counter Best-Laid Plants (Potting Shed Mystery #6) - Free Download Books
Hot Best Seller

Best-Laid Plants (Potting Shed Mystery #6)

Availability: Ready to download

A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve. Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve. Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher jump at the chance. Unfortunately, their B&B is more ramshackle than charming, and the once thriving garden, with its lovely Thyme Walk, has fallen into heartbreaking neglect. With the garden’s owner and designer, Batsford Bede, under the weather, Pru tackles the renovation alone. But just as she’s starting to make headway, she stumbles upon Batsford’s body in the garden—dead and pinned beneath one of his limestone statues. With such a small police force in the area, Christopher is called upon to lead the investigation. Pru can’t imagine anyone murdering Batsford Bede, a gentle man who preferred to spend his time in quiet contemplation, surrounded by nature. But as her work on the garden turns up one ominous clue after another, Pru discovers that the scenery is more dangerous than she or Christopher could have anticipated Pru Parke digs up buried secrets in this charming series from an author who “plants clever clues with a dash of romantic spice to satisfy any hungry mystery reader” (Mary Daheim).


Compare

A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve. Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve. Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher jump at the chance. Unfortunately, their B&B is more ramshackle than charming, and the once thriving garden, with its lovely Thyme Walk, has fallen into heartbreaking neglect. With the garden’s owner and designer, Batsford Bede, under the weather, Pru tackles the renovation alone. But just as she’s starting to make headway, she stumbles upon Batsford’s body in the garden—dead and pinned beneath one of his limestone statues. With such a small police force in the area, Christopher is called upon to lead the investigation. Pru can’t imagine anyone murdering Batsford Bede, a gentle man who preferred to spend his time in quiet contemplation, surrounded by nature. But as her work on the garden turns up one ominous clue after another, Pru discovers that the scenery is more dangerous than she or Christopher could have anticipated Pru Parke digs up buried secrets in this charming series from an author who “plants clever clues with a dash of romantic spice to satisfy any hungry mystery reader” (Mary Daheim).

