Title: The Garden Plot
Author: Marty Wingate
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published: May 2014
Publisher: Random House
Source: Netgalley via TLC Book Tours
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.
Praise for The Garden Plot
“Marty Wingate plants clever clues with a dash of romantic spice to satisfy any hungry mystery reader.”—Mary Daheim, bestselling author of The Alpine Yeoman
“Classy, clever and utterly charming . . . Brew a pot of tea and settle in with this immensely enjoyable mystery.”—Rosemary Harris, author of Pushing Up Daisies and The Bitches of Brooklyn
Pru is living out her life long dream of living and working in England – her Mother’s country of birth. She didn’t realize how hard it was going to be trying to find a job as an estate gardener. As the rejection letters keep coming – Pru picks up odd jobs around London helping out friends of clients fix up their gardens, take away the rubbish and string up lights to pretty up their spaces.
She has no idea taking the job with the Wilson’s would throw the last few weeks of her year in England into complete chaos. Mr and Mrs Wilson seem like a nice couple, although a bit odd. He is an avid amateur Archaeologist who travels around England with his group looking for artifacts that can be donated to museums. While his wife keeps around the house with garden parties and visiting with friends.
When Pru discovers some tiles beneath the dirt of the garden shed things start to get interesting. The next morning the body of Jeremy Pendergast is found – a friend of the Wilson’s who has let the house to them. Now with the garden of limits, Pru gets caught up in the middle of the investigation and catches the eye of Detective Christopher Pearse. As the twists and turns of the story go along, Pru gets muddled right up in the middle of things.
I’ve always been a fan of cozy mysteries – so when the ladies at TLC book tours sent this title my way I instantly said yes. Pru is an interesting character – she’s very independent, loves gardens and the history behind them. She has quite the stubborn streak which gets her into all sorts of trouble. Thankfully Christopher isn’t far away and pulls her out of the line of fire a few times.
Would I recommend this book? Yes! If you like cozy mysteries then this is one to add to you list. Marty’s writing style is amazing, it pulled me right into the story and kept me glued well into the wee hours of the morning trying to find out what happens with Pru and Christopher. The thrill of finding out who did it and how kept me hooked. Would I read more by this author? Yes, I look forward to seeing more stories of Pru and what happens.
Grand Prize of a $30 egiftcard to the ebook retailer of the winner's choice, and a First Prize Mystery Prize Pack of three mystery mass market paperbacks and a gardening title from Random House!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Marty Wingate is a regular contributor to Country Gardens as well as other magazines. She also leads gardening tours throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and North America. The Garden Plot is her first novel. More Potting Shed mysteries are planned.
Are you looking for a speaker for your garden club or professional organization? I love talking gardening — send me an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Dry Rain Podcast