Book Review: The Garden Plot

Garden PlotAuthor:  Marty Wingate
Publisher: Alibi / Sold by Random House, 2014
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tour

In an entirely appealing mystery debut, Marty Wingate introduces readers to a curious Texas ex-pat whose English gardening expertise on occasion leads her to unearth murderous goings-on.

Pru Parke always dreamed of living in England. And after the Dallas native follows an impulse and moves to London, she can’t imagine ever leaving—though she has yet to find a plum position as a head gardener. Now, as the sublet on her flat nears its end, the threat of forced departure looms. Determined to stay in her beloved adopted country, Pru takes small, private gardening jobs throughout the city.

On one such gig in Chelsea, she makes an extraordinary find. Digging in the soil of a potting shed, Pru uncovers an ancient Roman mosaic. But enthusiasm over her discovery is soon dampened when, two days later, she finds in the same spot a man’s bludgeoned corpse. As the London police swarm her worksite, ever inquisitive Pru can’t quite manage to distance herself from the investigation—much to the dismay of stern Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse. It seems that, much as he tries, even handsome DCI Pearse can’t keep Pru safe from a brutal killer who thinks she’s already dug up too much.

In the past I’ve read and loved loads of cozy mysteries. I slowed down in reading them a few years ago, primarily because they all seemed to be a bit too cute. But – I love a good mystery, one that makes my brain buzz. When I had a chance to read a new series set in England and focused on English gardens, I said yes.

The Garden Plot was a fun cozy. There was nothing scary or bloody.

Here are a few things I liked about this book:

  • All the time spent in the garden. References to English flowers and other plants was so enjoyable. The author, Marty Wingate is an experienced gardener in England. She writes for gardening “magazines. She also leads gardening tours throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and North America.” The Garden Plot is infused with her passion for gardening.
  • The twists of the mystery. The ending was a nice surprise.
  • A surpising romance in the middle of a cozy mystery. Fun.

There was one thing I wasn’t crazy about: the main character, Pru. Its not that I disliked her. I just wasn’t in love with her, primarily because she and her position didn’t seem that real or authentic. I liked that the author created her as a middle-aged woman, but some of her actions didn’t fit, in my opinion.

If you are a garden lover, I think you should give this book a try. Don’t be turned off by my opinion of the main character. I would prefer that you didn’t take my word on this book. Visit the other blogs on the tour. You’ll find the schedule here: The Garden Plot Tour

Thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book and to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of it.

tlc tour host

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4 Responses to Book Review: The Garden Plot

  1. I bet my mom would love this book – she can name every plant around.

  2. Pingback: Marty Wingate, author of The Garden Plot, on tour May 2014 | TLC Book Tours

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

  4. kelley says:

    I always enjoy your opinions and value them highly. You are a pretty good judge of a book.

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