BLACK ORCHID

Readers' Favorite Five Stars Award Winner!

In a small fishing village in Connecticut known as Watch Hill, walking on the beach at sunset has become a rather enjoyable pastime for Wayne Minor. Watch Hill is not a very big village and, in fact, is situated on a small island. It was a very peaceful setting until several mysterious Black Orchid blooms are found on the beach. Suddenly, the residents begin to die one by one, as this quiet town becomes a place of terror. Everyone begins to wonder where the blooms are coming from and who is behind leaving them for the residents to find. Nobody is safe from the deadly blooms. Even the police are baffled and begin to die. One police detective is so angry that his fellow officers are being tortured and killed that he vows to find the killer or killers no matter what the cost.



Readers' Favorite Review
September 2013

The residents of the island could set their watch by Wayne’s evening walk on the beach He was searching for pieces of driftwood to create his art when he saw the large beautiful black orchid lay in the sand. He put on his gloves so that he would not damage the delicate petals, picked it up and took it home with him. After putting the flower in water he called Miss Kitty, the local authority on orchids. She was amazed at the rare orchid and gently touched the goo in the throat. It would be the last orchid she would touch. More orchids appeared and more residents died.

A lone man was observed sitting in a boat each evening before an orchid appeared. Who was he and why was he on the water when it was the dead of winter too cold to fish? What did he have to do with the black orchids? How were the orchids connected to the deaths? Who was the first intended victim and why?

Black Orchid was written by author Laura Burke. The tale begins in a low keyed suspenseful manner and continues thus until about midway when suddenly the action explodes in a multitude of ways: murders, kidnapping, poison, vandalism, a mysterious stranger, romance, and betrayal all wrapped up into one plot. The genre of this book is somewhere between thriller, suspense and mystery. Author Laura Burke managed to hit on my one phobia causing me to shiver in fear. Take notice of the name Laura Burke; you will be hearing it again.


Review by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views
May 2013

“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.


First Chapter Excerpt
In a small fishing village in Connecticut known as Watch Hill, walking on the beach at sunset became a rather enjoyable pastime for Wayne Minor. It was not a very big village; in fact, the village was on a small island. The main village ran from east to west, covering only about five miles from the Lighthouse to the last house. The south side of the island was rocky–almost mountainous. Nobody lived on the south side because the rocky surface made it inhabitable. Nobody could argue that there was a better place to live than Watch Hill. Everyone knew everybody, and all were like a big family.
     Most of the island was covered in tall pines and other foliage. In the overgrown areas, children built their play forts and huts. Those areas kept the children’s secrets from all others. All the children had grown up, and most had moved away. The only clear places on the island were the residents’ homes on the east side. From the shoreline, you could see the early morning mist over the water. It was almost magical to watch as it blanketed the static, sparkling surface.
     The residents of the island had everything they needed. The island allocated power to all the houses and shops from one centralized generator. In the wintertime, some folks went to leave the island for the mainland, but a few old timers would stay, heating their homes just as their parents did with woodburning stoves and fireplaces.
     The only way you could reach the island was by boat, and most say it was worth a thirty-minute ride to paradise to see the lush trees and breathe the fresh air. There was no pollution on this island. There were only a few vehicles, mostly golf carts, and everyone walked to wherever they wanted to go; nobody needed to drive for everything was in walking distance.
     Wayne loved walking on the beach at sunset, for there was always something different that would wash up on the shore. This evening was no different. The waves rolled gently in on the shore, washing the sand back into the sea. The tides were higher than usual and the water was murkier than he had ever seen before. The moon would be full this night, and that would have caused the change in tides. The sound of the surf was hypnotic—tranquillizing. Slow and rhythmic, it never skipped a beat. He listened to the sounds of the sea washing in and out.
     He walked slowly, looking at items that had washed up on the seashore. Picking up several small pieces of driftwood, he pondered what he could make with them. They were small, but rather unique. This was a hobby he loved, and could always come up with something unique and different from any of his other pieces.
 
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