Excerpt from All The Flowers Are Dying by Lawrence Block, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

All The Flowers Are Dying

by Lawrence Block

All The Flowers Are Dying
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2005, 304 pages
    Feb 2006, 384 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"What I'm not gonna do," he said, "is buy a little house in fucking Florida. I don't fish, I don't play golf, and I got this County Waterford skin, I can get a sunburn from a desk lamp."

"I don't think you'd like Florida."

"No kidding. I could stay here and live on my pension, but I'd go nuts without something to do. I'd spend all my time in bars, which is no good, or I'd stay home and drink, which is worse. This is the best, this black pudding. There aren't many places you can get it. I suppose the old Irish neighborhoods, Woodside, Fordham Road, but who's got the time to chase out there?"

"Well, now that you're retired."

"Yeah, I can spend a day looking for black pudding."

"You wouldn't have to go that far," I said. "Any bodega can sell you all you want."

"You're kidding. Black pudding?"

"They call it morcilla, but it's the same thing."

"What is it, Puerto Rican? I bet it's spicier."

"Spicier than Irish cuisine? Gee, do you suppose that's possible? But it's pretty much the same thing. You can call it morcilla or black pudding, but either way you've got sausage made from pig's blood."


"What's the matter?"

"Do you fucking mind? I'm eating."

"You didn't know what it was?"

"Of course I know, but that doesn't mean I want to fucking dwell on it." He drank some beer, put the glass down, shook his head. "Some of the guys wind up working private security. Not at the rent-a-cop level, but higher up. Guy I knew put his papers in ten years ago, went to work overseeing security at the stock exchange. Regular hours, and better money than he ever made on the job. Now he's retired from that, and he's got two pensions, plus his Social Security. And he's down in Florida, playing golf and fishing."

"You interested in something like that?"

"Florida? I already said . . . oh, the private security thing. Well, see,
I carried a gold shield for a lot of years. I was a detective, and the job he had, it's more administrative. I could do it, but I don't know that I'd love it. Probably a fair amount of chickenshit involved, too." He picked up his empty glass, looked at it, put it down again. Without looking at me he said, "I was thinking about a private ticket."

I'd seen this coming.

"To do it right," I said, "you have to be a businessman, keeping records and filing reports and networking in order to get cases. That's if you're in business for yourself, but the other way, going to work for one of the big agencies, you're mostly doing boring work for short money, and doing it without a badge. I don't think it would suit you."

"Neither would the reports and the record keeping. But you didn't do all that."

"Well, I was never very good at doing things by the book," I said. "I worked for years without a license, and when I finally got one I didn't hang on to it very long."

"I remember. You got by okay without it."

"I guess. It was hand to mouth sometimes."

"Well, I got that pension. It's a cushion."


"What I was thinking . . ."

And what he was thinking, of course, was that the two of us could work together. I had the experience on the private side, and he'd be bringing much fresher contacts within the department. I let him pitch the idea, and when he'd run through it I told him he was a few years too late.

From All the Flowers Are Dying by Lawrence Block. HarperCollins Publishers. Used by permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    News of the World
    by Paulette Jiles

    Exquisitely rendered and morally complex--a brilliant work of historical fiction.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    North of Crazy
    by Neltje

    The remarkable life of a woman who carves her own singular path.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.