Author: Marty Wingate
Series: Potting Shed Mysteries
Publication: Alibi (November 4, 2014)
Description: In Marty Wingate’s charming new Potting Shed Mystery, Texas transplant Pru Parke’s restoration of a historic landscape in England is uprooted by an ax murderer.
Pru Parke has her dream job: head gardener at an eighteenth-century manor house in Sussex. The landscape for Primrose House was laid out in 1806 by renowned designer Humphry Repton in one of his meticulously illustrated Red Books, and the new owners want Pru to restore the estate to its former glory—quickly, as they’re planning to showcase it in less than a year at a summer party.
But life gets in the way of the best laid plans: When not being happily distracted by the romantic attentions of the handsome Inspector Christopher Pearse, Pru is digging into the mystery of her own British roots. Still, she manages to make considerable progress on the vast grounds—until vandals wreak havoc on each of her projects. Then, to her horror, one of her workers is found murdered among the yews. The police have a suspect, but Pru is certain they’re wrong. Once again, Pru finds herself entangled in a thicket of evil intentions—and her, without a hatchet.
My Thoughts: This was an entertaining, cozy mystery. Pru Parke is an England and has landed a dream job. She is restoring the gardens at an eighteenth-century manor house. If only someone wasn't trying to sabotage her work by acts of vandalism and, if only, her employer would quit sending her emails filled with her latest "good ideas."
Pru is busy working on restoring the gardens on a very short timeline. She is also trying to maintain a long-distance relationship with Inspector Christopher Pearse who is also massively busy in London. When vandalism turns to murder, Pru begins investigating to clear her employees and winds up putting herself in danger.
I had figured out the murderer early on but it was still entertaining to watch Pru investigate. The story was filled with interesting characters. Even the most minor, like the nosy neighbor, were well-rounded people.
I enjoyed watching Pru try to juggle her work responsibilities with her growing romance with Christopher. I also enjoyed seeing her work out her relationship with her newly-discovered family. I think what I liked best was the the romance was between two fifty-somethings who had lives and histories that had to be balanced.
Fans of cozy mysteries and gardeners (I don't know a dandelion from a petunia myself) will enjoy this story.
All the breathable air seemed to have been sucked up by the cloud of irritation that surrounded the inspector.I got this eARC for review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.