Monday, February 29, 2016

Mayhem Old and New in the Garden

Potting Shed Mysteries # 4
Marty Wingate
Random House Alibi
March 15, 2016

Texas transplant Pru Parke and her new husband, Christopher Pearse are settling down for the first year of their marriage on the country estate of Pru's former employer. The owners have offered them the estate while they are off on an archeological dig. Christopher has resigned his position as a CID Inspector in London and taken a position as a sort of village community policeman. Pru is still working on landscaping the estate along with her long-lost brother, Simon. Things are not going very well with Simon, who is still resentful that their mother gave him up for adoption while Pru had the advantage of growing up with both parents. Simon understands the reasons for the adoption and admits that he had a very happy childhood but relations are tense with Pru. The tension puts them at loggerheads over both the landscaping and their personal lives. When a skeleton turns up in the garden, a skeleton buried along with a WWII fighter plane, many old secrets threaten the peace of the village. Simon becomes edgier when an old resident of the village comes home after years away and stirs up bad memories for someone. The newly returned man turns up dead as well in the crater in the garden where the skeleton and plane were found. Chris does not want to interfere but his police superior seems not only incapable of conducting a murder investigation but downright obstructive at times. 

The Potting Shed Mysteries are wonderful cozy mysteries. As an Anglophile, I am always glad to add to my store of "Britishisms" which abound in the series. I think I have learned more about gardening in general than I ever knew before, which was admittedly very little. Marty Wingate is a well-known gardening expert and it shows to advantage in this series. There is plenty of humor as well, especially with Pru's attempts at cooking, a skill she has never mastered. The secondary characters are well realized, often quirky, and the setting is a place I would love to visit. I recommend The Skeleton Garden highly, along with its' predecessors. Brew up a cuppa and enjoy!

Thanks to Random House Alibi and NetGalley for an advance digital copy in return for an honest review.

RATING- 4.5 Stars

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