Author: Marty Wingate
Series: Potting Shed Mystery
Publication: Alibi (August 2, 2016)
Description: Pru’s life in England is coming full circle. A Texas transplant, she’s married to the love of her life, thriving in the plum gardening position she shares with her long-lost brother, and prepping a Chelsea Flower Show exhibit featuring the beloved bluebonnets of the Texas hill country. Technically, Twyla Woodford, the president of a gardening club in the Lone Star State, is in charge of the London event, but Pru seems to be the one getting her hands dirty. When they finally do meet, Pru senses a kindred spirit—until Twyla turns up dead.
Although Twyla’s body was half buried under a wall in their display, Pru remains determined to mount a spectacular show. Twyla would have insisted. So Pru recruits her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, to go undercover and do a bit of unofficial digging into Twyla’s final hours. If Pru has anything to say about it, this killer is going to learn the hard way not to mess with Texas.
My Thoughts: When an old friend calls asking for help, Pru Parke finds herself creating a version of Texas's hill country complete with bluebonnets at the Chelsea Flower Show. She is eager to have the opportunity but knows she is just a fill-in until the president of the Austin Rock Garden Society, Twyla Woodford, arrives. She picks up the mixed assortment of gardeners at the airport but Twyla isn't there. She stayed behind for some unspecified reason.
After a couple of days working with a small crew, Pru meets Twyla and the garden and quickly bonds with her. However the next day Twyla's body is found in one of the trenches that they were digging in the garden. Although Pru and her husband Christopher have no authority, Pru can't let the matter stay in the hands of the police. She begins investigating on her own.
Pru has lots of suspects. For some reason, Twyla has gathered a crew that she has a history with. The landscaper is a former lover. So is the nominal garden designer. And the garden's sponsor is her ex-husband. Also hanging around is a former student of Twyla's from her days when she taught high school chemistry who is trying to sell something related to bluebonnets to Twyla's former husband. Throw in a jealous live-in and two of the Texan imports who have a crush on Prince Harry and you have a nicely complex plot with lots of suspects for Pru to investigate.
Christopher goes undercover as Kit and works along side Pru in the garden both to help her investigate and to protect her since her cases usually end up putting her in danger. I like the relationship between Pru and Christopher as they have a marriage of equals and a really suited to one another.
This was a fun cozy and a great addition to the Potting Shed Mysteries.
She gasped for air and couldn't get her bearings -- where were the clawing hands, the moans, the stifling air? She found herself crouched in a corner of the flat, the light throw dragged halfway off the sofa.I got this eARC for review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.