The Bluebonnet Betrayal, by Marty Wingate

Publish date Aug. 6, 2016

For a short span of time I was thinking Marty Wingate may be taking us readers on a trip to Texas and leaving England behind. Well, in a way she did, but without leaving our beloved England.

The Bluebonnet Betrayal brings Austin, Texas to London by way of The Chelsea Flower Show and The Austin Rock Garden Society (ARGS is fictitious). These two locations are the stars of the book. Wingate brings The Chelsea Flower Show to life by educating the reader with a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes leading up to the opening day of a public show. The stress of working with those whom all have an expertise at ‘something’, members who are along for the ride, but not the work, and the inherent problems of working with individual emotional issues such as insecurity,  home sickness, etc..

As for Austin, well, Wingate must have lived their for a while or visited a lot. Those who are familiar with Austin may read this as an advertisement to visit the metro city area as the flower show theme is called “”More Than Rock and Stone”–a spring day in the Texas hill country.”  Wingate also mentions Lady Bird Johnson’s role in reviving the wildflowers in Austin and around Texas and LBJ Wildflower Center. Also mentioned is the iconic garden supplier, The Natural Gardener, Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory in Brenham, and Guadalupe Peak to name a few. With all the references to Austin, I’m secretly hoping Random House will have a paper copy of this for people to purchase as I think Austinites and people in or from Texas will enjoy this book and seeing the local places around town in print.

For the story and plot line- I really enjoyed the way Wingate moves the pace of this book while keeping true to the main characters and on-going theme of A Potting Shed Mystery Series by educating readers on plants and gardening while taking readers on a walking tour of London. Of the books in the series, I like this one the best when it comes to character interaction as Wingate wrote this book as if readers are watching a movie of the week on TV, although the first book The Garden Plot still holds a special place in my e-reader. So on that note, I recommend giving the author some love by pre-ordering your $2.99 e-copy.

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