30 review for Best-Laid Plants (Potting Shed Mystery #6)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    I have read all of this series except the first book, it is on my TBR shelf. This is one of the best in the series as Pru Parke is offered a chance to consult on a restoring an Arts and Craft Garden in Cotswold. Pru and her husband have friends there and one host the village annual fete. They decided to take a vacation at the same time. Pru accepted the consulting job and they head for Cotswold. At arrival the owner of the gardens is too I'll to see Our and she is given 3 of his gardening books I have read all of this series except the first book, it is on my TBR shelf. This is one of the best in the series as Pru Parke is offered a chance to consult on a restoring an Arts and Craft Garden in Cotswold. Pru and her husband have friends there and one host the village annual fete. They decided to take a vacation at the same time. Pru accepted the consulting job and they head for Cotswold. At arrival the owner of the gardens is too I'll to see Our and she is given 3 of his gardening books to study. The B&B is unique and the weather is unusually warm for the time of year. Pru finds Batsford Bede, the owner dead in one of the gardens. His death is suspicious and Chief Inspector Christopher Pease is asked to head the inquiry. A fitting end to the tale as the weather breaks at the end of the fete and the storm is cruel. I highly recommend this book and series. Disclosure: I received a free copy from Alibi through NetGalley for an honest review. I would like to thank them for this opportunity to read and review the book. The opinions expressed are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    Probably 3.5-3.75 stars--not my favorite in this series but still a solid offering, so rounding up to 4. The sixth book in this cozy mystery about an American gardening expert who has settled in England, restoring historic gardens and solving mysteries she comes across. I like Pru, she is a 50-ish, mostly strong female character and I also enjoy Christopher, her husband who is a former Detective Chief Inspector. In this book, Pru is asked to go to the Cotswolds (where she and Christopher's roman Probably 3.5-3.75 stars--not my favorite in this series but still a solid offering, so rounding up to 4. The sixth book in this cozy mystery about an American gardening expert who has settled in England, restoring historic gardens and solving mysteries she comes across. I like Pru, she is a 50-ish, mostly strong female character and I also enjoy Christopher, her husband who is a former Detective Chief Inspector. In this book, Pru is asked to go to the Cotswolds (where she and Christopher's romantic relationship began) to advise on the restoration of an Arts and Crafts style garden. When Pru finds the estate owner and famous garden designer's body one morning and Christopher is asked to lead the investigation, they are both soon embroiled in the mystery. I do enjoy when Pru and Christopher work together, as they do in this book but found the mystery a bit too easily solved--even for a cozy. Also Pru was more scattered than normal. That being said, as usual the supporting characters are fun and make me want to move to a village in the English countryside and I always end up learning a few interesting facts about plants and gardening from Pru.Looking forward to Book #7.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    The sixth book in this cozy mystery continues with the story of Pru Parke, an American gardening expert who has settled in England, restoring historic gardens and solving mysteries she comes across. In this book, Pru is asked to go to the Cotswolds (where she and Christopher's relationship began) to consult on the restoration of an Arts and Crafts style garden. Pru and her husband have friends there so they decided to take a vacation at the same time. When they arrive at the estate, they find ou The sixth book in this cozy mystery continues with the story of Pru Parke, an American gardening expert who has settled in England, restoring historic gardens and solving mysteries she comes across. In this book, Pru is asked to go to the Cotswolds (where she and Christopher's relationship began) to consult on the restoration of an Arts and Crafts style garden. Pru and her husband have friends there so they decided to take a vacation at the same time. When they arrive at the estate, they find out that the owner is very ill, but he wants Pru to read his journals that he recorded in as he originally designed the gardens. Within the first couple of days there, Pru finds the estate owner, Batsford Bede, dead in the garden. His death is suspicious and Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse is asked to head the inquiry.  I do enjoy when Pru and Christopher work together. I like Pru, she is a 50ish, usually strong and smart female character. Christopher, her husband, is a former Detective Chief Inspector who often works with other police forces. He trusts Pru's instincts and takes her concerns and feelings seriously. Pru was somewhat more scattered than normal in this story, almost like she was in the first book. The secondary characters were quite interesting and just a bit quirky. They all had an opinion of who the murderer was and who it wasn't. Once again, there are a lot of gardening facts told in a journal format at the beginning of each paragraph. An interesting cozy that I enjoyed. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    “Best Laid Plants” earns 5+/5 Gardens of Flowers, Herbs, and…Fun! Although Marty Wingate’s Potting Shed Mystery series has received well-deserved rave reviews, I am a newbie starting with book six, cleverly titled “Best Laid Plants,” and after only a few pages, I am now a big ‘fan.’ Marty Wingate has penned a well-written mystery with descriptions creating delightful mental pictures, intriguing dialog, and lots of possible conclusions that I couldn’t put down. Don’t overlook the way she begins e “Best Laid Plants” earns 5+/5 Gardens of Flowers, Herbs, and…Fun! Although Marty Wingate’s Potting Shed Mystery series has received well-deserved rave reviews, I am a newbie starting with book six, cleverly titled “Best Laid Plants,” and after only a few pages, I am now a big ‘fan.’ Marty Wingate has penned a well-written mystery with descriptions creating delightful mental pictures, intriguing dialog, and lots of possible conclusions that I couldn’t put down. Don’t overlook the way she begins each chapter with a poignant phrase from what was suspected and turned out to be the victim’s journals that were more a memoir than gardening diary of tips and plant descriptions. Right off Marty illustrates the wonderful relationship between ex-pat, Texas native Prunella "Pru" Parke and her husband former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse revisiting in passing the fact that the two met over a murder investigation, calls attention to Pru’s limited cooking skills, and introduces the new gardening project that would be combined with a bit of a ‘getaway.’ Wrap all that into an informative myriad of gardening ideas and details of the local flora, descriptions of local homes and stately manors, setting in my favorite Cotswolds along a few hiccups like a woman from Christopher’s past, quirky villagers, and a dead body in the garden? Just the right recipe for the most engaging ‘cozy’ story for fans and newbies alike. "Disclosure: A review copy of this book was selected by me from NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.”

  5. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    Pru is asked to come to the Cotswalds to help restore a historic garden that has fallen into disrepair. She and Christopher look forward to the getaway – until Pru discovers a body in the garden. Because the local police force is seriously understaffed, Christopher is called on to lead the investigation, but this time, he welcomes Pru's assistance. One of the things I like most about this series is that, despite their 'newlywed' status, Pru and Michael aren't 20-somethings just starting out in l Pru is asked to come to the Cotswalds to help restore a historic garden that has fallen into disrepair. She and Christopher look forward to the getaway – until Pru discovers a body in the garden. Because the local police force is seriously understaffed, Christopher is called on to lead the investigation, but this time, he welcomes Pru's assistance. One of the things I like most about this series is that, despite their 'newlywed' status, Pru and Michael aren't 20-somethings just starting out in life. They're decades past that, and their life experience and maturity show in the way they go about their daily lives and their investigations. Despite all of the plant-specific gardening talk in the story, I enjoyed this book as much as the previous entries in the series. I liked the characters and the way they interacted with one another, although some of them were hard to figure out, as was the identity of the killer. I look forward to the next book in this series. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)

