "Great shot!" Steinberg said. "Thanks for the tip," Fleischman replied, getting into the cart. They stopped next to Steinberg's ball. He didn't even glance down the fairway, just went to his bag and came back with a fairway wood. "What are you doing with that club?" Fleischman asked. "It's only a hundred and sixty yards to the flag; you'll knock it into the next county." "This is an eleven wood," Steinberg replied, lining up on the ball. He relaxed, took a breath and let it out, and took a slow-looking, liquid swing at the ball. It rose high into the air, sailed down the fairway, past the guarding bunkers, and dropped onto the green with only a single bounce, stopping four feet from the pin. "I'm getting one of those," Fleischman muttered. "You should," Steinberg replied, still holding his finish. Then Steinberg's head exploded. For a tiny second before he screamed, Fleischman wondered if cheating at golf could make your head explode. --from Blood Orchid: A Holly Barker Novel by Stuart Woods, Copyright © October 2002, G.P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Putnam, Inc., used by permission. Excerpted from Blood Orchid by Stuart Woods All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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