Review: Best-Laid Plants: A Potting Shed Mystery, by Marty Wingate. Random House Publishing Group – Alibi

Description (from NetGalley)

A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve.

Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher jump at the chance. Unfortunately, their B&B is more ramshackle than charming, and the once thriving garden, with its lovely Thyme Walk, has fallen into heartbreaking neglect. With the garden’s owner and designer, Batsford Bede, under the weather, Pru tackles the renovation alone. But just as she’s starting to make headway, she stumbles upon Batsford’s body in the garden—dead and pinned beneath one of his limestone statues.

With such a small police force in the area, Christopher is called upon to lead the investigation. Pru can’t imagine anyone murdering Batsford Bede, a gentle man who preferred to spend his time in quiet contemplation, surrounded by nature. But as her work on the garden turns up one ominous clue after another, Pru discovers that the scenery is more dangerous than she or Christopher could have anticipated.

 

My Review:

 

After reading and reviewing several of Marty Wingate’s books, I am convinced that she is the Real Deal–an author to be watched and appreciated. This story starts small–with what seems a satisfying assignment and pleasant break for Pru and her husband. But the plot soon thickens, as they say, and we find ourselves enthralled in an intriguing and puzzling story.

 

Wingate’s books all read so smoothly, and flow so seamlessly that our attention is caught and held. That is true of Best-Laid Plants (and by the way, the witty titles are part of the charm of this author’s work). Without providing spoilers, I would just comment that it has a most glorious ending. I found this book thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable.

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