    Another outing for Pru and her husband, Pru has been asked to come and quote for reviving an Arts and Crafts style garden by the person who will inherit (although the current owner and designer of the garden is still alive, albeit unwell, but he also would like to see it renewed). Although they could have stayed with friends Carol (the heiress) has booked them into a local Bed and Breakfast which seems to be on its last legs! However that is the least of their problems when a couple of days afte Another outing for Pru and her husband, Pru has been asked to come and quote for reviving an Arts and Crafts style garden by the person who will inherit (although the current owner and designer of the garden is still alive, albeit unwell, but he also would like to see it renewed). Although they could have stayed with friends Carol (the heiress) has booked them into a local Bed and Breakfast which seems to be on its last legs! However that is the least of their problems when a couple of days after arriving Pru goes earlyish to walk around more of the garden and make notes and finds the owner of the house dead under a statue!  The local force is short staffed and so Christopher is asked to step in and run the investigation which seems to have more that one loose end to tie up!

  7. 5 out of 5

    C

    I came, and stayed, for the title. Brilliant, right? Agatha Christie-esque in that there are a lot of random adult characters within a community who are hiding various things, and then there's the big reveal at the end. But nobody executes quite like Dame Agatha. It was alright, or maybe slightly better than alright. I think I'm not a huge fan of the cozy mystery. I came, and stayed, for the title. Brilliant, right? Agatha Christie-esque in that there are a lot of random adult characters within a community who are hiding various things, and then there's the big reveal at the end. But nobody executes quite like Dame Agatha. It was alright, or maybe slightly better than alright. I think I'm not a huge fan of the cozy mystery.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    Pru is hired to assess an Arts and Crafts garden in the Cotswolds and jumps at the chance. She thinks it would be a great vacation for her and her husband Christopher. She isn't there long before the builder of the garden, Batsford Bede, is found dead in his garden and Christopher is drafted to solve the crime. There are all sorts of suspects including the daughter of his long-time love and a life coach who has been helping him and who had a previous relationship with Christopher after his divor Pru is hired to assess an Arts and Crafts garden in the Cotswolds and jumps at the chance. She thinks it would be a great vacation for her and her husband Christopher. She isn't there long before the builder of the garden, Batsford Bede, is found dead in his garden and Christopher is drafted to solve the crime. There are all sorts of suspects including the daughter of his long-time love and a life coach who has been helping him and who had a previous relationship with Christopher after his divorce and before he met and married Pru. Or is it the young woman who wants to start her own farm by leasing some of Batty's land or maybe the man-of-all work who is helping her start her farm? Pru and Christopher are staying in a ramshackle bed and breakfast run by an elderly widow whose husband did some odd electrical work in the house. The shabby interior, eccentric hallways, and low ceilings add some interesting atmosphere to the story. The first thing Pru receives when she arrives are the garden journals that Bede wrote which are filled with the plants he and his love Constance chose and some personal insights about their lives too. Each chapter begins with a quotation from Batty's journal. Even though my knowledge of plants is pretty much limited to recognizing dandelions and roses, I enjoyed both the journal entries and Pru's descriptions of the gardens. I did figure out who the murderer was about two-thirds into the story which made me feel quite accomplished. It was a suspenseful story with lots of great characters.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    When I began to read the first Potting Shed Mystery, I wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy it. In this 6th in series, Pru is an old friend, especially as she and Christopher walk memory lane. It has been three years since they met. They are now newlyweds, having met at a crime scene and got to know each other at a fete, of which this year’s is ready to take place. They are in the Cotswalds for a short job Pru accepted. They will attend this year’s fete while visiting friends Pru met that first yea When I began to read the first Potting Shed Mystery, I wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy it. In this 6th in series, Pru is an old friend, especially as she and Christopher walk memory lane. It has been three years since they met. They are now newlyweds, having met at a crime scene and got to know each other at a fete, of which this year’s is ready to take place. They are in the Cotswalds for a short job Pru accepted. They will attend this year’s fete while visiting friends Pru met that first year she was in England. Coral Summersun contacted Pru to review the plans and journals of Batsford Bede, current owner of Glebe House, per his request, and advise regarding restoration of the gardens at Glebe House. Coral refers to the owner as Uncle Batty; she grew up on the property because of her late mother’s friendship with Batsford. Constance had helped him put the gardens in during her years there. The gardens are in the Arts and Crafts style, which Pru was very excited about seeing and sounds fascinating. Coral left when she was an adult, returning when her mother was dying. She left about a year later, not returning again until hearing of Batsford’s illness. She returns to take care of him and mend fences. Dr. Cherrystone, aka Cherry, comes to check on Batsford every day and he seemed to be improving. Pru began to look at the gardens and reading Batsford’s detailed journals. Pru arrived one morning and Coral’s car was gone. She knocked on the door and out of concern for an ill man, heard terrible crashing noises, went indoors, found nobody in the house, and followed the din to the gardens. She found Mr. Bede under a huge, heavy statue. She called Christopher, who contacted the local police station. One thing Pru noted when verifying if the man had a pulse is that the statue did not land on Batsford. There was a small gap between the statue and Batsford. It looks like someone bashed over the statue to cover up a murder or make sure it was successful. Each character is defined as petals unfurl from a rosebud. Pru is very well defined and as the mystery progresses, so is Coral. Dialog flows naturally, and even when Pru isn’t sure how to handle a situation, she does very well. I admire her tact when talking with someone she doesn’t really doesn’t want to, her comfort to Coral after breaking the news about Uncle Batty, and trying to stall for time to get away from the culprit(s) who tries hard to kill her. There is humor even in unlikely events, and multiple, seemingly unrelated crimes. Each chapter begins with a quote from Mr. Bede’s journals. There are plot twists and turns that keep the mystery as fascinating as the unique gardens designed by Batsford and Constance. There was one tiny clue that showed me who the killer was but I wasn’t 100% clear of the motive until later; I had also guessed the location of a very important document. There are sufficient red herrings I was tempted to follow, but they didn’t stand up to the one in the back of my mind. I was surprised at the resolution of the other mysteries, was overall satisfied with the end, and enjoyed watching the newlyweds celebrating a special memory. I highly recommend Best Laid Plants as an extremely well-written cozy mystery, especially if one has an interest in England, preparing gardens, and a bit of English history. From a grateful heart: I received this eBook from the publisher and NetGalley, and this is my honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melodie

