Thursday, September 11, 2014
THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE by MARTY WINGATE
I shall have to go back and read earlier books in this series. Texan Pru Parke is the head gardener of Primrose House in England, just about an hour out of London. She has been hired to restore the gardens there to their original glory as designed by the famous Humphry Repton. It is a job she has dreamed of all her life, but there are problems of course. For one thing, Davina Templeton the owner keeps leaving little notes for Pru, conveniently when she's on her way out of town, making suggestions for the garden which are alternately absurd and absolutely impossible. She has also set the date for an open garden day of July 30 and Pru is not at all certain the work can be finished by that time.
The red book is something Repton did for each garden he designed. His text and watercolors become Pru's entertainment and guide both.
Meanwhile, Pru has fallen in love with Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse who lives and works in London and they are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with mere weekends together. When one of her gardeners is murdered at Primrose House, Pearse is terribly worried about Pru, especially since he knows she won't be content with letting the police handle the investigation. Sure enough, she has her nose in every aspect of it and makes herself a target for the murderer.
The characters in this cozy mystery novel are great fun. I think that's my favorite thing about reading a cozy, something I don't do nearly often enough. One side story has Pru looking for relatives of her British mother and introducing characters I'm sure will be regulars in the series. Want to learn something about those wonderful gardens at manor houses in England? This is your book.
Source: Alibi (Random House) from Netgalley