Sunday, November 9, 2014
Review: The Red Book of Primrose House: A Potting Shed Mystery by Marty Wingate
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.
The Red Book of Primrose House was a little slow starting but I loved the Sussex garden setting.
The plot had a little more romance and a tad less mystery than I would have liked but some quirky and fun characters still made this one a pleasurable read. There were just enough motives to keep this reader guessing right up until the end.
I had never heard about the Victorian garden designer Humphrey Repton but I found this part of the book interesting.
Marty Wingate, a master gardener as well as an author, can be found on her Goodreads author page and on her web page.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Random House/Netgally in exchange for my honest opinion.