    Best-Laid Plants by Marty Wingate is a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable entry into her Potting Shed Mystery series, which features professional gardener Pru Parke. Marty Wingate calls on her own expertise in the gardening field to add depth and color to the book with each chapter prefaced by an excerpt from the journals of the fictional Batsford Bede, whose expansive gardens at Glebe House Pru has been hired to restore to their former glory. These excerpts not only foreshadow some part of t Best-Laid Plants by Marty Wingate is a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable entry into her Potting Shed Mystery series, which features professional gardener Pru Parke. Marty Wingate calls on her own expertise in the gardening field to add depth and color to the book with each chapter prefaced by an excerpt from the journals of the fictional Batsford Bede, whose expansive gardens at Glebe House Pru has been hired to restore to their former glory. These excerpts not only foreshadow some part of the chapter but offer enlightenment to the art of building a garden or information about a particular plant. I enjoyed and appreciated these snippets very much.  After a long absence, Coral Summersun has returned to Glebe House, located in the Cotswolds, to care for the aging and ailing Batsford Bede and it is she who hires Pru to restore the gardens. Bede is murdered before Pru is able to confer with him, but fortunately Pru has been given full access to his writings, including the three logs he kept during the garden’s creation. These journals feature insights not only into garden design and plant selection but into life at Glebe House during those years when he lived there with Constance Summersun (long deceased) and her daughter, Coral. This book is a throwback to the classic cozy, filled with often eccentric or colorful characters, some of whom are clearly suspects, others filling different roles. Coral is both annoying (sometimes too much so) and sympathetic. . While I was greatly entertained by the book, I did feel that some of the “color” was a bit overdone. Mrs. Draycott and her unusual bed and breakfast being cases in point. I appreciate the warm relationship between Pru and her husband Christoper Pearse.  There are plenty of red herrings to keep the reader guessing and to muddy the waters.  I strongly and accurately suspected who the murderer was, though couldn’t say why. That didn’t matter in the least when it came to my enjoyment of the book.  I highly recommend this entertaining read, especially for those who enjoy cozy mysteries. Four stars for mystery lovers, four and a half stars for gardeners who love mysteries.  I was given a free copy of this book by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions stated are solely my own. 

