Blood Orchid is 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.
The American novelist hailing from Georgia, Stuart Woods, had a long and lustrous career in competition sailing. The interest, maybe obsession, with sailing began after he had spent time in London, then Ireland to write a novel about an old family story which he had heard as a child. He began putting together a crew for sailing competition shortly after he moved to Ireland.
It was in conjunction with a certain race, the MORCRA Azores Race and the OSTAR, Woods met with publishers to trade writing a book about his sailing experiences in return for sponsorship of the races. Golden Harp was launched in 1975, followed by Golden, Golden Apple, Golden Shamrock, Golden Delicious, and Harp.
Wood's novel, Blue Water. Green Skipper was published in 1977. His next book took a different turn and was based on his extensive travels around England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. It was entitled, A Romantic's Guide to the Country Inns of Britain and Ireland. He then followed those two non-fiction books with several series of novels featuring recurring casts of characters and also with characters and their love interests, and frequent use of the New York restaurant Elaine's as a meeting place. Woods has published a memoir, a travel book, and forty-four novels in a thirty-seven year career.
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