The Red Book of Primrose House by Marty Wingate Publisher: Alibi (November 4, 2014)
Sold by: Random House LLC
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours for an honest reveiw
In Marty Wingate’s charming new Potting Shed Mystery, Texas transplant Pru Parke’s restoration of a historic landscape in England is uprooted by an ax murderer.
Pru Parke has her dream job: head gardener at an eighteenth-century manor house in Sussex. The landscape for Primrose House was laid out in 1806 by renowned designer Humphry Repton in one of his meticulously illustrated Red Books, and the new owners want Pru to restore the estate to its former glory—quickly, as they’re planning to showcase it in less than a year at a summer party.
But life gets in the way of the best laid plans: When not being happily distracted by the romantic attentions of the handsome Inspector Christopher Pearse, Pru is digging into the mystery of her own British roots. Still, she manages to make considerable progress on the vast grounds—until vandals wreak havoc on each of her projects. Then, to her horror, one of her workers is found murdered among the yews. The police have a suspect, but Pru is certain they’re wrong. Once again, Pru finds herself entangled in a thicket of evil intentions—and her, without a hatchet.
“Marty Wingate plants clever clues with a dash of romantic spice to satisfy any hungry mystery reader.”—Mary Daheim, bestselling author of The Alpine Yeoman
“Classy, clever, and utterly charming . . . Brew a pot of tea and settle in with this immensely enjoyable mystery.”—Rosemary Harris, author of Pushing Up Daisies and The Bitches of Brooklyn, on The Garden Plot
Marty Wingate is the author of The Garden Plot and a regular contributor to Country Gardens
as well as other magazines. She also leads gardening tours throughout
England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and North America. More Potting Shed
mysteries are planned.
The Red Book of Primrose House is the second book in the Potting Shed Mystery series, but it works quite well as a stand alone book. This is definitely one of those books that go really with a big cup of tea and a rainy afternoon.
Although I am not much of a gardener - I tend to kill plants rather too easily - I did enjoy reading about Pru's work on the gardens of Primrose House and all her plans. What starts off as seemingly simple vandalism, possibly motivated by jealousy over Pru's being hired instead of some other local candidates for the job, soon turns into murder with very real threats to Pru. Despite the very real danger, Pru continues to work toward the ever encroaching deadlines of her employers. I found Pru's down to earth personality to be very refreshing. I got a few chuckles from her attempts to talk herself out of some of her suspicions, even though the reader is pretty sure her suspicions are well founded.
There are some other really great characters in the book that I enjoyed following. I found the nosy neighbor to be particularly funny and sympathetic. I also liked the brothers, Fergal and Liam, although they are also quite a mystery at first.
I enjoyed the subplot of Pru searching for her family in England and the way this is gradually revealed along with the garden mystery. I found Pru's boyfriend Christopher to be charming and funny and also enjoyed the subplot about him and his son. I found the resolution to all the mysteries and subplots to be satisfying and I am looking forward to reading more about Pru and Christopher. The Red Book of Primrose House is a fun, cozy mystery that I can easily recommend. It is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
About Marty Wingate
Marty Wingate’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:Monday, November 3rd: Bibliotica
Tuesday, November 4th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, November 6th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, November 6th: Luxury Reading
Friday, November 7th: 5 Minutes for Books
Monday, November 10th: Reading Reality
Monday, November 10th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, November 11th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, November 12th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, November 13th: Under a Gray Sky
Friday, November 14th: Back Porchervations
Monday, November 17th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, November 18th: Omnimystery News - guest post
Tuesday, November 18th: Dwell in Possibility
Wednesday, November 19th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, November 20th: Open Book Society
Friday, November 21st: 2 Kids and Tired Books
Monday, November 24th: A Book Geek
Tuesday, November 25th: Brooke Blogs