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality Another garden, another dead body. If one didn’t know better one could easily wonder if master gardener Pru Parke was somehow planting “corpse seeds” wherever she went. Because no matter where Pru travels to consult on gardens, whether in her beloved England or her native Texas, she seems to have a knack for finding a body, and getting herself involved in a murder investigation. This particular case is return trip to the Cotswolds for Pru, with the intent of Originally published at Reading Reality Another garden, another dead body. If one didn’t know better one could easily wonder if master gardener Pru Parke was somehow planting “corpse seeds” wherever she went. Because no matter where Pru travels to consult on gardens, whether in her beloved England or her native Texas, she seems to have a knack for finding a body, and getting herself involved in a murder investigation. This particular case is return trip to the Cotswolds for Pru, with the intent of helping to bring back a famous Arts and Crafts style garden, visit friends and reminisce about her first trip (The Garden Plot) where she spent much of her time interfering in DCI Christopher Pearse’s murder investigation. Now Christopher is her husband, and this is supposed to be a bit of a vacation. Until she trips over a body. As Pru so often does. As Pru’s cases go (and they are all Pru’s cases, in spite of Christopher being a police detective) this one is a bit of a hodge-podge. A fact which is fitting for the garden she has come to restore, which began as rather a beautiful hodge-podge of the early 20th century Arts and Crafts Movement, but has descended into a neglected mess, albeit one with “good bones”. And, as Pru inevitably discovers, real bones. Pru finds her erstwhile employer dead in the garden, under a fallen statue. But what should have looked like a clear case of accidental death is, of course, anything but. The statue is all too obviously not the cause of death. It may be trapping the old man’s body, but it isn’t actually touching it. And Pru heard the sound of hammering, which is what drew her to the scene in the first place. The poor statue was quite securely on its plinth until someone viciously attacked it with a sledgehammer – someone who Pru obviously interrupted. And there’s no blood at the scene. Anyone who has ever watched murder mysteries on TV knows that there’s blood at the actual murder site – especially if falling statuary is involved! Poor old Batsford Bede was definitely murdered. And while he may have been in a physical decline, and he’s definitely very dead – he was far, far from poor. And wherever there’s a will, there’s a list of people who may have wanted to collect on their inheritance sooner rather than later, and another list of people who are at the very least unhappy that they are not one of the favored few. This case positively sprouts with potential murderers with heaps of motive, and red herring clues that are so obviously planted that they stink like three day old fish. It’s up to Pru and Christopher to figure out whodunnit and whydunnit before the wrong person gets convicted of a murder they certainly did not commit. And, as usual for Pru, she figures it all out, but almost too late to save herself. Escape Rating B: I love this series, and will cheerfully scoop up any mystery that Marty Wingate writes. (She also writes actual gardening books, and that’s just not my jam) As much as I also enjoy her other series, Birds of a Feather, the Potting Shed mysteries have a special place in my heart because of, well, Pru’s heart. And Pru herself. It is not often, and not nearly often enough, that our heroine is a woman of a certain age who has found realistically portrayed romance, a new career in a new place, and becomes an amateur detective. Miss Marple falling in love with one of her oh-so-helpful detectives and continuing to solve mysteries – just with more respect. But I said that this case was a bit of a hodge-podge. Part of that hodge-podge is the way that the story opens. Pru arrives in the Cotswolds with Christopher, and nothing is as it was purported to be – except the state of the garden. It’s not just that their B&B is a throwback to the 1970s disaster. That part of the story eventually becomes surprisingly heartwarming. The crazy-making bit is the person who hired Pru, and her extremely evasive answers about the nature of the job and the state of the person who owns the estate. Coral Summersun is both there and not-there in a way that drove this reader a bit batty. And one of Christopher’s exes lives in town. At the beginning of the story, there’s a bit too much melodrama. Once the body falls down, the story heats up. From that point onwards, everything runs at a very fast clip as Christopher finds himself back in harness and, for once, officially enlists Pru’s help with the investigation. The killer hides in plain sight and keeps the police and Pru distracted, both by arranging for a series of minor disturbances to happen elsewhere, and by throwing false clues everywhere, all pointing to very plausible suspects. There’s also more than a bit of heartbreak attached to this case. As Pru dives into the weeds of the garden, she learns the story of just how it came to be, and the ultimately tragic romance between Batsford Bede and Coral’s mother. It’s a shared loss that at first united the unlikely pair, and then suddenly divided them. It’s only as her “Uncle Batty” needed her again that he and Coral finally had a chance to regain their lovely father-daughter relationship. That their reconciliation was cut short by such a venal murder is an even bigger tragedy than the death itself. I left the book satisfied that, if good had not exactly triumphed because a good man was dead before his time, that evil certainly got its just desserts. I look forward, as always, to Pru’s next adventure. In the meantime I have Farewell, My Cuckoo, the next book in her Birds of a Feather series, to look forward to in the spring, appropriately right along with the return of the migrating birds.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Linda Baker

