Saturday, March 12, 2016

ARC Review: The Skeleton Garden by Marty Wingate

The Skeleton Garden
Author: Marty Wingate
Series: A Potting Shed Mystery (Book 4)
Publication: Alibi (March 15, 2016)

Description: Texas transplant Pru Parke has put down roots in England, but she never dreamed she’d live in a grand place such as Greenoak. When her former employers offer Pru and her new husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, the use of their nineteenth-century estate while they’re away for a year, she jumps at the chance. Sweetening the deal is the prospect of further bonding with her long-lost brother, Simon, who happens to be Greenoak’s head gardener. But the majestic manor has at least one skeleton in its closet—or, rather, its garden.

Working on renovations to the extensive grounds, siblings Pru and Simon squabble about everything from boxwood to bay hedges. But when the removal of a half-dead tree turns up the wreckage of a World War II–era German fighter plane and a pile of bones, the arguments stop. That is, until a rival from Simon’s past pays a surprise visit and creates even more upheaval. It’s suddenly clear someone is unhappy their secrets have been unearthed. Still, Pru’s not about to sit back and let Simon take the fall for the dirty deed without a fight.

My Thoughts: Long buried secrets are unearthed and the repercussions echo to the present when Pru Parke and her brother Simon unearth a World War II plane and some bones in the garden where they are both working. Someone doesn't want the mystery of the identity of the bones to be discovered. This story is filled with all sorts of tangled relationships.

Pru is just getting to know her brother Simon since her mother left him behind when she moved to America with her new husband at the end of World War II. Simon is still dealing with the fact that his supposed mother was actually his great-aunt and that he was abandoned - though left in a loving home. He is torn between love and anger now that his mother has died and he is having a hard time deciding how he feels.

When an old rival for Simon's wife returns from Canada even more emotions surface. When the rival is found dead in the same place where the bones were found, Simon becomes one of the suspects. Christopher is back doing police work after his retirement as a detective inspector for the Metropolitan police but he doesn't want to take over from the local police officer who is his superior. Still he and Pru get involved in investigating both deaths.

The story is filled with all sorts of characters who have ties to the World War II past and who might have reasons to want to keep the secrets buried. I really enjoyed the relationships in this story. I like the way Christopher and Pru are building their new marriage. I like the friendships that are forming among the characters.

This was a great cozy mystery in a series that is filled with great characters. 

Favorite Quote:
They settled on the sofa, sitting close and sharing a footstool. Christopher laid his hand on her thigh, and Pru absorbed the comfort from his light touch. They didn't speak for a while, but at last Pru sighed deeply. "I suppose we couldn't keep him forever."
I got this eARC at NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.


  1. Sometimes I go around to the other tour stops and see what they think/thought of the book. Glad to hear you enjoyed S.G. as well. I love the whole series!

  2. New for me. Sounds very interesting.


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