Monday, February 20, 2017
The Skeleton Garden...Review
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.
I guess I've just been in the mood for cozy mysteries. Or a really funny heroine. Maybe both. At any rate, Marty Wingate doesn't disappoint. The Skeleton Garden picks up after Pru and Christopher's marriage. They have been offered the chance to stay at Greenoak for a year, while friends are out of the country. Pru jumps at the chance to do so, because the gardens are gorgeous, but also because her brother Simon is the gardener.
While working on the grounds, Pru and Simon discover a buried German fighter plane with human remains nearby. The old locals remember the plane crashing, but no one knows the identity of the bones, and soon, a real dead body turns up in the gardens as well. Pru, being curious, can't keep herself from doing her own investigating into both situations.
The story begins with a flashback and incorporates so much more than just a murder mystery. The quirky townspeople are very much a part of Pru's life and the story of what happened during the war. Christopher's nephew comes to stay and he's a load of fun. Pru's housekeeper is prickly and her sister-in-law's former beau shows up. All in all, it's a delightful, engaging story with endearing characters you'd love to be friends with.
Fourth in the Potting Shed Mystery series, just like the others, the book stands alone well. But, as with any good series, I always recommend reading the books in order for depth and character development.
Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Marty Wingate on her website as well as Twitter and Facebook.
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