    I am always happy to get my hands on a new Potting Shed Mystery with its mystery, gardening tips and lore, quirky characters and a touch of grown-up romance. Pru Parke is a transplanted Texan whose life dream was to relocate to her mother's native England. Her first year in England was a challenge, but now she has a good reputation and a steady flow of jobs. Not only is she established professionally, but she has married semi-retired Chief Inspector, Christopher Pearse. All her success comes at I am always happy to get my hands on a new Potting Shed Mystery with its mystery, gardening tips and lore, quirky characters and a touch of grown-up romance. Pru Parke is a transplanted Texan whose life dream was to relocate to her mother's native England. Her first year in England was a challenge, but now she has a good reputation and a steady flow of jobs. Not only is she established professionally, but she has married semi-retired Chief Inspector, Christopher Pearse. All her success comes at the age of fifty-something. Both Christopher and she are feeling the need for a getaway when she receives a request to consult on restoring an Arts and Crafts garden in the Cotswolds. The creator of the garden, Batsford Bede, has let it slide in recent years and needs help. Christopher and Pru have friends in the area and decide to take a working holiday. But, just as Pru makes a start she discovers Bede, dead, under a piece of garden statuary. What was the ailing, elderly man doing out in the garden alone? It also appears that the inheritance of the property is disputed and a codicil to the will is missing. Since the local police force is small, Christopher takes over the investigation. The Potting Shed Mysteries are a pleasure to read. I am not a gardener, but this series might even inspire me to become one. I highly recommend Best Laid Plants, which can be read as a stand-alone, but why not enjoy it from the beginning, The Garden Plot? Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Alibi for an advance digital copy. The opinions are my own. RATING- 4 Stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    Good, engaging plot and wonderful characters that I would not mind visiting with again. Not one hundred percent my cup of tea at the current time.

  14. 4 out of 5

    JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. When Pru Parke, master gardener, and her husband Christopher Pearse, are invited to the Cotswolds for a working vacation (for her), it seems like an easy job. She is there to help out with the renovation of the decaying gardens of Glebe House and is looking forward to it. But she's more than surprised at the condition of the B&B she's been booked into - soon after arriving she finds the body of Batsford Bede, owner and designer of the once-lovely place. Although it looks like an accident at first When Pru Parke, master gardener, and her husband Christopher Pearse, are invited to the Cotswolds for a working vacation (for her), it seems like an easy job. She is there to help out with the renovation of the decaying gardens of Glebe House and is looking forward to it. But she's more than surprised at the condition of the B&B she's been booked into - soon after arriving she finds the body of Batsford Bede, owner and designer of the once-lovely place. Although it looks like an accident at first sight, Pru knows better - especially since the heavy statue that was set to look like it fell over on him hasn't touched his body. And with the local police force short-handed, Christopher is dragooned into Chief Inspector once again, taking over the investigation. But who would want to kill an old man who was already ailing? At first the signs point to Coral Summersun, who grew up there and whose mother Batsford was in love with; but then others begin to enter the picture - others who might have had a better reason to want him dead. What reason? Who would want a decaying garden badly in need of renovation? Christopher and Pru have more than enough suspects, and with a killer still on the loose, it's up to them to dig deep and weed out a killer... I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book. Each chapter is headed with a fictional entry into Batsford's gardening journals, which Pru has borrowed to read. We are given information on numerous plants, which I always find interesting, and a glimpse of life into an English garden. We begin with Pru and Christopher thinking they're going to have a nice getaway at a local B&B only to find it's rather a nightmare, but since the proprietor is an elderly woman and very nice, stay, rather than feel guilty about going somewhere else. They're also there to help out at an autumn fete at the home of old friends who also live in the area. I enjoy watching the relationship between Pru and Christopher. Their affection for each other is apparent, but never over the top. There's a nice scene or two where Pru is having to deal with a tad bit of jealousy, but it's done more with humor than anything else; and there's also humor in the fact that the B&B owner is a horrible cook. But the murder definitely changes things, and the renovation is put on hold as Christopher brings Pru into the investigation as an assistant, knowing her keen eye for detail will be invaluable. While there weren't tons of red herrings thrown about, there were still quite a few suspects, even though the reason for someone wanting Batsford dead wasn't immediately apparent. When we come to the end and the murderer is revealed, it's a reason as old as time itself. I'm never surprised what a twisted mind is capable of. The story is well written, the characters believable, and the journey to the end was was quite fun and interesting as well. This is the sixth book in the series and can be read as a stand alone, but I enjoy the series more having read them from the beginning. A delightful book that can be read in one sitting, and I look forward to the next in the series. Highly recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Pru Parke is a well-known gardener in England. Although she was born in Texas, it was the British gardens that stole her heart and helped her make a home for herself on the other side of the world. And now the celebrated gardens of Batsford Bede in the Cotswolds are badly in need of repair, and Pru has been called in to consult on how to refurbish the garden by the closest person Bede has to family, his ersatz neice, Coral Summersun.  Coral first meets with Pru in the garden office, and Pru is co Pru Parke is a well-known gardener in England. Although she was born in Texas, it was the British gardens that stole her heart and helped her make a home for herself on the other side of the world. And now the celebrated gardens of Batsford Bede in the Cotswolds are badly in need of repair, and Pru has been called in to consult on how to refurbish the garden by the closest person Bede has to family, his ersatz neice, Coral Summersun.  Coral first meets with Pru in the garden office, and Pru is completely distracted by everything around her. She sees the library of books on flowers, herbs, and garden design. She sees the blueprints that Bede and his gardening partner Constance (Coral's late mother) used to plan. And she sees the gardening journals that Bede himself wrote while planting and creating the gardens. While Coral seems uninterested in everything around them, Pru understands the wealth of information in the office and can't help herself from grabbing the journals off the shelf once Coral says she doesn't mind. After all, Bede's gardens were a sort of national treasure in their heyday. His use of Arts and Crafts style, modeled on the designs of William Morris, was innovative and ingenious.  But when Pru discovers Bede's lifeless body under one of the garden statues, clearly not by accident, it's going to take all of Pru's cleverness to help find and catch the killer. Fortunately for her, her policeman husband has come to the Cotswolds with her and can lend a much-needed hand to the strapped local force. With a quirky inkeeper taking care of them and a village filled with fascinating potential suspects, Pru and her husband Christopher will have to dig deep to unearth the answers they need.  Marty Wingate's Best-Laid Plants is the latest in the Potting Shed Mysteries, and it's a lovely trip to the gardens of England and all their charms. Pru and her husband are fun and smart, and the villagers add more than a little humor and delight to the pages of this mystery. This is the gardening cozy series that I have been looking for, and I can't wait for another trip to the gardens of England with all their majesty and loveliness.  Galleys for Best-Laid Plants were provided by Random House Publishing Group - Alibi through NetGalley.com, with many thanks. 

