Release Date: Oct 17, 2017
Series: A Plotting Shed Mystery
Publisher: Random House
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.