Thursday, March 24, 2016

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: The Skeleton Garden

Author: Marty Wingate
Title:The Skeleton Garden: A Potting Shed Mystery
4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Alibi (March 15, 2016)
233 pages ASIN: B00ZNE45FO

Synopsis USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate’s Potting Shed series continues as expert gardener Pru Parke digs up a Nazi warplane—and a fresh murder.

Texas transplant Pru Parke has put down roots in England, but she never dreamed she’d live in a grand place such as Greenoak. When her former employers offer Pru and her new husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, the use of their nineteenth-century estate while they’re away for a year, she jumps at the chance. Sweetening the deal is the prospect of further bonding with her long-lost brother, Simon, who happens to be Greenoak’s head gardener. But the majestic manor has at least one skeleton in its closet—or, rather, its garden.

Working on renovations to the extensive grounds, siblings Pru and Simon squabble about everything from boxwood to bay hedges. But when the removal of a half-dead tree turns up the wreckage of a World War II–era German fighter plane and a pile of bones, the arguments stop. That is, until a rival from Simon’s past pays a surprise visit and creates even more upheaval. It’s suddenly clear someone is unhappy their secrets have been unearthed. Still, Pru’s not about to sit back and let Simon take the fall for the dirty deed without a fight.

Review: I read the first Potting Shed mystery awhile back. I missed a few between, and I feel bad about that, because it made getting back into the swing of the story a bit difficult for me. If you are just jumping into the series, it shouldn't matter much, because Marty gives you the backstory. For me I knew what happened in the first book and it was a bit of a shock to see how much had happened in a mixed book.

Once I got through all of that, the mystery was a wonderful one. It does seem slow at times, but that is kind of Marty's style and if you've read her books before, you'll know that this is just the way it goes, and it isn't a bad thing. Cozies don't have to be super fast paced.
I liked that the mystery ties with something that happened during WWII.

Again, I have to say the pacing was slow, in fact it was a little slower than the other books I've read, but this mystery wasn't really the typical whodunit. There was a body found in the garden where Pru and her brother Simon are working along with the remains of a plain. Then when a person from the past turns up and ends up dead, things start getting interesting.

This book seemed to put family dynamics front and center, with a lot of relationship issues with Pru and Simon and Christopher and Claire, along with Orlando, his nephew, who was a really great character and one I wish had a little more time in the book.

This is the second mystery I've read recently that I've deduced the killer well before the last chapter. That didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book though.

Fantastic British Cozy

Rating: 5 flowers


Patricia said...

I have just finished my review of this book for March 28th post - cozy is just the right word - I agree. Her style is great and I loved reading it over a weekend of continuous downpour!

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