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    American Pru and her British husband, DI Chris (already forgot his last name), are in the countryside for Pru to assess a once-famous garden fallen into disrepair. The garden designer, Batsford Beede, was once famous for his designs (I think), but after the death of his lover many years ago he let it go; now he's ill, and his heir presumptive Coral wants to see if the gardens can be saved. What can't be saved is Batsford, who gets creatively murdered fairly soon, with Pru finding the body and Ch American Pru and her British husband, DI Chris (already forgot his last name), are in the countryside for Pru to assess a once-famous garden fallen into disrepair. The garden designer, Batsford Beede, was once famous for his designs (I think), but after the death of his lover many years ago he let it go; now he's ill, and his heir presumptive Coral wants to see if the gardens can be saved. What can't be saved is Batsford, who gets creatively murdered fairly soon, with Pru finding the body and Chris having to assume the investigation. There are lots of lines of inquiry, from Coral to the woman whose name I've also forgotten (this is pathetic--I just finished the book this morning) who had an affair with Chris many many years ago and had insinuated herself into Batsford's life thereafter, to people possibly after the house or lands. But never fear; Pru and Chris will sort everything out. There's a lot going on here, which is probably because it's the 6th in a series with recurring characters whom I don't know, so there are lots of storylines that seemed a little random but are probably relevant to the series. The descriptions are wonderful, and the world is really well-built; perfect if you love the Cotswolds and old houses, including rambling b&bs that are inconvenient and not too comfortable and have terrible food but a charming and elderly landlady. I enjoyed the characters, though sometimes had trouble keeping track of them. As for the mystery, I found it a bit frustrating and contrived, along with the clues. The reader knows the murderer long before Pru, but there's really no excuse for that--I can't believe she's so forgetful and dense that she doesn't see all the clues, and I really don't believe that EVERY SINGLE TIME she's about to remember something key or read something key, she gets interrupted and forgets and you have to sit there fuming with frustration because YOU KNOW the answer already and it's just irritating that Pru doesn't. So...better than some I've read, not as good as others.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This British cozy series features gardener Pru Parke and her husband Inspector Christopher Pearse, a former Scotland Yard detective. The series focuses on the various gardening projects on which Pru works, which have a way of leading Pru and Christopher into being involved in a murder investigation. In "Best-Laid Plants", Pru is consulting on a short-term project and she and Christopher take advantage of what should have been a relaxing break in the Cotswolds. However, the trip is nothing like w This British cozy series features gardener Pru Parke and her husband Inspector Christopher Pearse, a former Scotland Yard detective. The series focuses on the various gardening projects on which Pru works, which have a way of leading Pru and Christopher into being involved in a murder investigation. In "Best-Laid Plants", Pru is consulting on a short-term project and she and Christopher take advantage of what should have been a relaxing break in the Cotswolds. However, the trip is nothing like what they expected. The bed and breakfast in which they're staying has seen better days and before Pru can meet the person who originally planted the garden she is to work on, he is killed. There is no shortage of suspects and the couple is determined to stick with this investigation to make sure justice is served. This is a charming series and Pru and Christopher make a likeable couple, whether they're sharing a meal or investigating a crime. The author includes a wealth of gardening information that is obviously connected to Pru's career, but is also related to the mystery itself. The vivid descriptions really transport you to a beautiful English garden. The mystery surrounding the victim and his last will and testament is entertaining. There are quite a few people acting suspiciously who have a possible motive and unfortunately for the reader, the same traits that make them likely suspects, also make them unlikable suspects. Pru is as clever as always and I enjoyed her interactions with the victim's scattered daughter, Coral, and Pru's calming influence on her. Pru and Christopher are as likable as ever and I enjoy the book even though some of the irritating side-characters take away from the story. The book ends on a high note with some unexpected romance for two unexpected characters. I received this book from NetGalley through the courtesy of Alibi. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maria Logan-Montgomery

