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Dark Petals of Provence

Karen Hugg

Fresh off a divorce, April Pearce arrives in Provence to photograph its hidden places for a travel magazine. But on her first night in a lavender field, she accidentally snaps a teenager running in the distance covered in blood. When she inquires about him in the local village, no one wants to talk. They don’t like April and she can’t figure out why.


As she witnesses other disturbing events, her concern for the teen grows, but the more she investigates, the more she’s threatened and her work vandalized. Then she meets some wealthy celebrities who may or may not help her. As April struggles to stand up for what’s right, she in turn reveals the shameful secret the village has kept hidden for years.

The Dark Petals of Provence is a thrilling mainstream novel rich with atmosphere and dark questions. It brings the beauty and culture of rural France to life while enticing readers with the magic and allure of plants. In the tradition of Joanne Harris’s Chocolat, The Dark Petals of Provence will not only entertain readers with its compelling plot but move people with its memorable characters and emotionally profound theme.

Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association Award winner!




"A spellbinding journey through the charming French countryside darkens as we learn that something sinister brews beneath the façade of innocence in THE DARK PETALS OF PROVENCE. April, a determined American photographer, must overcome increasingly suspicious obstacles as she attempts to complete her assignment. With prose as delicate as filigree, Hugg draws us into April’s struggle while enchanting us with magical descriptions that will make you want to book your next flight to Provence."

—Maureen Joyce Connolly, bestselling author of Little Lovely Things

—  Name, Title

About the Author

Karen Hugg writes literary mysteries and thrillers inspired by plants, including The Forgetting Flower and Harvesting the Sky. Her stories are set in worlds where plants, real or imagined, affect people in strange new ways. A certified ornamental horticulturalist and Master Pruner, her passion is living green things and her aim is to entertain and inspire readers, to get them thinking while their hearts are pounding.

Karen has her MFA from Goddard College and lives in the Seattle area with her husband, three children, and four pets. When she's not digging or writing or all else, she sits outside and stares at the sky.  

Learn more at

Karen Hugg author photo 1.jpeg
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