Thursday, November 1, 2018

ARC Review: Midsummer Mayhem by Marty Wingate

Midsummer Mayhem
Author: Marty Wingate
Series: A Potting Shed Mystery
Publication: Alibi (November 6, 2018)

Description: Shakespeare comes to Hampshire—and Pru Parke is cast into the role of cunning detective gardener once again.

Pru’s friends and neighbors are abuzz with the news of an acting troupe putting on an outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And while many are eager to catch a glimpse of famed actor Ambrose Grant, Pru can’t wait to finally see the spectacular gardens of the private estate where the play will be performed. When the estate’s gardener abruptly quits—frustrated with actors trampling his beloved plants—Pru is called upon for her gardening expertise. She throws herself into creating magical woodland forest scenes, and is quickly drawn into the excitement of putting on a play, as she watches the drama on and off the stage. But the play’s suddenly no longer the thing, when one of the actors turns up murdered.

Pru’s husband, Detective Inspector Christopher Pearse, relies on Pru’s knowledge of all the players in this particular intrigue, and Pru finds herself using rehearsals to investigate. But playing the role of private eye could prove perilous for Pru, as she closes in on a murderer who won’t let anyone—least of all the gardener—keep him from stopping the show . . . dead.

My Thoughts: Pru Parke's next case begins when she is asked to supply the plants for a Shakespeare Au Naturel production of A Midsummer's Night Dream at a home with a gorgeous garden that she has been eager to explore. Her job description rapidly expands when she learns that she will be doing the set designing. Luckily, she has her new assistant Hal Noakes to keep up with the day to day work of maintaining the gardens. She is very busy getting to know the players and learning their names as well as the parts they play. Her friends are quite envious because one of the players is an actor who is quite famous.

Everything is going quite well until the body of the actor playing Lysander is found in the study dead from his allergic reaction to bee stings. Lysander was not the best loved of the cast. He was lazy and thought he was God's gift to women. It caused some conflict when he tried to seduce all the single women on the cast.

Being on the scene, Pru feels that she has access that her husband Detective Inspector Christopher Pearse doesn't have, and begins asking discreet questions. She learns a lot about all the main players who seem to be acting in a suspicious manner. At one point, she suggests that all of them were working together like an Agatha Christie plot.

This story was entertaining. I loved all the background information about putting on a theatrical presentation outdoors. I loved the plant knowledge that Pru shares. I did figure out who the villain was chapters ahead of Pru but still enjoyed the story.

Favorite Quote:
Pru sat on the step one below her. "I'm sure you've told the police everything you knew. I only wondered --"

"If he tried it on with me, too?" Penelope laughed, as she twirled her pencil like a baton. "It was as if he thought it good manners or something, you know--meet a woman, get her to sleep with him, that's just the way the world worked. His world. Well, I put shed to that idea quick enough."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. Nice! I love anything to do with Shakespeare. I'm glad you found this one entertaining!

    Ronnie @ Paradise Found


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