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Review ❤️ Best-Laid Plants by Marty Wingate

October 12, 2017

best laid plants marty wingate

A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve.

Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher jump at the chance. Unfortunately, their B&B is more ramshackle than charming, and the once thriving garden, with its lovely Thyme Walk, has fallen into heartbreaking neglect. With the garden’s owner and designer, Batsford Bede, under the weather, Pru tackles the renovation alone. But just as she’s starting to make headway, she stumbles upon Batsford’s body in the garden—dead and pinned beneath one of his limestone statues. 

With such a small police force in the area, Christopher is called upon to lead the investigation. Pru can’t imagine anyone murdering Batsford Bede, a gentle man who preferred to spend his time in quiet contemplation, surrounded by nature. But as her work on the garden turns up one ominous clue after another, Pru discovers that the scenery is more dangerous than she or Christopher could have anticipated.

Release Date: Oct 17, 2017
Series:  A Plotting Shed Mystery
Book: 6
Publisher: Random House
Imprint: Alibi
Price: $4.99


This British cozy series features gardener Pru Parke and her husband Inspector Christopher Pearse, a former Scotland Yard detective. The series focuses on the various gardening projects on which Pru works, which have a way of leading Pru and Christopher into being involved in a murder investigation. In “Best-Laid Plants”, Pru is consulting on a short-term project and she and Christopher take advantage of what should have been a relaxing break in the Cotswolds. However, the trip is nothing like what they expected. The bed and breakfast in which they’re staying has seen better days and before Pru can meet the person who originally planted the garden she is to work on, he is killed. There is no shortage of suspects and the couple is determined to stick with this investigation to make sure justice is served.

This is a charming series and Pru and Christopher make a likeable couple, whether they’re sharing a meal or investigating a crime. The author includes a wealth of gardening information that is obviously connected to Pru’s career, but is also related to the mystery itself. The vivid descriptions really transport you to a beautiful English garden. The mystery surrounding the victim and his last will and testament is entertaining. There are quite a few people acting suspiciously who have a possible motive and unfortunately for the reader, the same traits that make them likely suspects, also make them unlikable suspects. Pru is as clever as always and I enjoyed her interactions with the victim’s scattered daughter, Coral, and Pru’s calming influence on her. Pru and Christopher are as likable as ever and I enjoy the book even though some of the irritating side-characters take away from the story. The book ends on a high note with some unexpected romance for two unexpected characters, adding a little extra to please the readers.

~ Christine

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