- Pub Date May 6 2014
- ISBN 9780804177702
- Price 2.99
In the mood for something different, yet similar to the Regency novels I typically read, a small blurb about someone who dreamed of living in England caught my eye. I thought, mystery, England, colorful cover…this would be a nice mental vacation to England (to which one of my favorite authors was visiting at the time and to which I longed to be there with her). What I didn’t realize was how consumed I’d become with the characters, thus spending a weekend doing nothing but immersing myself in this book.
This is the first book in a series by a seasoned horticultural lecturer, columnist and author Marty Wingate. The series is called Potting Shed Mystery. Wingate’s first book is in league with M. C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth Mystery, Laura Levine’s Jaine Austen Mystery or Joni Fogler’s Tangled Vines Mystery which are quirky, fun and entertaining.
The Garden Plot is written from the heroine’s, Prue Parke, point of view allowing the reader to immerse them self into her life, the good and the bad (someone does have to die.) Upon first read, yes I read this book twice before writing this, I first thought Prue’s obsession with horticulture was a bit much, but looking back upon my own life, I have been obsessed with my job becoming a work-a-holic and decade passed before I realized it. The more I read, the more I understood her character and grew to like her very much, as I did the other characters like friend Jo, employers The Wilson’s and DCI Pearse. I’m almost ashamed to say this, but after my second full read, I experienced character withdrawal…ok, I still kinda do. (Marty, if Prue doesn’t wind up with Pearse, I want him as I’m single and looking!) At the end of this witty and romantic, yes-romantic, book, I even shed a tear (maybe two or three) for Prue and Pearse.
Now, if you’re a die hard mystery person, remember I said this was a quirky mystery. You’ll have the ‘who’ figured out before the murder even happens. I don’t care about who did it, but I do about the story along the way, the characters and their relationships, the daily ins and out of life that move the book along. I really think Marty missed her calling and should be writing romance, maybe YA, as her grasp on the nuances of body language, facial displays, character building and those little ‘moments’ is her calling to writing. The reader doesn’t need to know what the other character is thinking because, like real life, you subconsciously ‘read’ body language–in this book I mentally and emotionally experienced what Prue saw and felt.
As stated, I needed a virtual vacation. The Garden Plot delivers with taking you on a tour of things English. Not just places, but the little things you may not know about like ‘quiet clothes’, badger setts, Roman history, why ‘putting the kettle on’ creates order and calm. These are places that are real! A day out walking tour near Westminster Bridge to and past the Houses of Parliament, Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice, and yes…GARDENS! If you’re a plant enthusiast you’re gonna love Prue!
If you need a break, a staycation or something to improve your mood, pre-order this book. Show this author some love and spend the $2.99 where ever your favorite place is to shop for your e-books. I already pre-ordered my forever copy!