Best-Laid Plants: A Potting Shed Mystery
by Marty Wingate
A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve.
Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher jump at the chance. Unfortunately, their B&B is more ramshackle than charming, and the once thriving garden, with its lovely Thyme Walk, has fallen into heartbreaking neglect. With the garden’s owner and designer, Batsford Bede, under the weather, Pru tackles the renovation alone. But just as she’s starting to make headway, she stumbles upon Batsford’s body in the garden—dead and pinned beneath one of his limestone statues.
With such a small police force in the area, Christopher is called upon to lead the investigation. Pru can’t imagine anyone murdering Batsford Bede, a gentle man who preferred to spend his time in quiet contemplation, surrounded by nature. But as her work on the garden turns up one ominous clue after another, Pru discovers that the scenery is more dangerous than she or Christopher could have anticipated.
Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:
The Potting Shed series:
THE GARDEN PLOT
THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE
BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
THE SKELETON GARDEN
THE BLUEBONNET BETRAYAL
Pru and Christopher travel to the very location where they met three years ago and plan to attend the same fete. The purpose of the trip, however, is for Pru to determine what needs to be done to restore Mr. Bede's extensive gardens to their prior glory. Since the death of Conn... he has let them go wild. Conn...'s daughter Coral has returned with word of his failing health and asked Pru for her assistance.
There are many unique characters and inter-relationships, including the discovery of Cynthia Mouser, a woman Christopher was involved with many years ago, who now is a frequent visitor to Mr. Bede. The individual histories unfold with tension rising and falling. When Mr. Bede is found dead in the gardens, there are a number of suspects and only one heir.
Similar to others in this series and some other English mysteries, the pace at the beginning is slower than I'm used to, but moves along at a good pace once the foundation is set. Pru and Christopher work well together - Cynthia is an interesting distraction. If you've liked others in this series, this one will not disappoint; however, it can also be read as a stand alone.
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marty Wingate is a Seattle-based writer and speaker who shares her love of Britain in her two mystery series. The Potting Shed books feature Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England, and Birds of a Feather follows Julia Lanchester, bird lover, who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village. Marty writes garden articles for magazines including Country Gardens and theAmerican Gardener. She is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Crime Writers Association. She leads garden tours to England, Scotland and Ireland, spending free moments deep in research for her books. Or in pubs.
AUTHOR LINKS:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/martywingateauthor
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Marty-Wingate/e/B001JS1AIS
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