Monday, July 18, 2016

Garden Shows Can be Cut-Throat.

Potting Shed Mysteries # 5
Marty Wingate
Random House Alibi
August 2, 2016

Texas transplant Pru Parke is delighted to be asked to help out with an exhibit at the famous Chelsea Garden Show. The request comes from an old colleague from back in Texas; one who Pru vaguely remembers. The Austin Rock Garden Society (ARGS) is being allowed to construct an exhibit featuring the beloved Texas Bluebonnets. Even though it means leaving her brother, Simon, and new husband, Christopher, back in Hampshire, Pru is eager to get started. The couple has kept their flat in London, so at least she is back on home ground.

Upon her arrival in London, however, Pru finds herself in charge when Twyla Woodford, the president of ARGS is delayed. The other workers have landed, but seem to be more interested in sight-seeing than working, and the mason who is laying a stone wall for the exhibit is progressing at a snail's pace. Worried about the time constraints and the work left to be done, Pru makes an early evening visit to the site and discovers the elusive Twyla. The two women chat about the project and form an immediate bond with their common passion for gardening. Heartened by Twyla's arrival, Pru leaves her only to discover her dead body on the site the next morning, covered by a load of rocks. Who among the crew with their numerous tangled relationships, would want to destroy the show and kill Twyla? Christopher, a former Met Inspector, goes undercover as a worker to both help and protect Pru from the murderer. As Pru has landed herself in hot water before, protection is a very good idea.

The Potting Shed Mysteries is one of my favorite series, full of quirky characters, atmosphere, and garden lore. The relationship of Pru and Christopher is delightful; they may have found each other in mid-life but they are anything but stodgy. Thanks to Alibi and NetGalley for an advance digital copy in return for an honest review. As always, I look forward to the follow-up to The Bluebonnet Betrayal.

RATING-4.5 Stars

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