The Garden Plot by Marty Wingate
Pru breaks up with her life in Texas for the drizzly glamour of England with the hopes of securing a position as a head gardener at one of the many estates that dot the English countryside. After nearly a year, all she’s been able to find are a few small jobs, including one at a townhouse in Chelsea where she’s asked to create a garden space for a wealthy couple. She expects to clear up the ivy and prune the trees, but she doesn’t expect to find a dead body in the potting shed.
Despite the slow start (at first, I thought this was going to be a DNF) it quickly engrossed me. In fact, I read it in about a day, over half yesterday evening and finished the rest this afternoon.. Couldn’t put it down!
Of course, I loved the location and the characters. It was a very cozy cozy mystery. Lots of friendly folks, which I don’t really associate with the English but my experience is only based on what I see on UK tv, so I could be wrong.
I loved the riveting plot, but it was one of those where the culprit, although mentioned in the book, was not a part of the story until the end. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the bad guy had a gun. This irritates me no end. There’s a ban on handguns in the UK, very, very few people have them and yet, if you read British crime novels, it’s like the Wild West. One of those niggly, nit-picky things that always jars me from the story.
Also, I thought the romance between Pru and the Inspector moved a little fast. It wasn’t forced, and it was sweet but it just seemed like one minute he’s interrogating her about finding a dead body and the next, he’s murmuring “my darling….” into her hair.
Or maybe things just move along faster when you’re over 50. I dunno. I’ll just think that, ok? Gives me something to look forward to in a few years.
Overall, a great start to a series and very enjoyable.