The Garden Plot: If you like mysteries, gardening, England, romance and amatuer slueths, this book is for you. Written by Marty Wingate, she brings her vast experience of gardening, traveling and writing, into her first foray into mystery writing.
Pru Parker is a bi-national English-American gardener, raised in Texas and recently replanted to England. Her mother has recently died (the English half of her parents), and Pru has always wanted to live in England. She has given herself a year to find a full-time head-gardener job in England or return to her job in Texas.
Her year is winding down with no full-time prospect, when she is hired to beat back an over-grown garden in two days, in time for a garden party. Pru uncovers a small shed in the back corner of the garden, and a floor with a beautiful mosaic, looking similar to Roman tiles discovered all over the country. Has she discovered another Roman villa or garden deeply buried. Instead, she falls over a dead body, and the game is afoot.
Pru meets Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pierce. In her personal curiosity to understand what happened, she keeps crossing paths with the inspector to his alternating annoyance, amusement and concern.
This is an engaging first novel. The details of the historic gardens of England was fascinating. Pru's personal back-story was complicated but interesting. Pru was pretty naive for a 50's something woman, and occasionally acted in very stupid ways. But the overall story was interesting, filled with fun, quirky and sometimes crazy characters, beautiful surroundings, and a touch of romance. I suspect with all of Ms Wingate's gardening and writing experience, this series will grow with experience. I give it 4 stars out of five!