Review: The Garden Plot by Marty Wingate

“It seems all the important finds are accidents.” 

1

 

Series: Potting Shed Mystery #1

Published: May 6 2014

Publisher: Alibi

Pages: 267 (Kindle)

Four stars (2)

And she desperately wanted something permanent; she wanted to fit into this new life she had chosen.

 

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.

 

***

 

Collage 2018-07-07 21_23_25 (2)In case I haven’t mentioned it here before, one of my favorite shows in the world is Rosemary & Thyme. It’s one of those British mystery shows about two older women how team up after being wronged by men in their lives, they travel around and design gardens and solve murders. There’s only three seasons, but I’ve seen them all a million times. Anyway, this book reminded me of that in a way, which was exactly what I was looking for! This is probably my favorite cozy I’ve read, and if I’m being honest the writing in this showed me how kind of… rudimentary the writing in my other cozies are.

This book was so enjoyable. Every time I picked it up I found myself transported to a beautiful English countryside, staring out at picturesque gardens and pondering a tricky murder. It was the perfect read for a hectic week, and every time I needed to calm down and focus on something else this book did the trick. I’m already planning on reading the second book once schools starts, because this will be a great calming yet intriguing series to read during my school months.

All the characters in this were witty, charming, and seemed like the people I would want as friends. Pru was smart, funny, and quizzical. She was a natural driving force for this story and I really enjoyed reading about her little gardening jobs and following her on this exciting journey through her first year abroad. The romance in this was light and sweet and grew throughout this book very naturally, I found myself rooting for Pru and her love interest and was giddy whenever she was invited on a date.

There was a lot more to this book then some flowers, a murder, and the allure of the English countryside. There was a lot of history intermingled throughout the mystery and plot and it was such a fun aspect. I enjoy books with a historical aspect, there’s something so interesting about walking through the folds of time and learning new things, and this was one of my favorite parts of this book. Another of my favorite aspects? The mystery! It truly was a puzzle and I never saw the ending coming, it was so great. There were a lot of things that tied into the end that I was confused about when they popped up in the book, but there was this moment of ‘ah ha!’ where it all clicked for me. One of the most important parts of a mystery book is obviously the mystery, and this book delivered that shocking and satisfying ending.

I loved the writing style of this author, too! It had a great flow and feel to it, and the book was an effortless read. The writing perfectly described beautiful gardens, featured some funny and witty banter, and added the perfect tone to the creepier moments of the book. The only thing I have to complain about is that this book felt a little slow when it came to pacing. There were a lot of times where the murder wasn’t the focus, which is fine, I just felt like there were more of these moments than there were the parts that focused on the crime or the solving of the crime. Pacing is important, and if it didn’t drag so much towards the middle this could have been a five star read.

Overall the combination of gardening, history, romance, mystery, and the English feel made this a really enjoyable read. As I mentioned before, I’m really looking forward to reading the next one in the future. If you’re interested in gardening or cozy mysteries then this could be the series for you!

 

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Goodreads     –     Amazon     –     Barnes & Noble

 

The Potting Shed Mystery Series:

 

 

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