|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
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.
Cozy mystery - I just love those words. They are the epitome of the perfect weekend read. Just throw in a cuppa and a comfy chair, and you will have the recipe for a jolly good time. I absolutely loved getting all snuggled up with my copy of Marty Wingate's debut novel (the first in a series), The Garden Plot - Saturday and Sunday seemed to float right on by.
So what kept my attention for two days straight? Pru Parke. An independent and strong-willed woman from Dallas who has chosen to make a life for herself in England. She's given herself a deadline - one year to find gainful employment or else she'll return to the US. Unfortunately, there is only a month left and Pru's prospects looking so good - it seems no one is in need of a head gardener. Ugh! What's a lady to do? Take on as many gardening gigs as she can and hope for the best. Determined to stay in England, Pru keeps applying for jobs and avoiding her best friend's phone calls (Lydia wants her to come back to Dallas and take her old job back). And so, she winds up taking on a new client - the Wilsons. This older couple have moved into a new home and Mrs. Wilson has decided to spruce up the garden - she wants to surprise her husband, Harry. Pru loves the Wilson's affability and believes that she wrangle the mess out back into something with a bit of curb appeal for them. However, things take a turn for the worse when she stumbles upon a dead body in the Wilson's gardening shed early one morning. Yikes! Looks like, life is about to take a rather unexpected turn for Pru Parke.
The Garden Plot was a delight to read. I found the book to be amusing, engaging, and chock full of gardening ideas. The characters are easy to fall in love with - especially Pru, who I rooted for from the beginning. I loved reading about Pru's involvement in the case and her burgeoning relationship with a certain DCI Pearse. I also loved reading about the lovely gardens described in vivid detail - having lived in England for years, I'm kicking myself for never paying much attention to these garden hot spots. Oh well, just means that I have to make another trip across the pond at some point in the future.
As for Marty Wingate- she's an author whose work I look forward to reading. I can't wait to see what happens next for Pru and DCI Pearse. So, yes, I would most definitely recommend The Garden Plot to fans of cozy mysteries - you are going to fall in deep with Pru Parke and London!
Here's the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Garden Plot
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