    I read the uncorrected proof copy of Marty Wingate's Best Laid Plants, and didn't want it to end. This is another cozy mystery I couldn't put down. Not only did Best Laid Plants have a good mystery, it had provided a treasure trove of both common plant names and their botanical names. While I usually highlight grammatical and punctuation errors in books I review, I found myself highlighting plant names and interesting tidbits about the plants.   Set in England, Pru Parke, gardener extraordinaire, I read the uncorrected proof copy of Marty Wingate's Best Laid Plants, and didn't want it to end. This is another cozy mystery I couldn't put down. Not only did Best Laid Plants have a good mystery, it had provided a treasure trove of both common plant names and their botanical names. While I usually highlight grammatical and punctuation errors in books I review, I found myself highlighting plant names and interesting tidbits about the plants.   Set in England, Pru Parke, gardener extraordinaire, is hired to refurbish the famous gardens at Glebe House in the Cotswolds. The elderly magistrate, Batsford Bede, is murdered, and soon almost everyone around him is a suspect. Someone wants to buy a large wildflower meadow and develop it with estate-sized homes. What the culprit doesn't know is that there is a covenant on the land, and it can never be developed, no matter who owns it. Why would someone kill this old man who is near death already? It's a great mystery with a lot of people looking guilty. I do wish the police had informed the person arrested about the covenant -- the murder, the blackmail, the intrigue were all for nothing. There were a lot of British English words used that this American English speaker did not understand. Some of them were self-explanatory in context, but some were not. Because Pru was a Texan living in England, she could have found a way to explain some the "English" words she used.   What Makes This Book Reviewer Grumpy?   For an uncorrected proof copy, this is not bad at all. I'm impressed! The only errors I found were: using "spoonfuls" instead of "spoonful", when "Pru watched as Coral dumped heaping spoonfuls..." (Loc 622); using of "that" instead of "who" , when the narrator said, "Of the other two people that had lined up at the police..." (Loc 1485); and a split infinitive, when the narrator said, "...they would not be able to blithely leave behind a..." Look for me online as The Grumpy Book Reviewer

  19. 4 out of 5

    GourmondeGirl

    What better to read in October but a cozy mystery! This series, A Potting Shed Mystery, is one of my fav’s due to it takes place in the UK, the heroine is in her 50’s [like me], and the books are rich with places, facts and an actual storyline to wrap yourself up in. For those of you who have not read this series, Pru Parke is a historical gardener from the states who now lives in England with her law enforcement husband, DCI Christopher Pearce. In this newest edition we start out in the same pub What better to read in October but a cozy mystery! This series, A Potting Shed Mystery, is one of my fav’s due to it takes place in the UK, the heroine is in her 50’s [like me], and the books are rich with places, facts and an actual storyline to wrap yourself up in. For those of you who have not read this series, Pru Parke is a historical gardener from the states who now lives in England with her law enforcement husband, DCI Christopher Pearce. In this newest edition we start out in the same pub where in the first book, The Garden Plot, they didn’t quite hit it off, yet now reminisce on their happy marriage. This is something I enjoy about these cozy mysteries– getting wrapped up with the characters as if they are my friends and I get to hear all about the adventures they have. In this case, the reader gets to re-live some of this couples’ ‘firsts’ as if one is looking back on their own courting with their spouse. Wingate does a wonderful job hooking the readers in to Pru and Christopher’s relationship and the rich British history. If you’re a plant person, you’ll find yourself wishing you could visit some of the lush gardens in the series; and as I’m in Texas, some of the cooler weather! This time around Best-Laid Plants revolves around a small village with a historical manse with an immense garden. While the owner and villagers are quirky, they’re likable and intricate to the story. Also, I’m happy to say that DCI Pearse is more like the self-confident police officer I like, as there were a few books I wondered what happened to his personality. Pru has grown in her sleuthing prowess; while she started out a bit over the top, she’s now grown to a proper copper’s wife who thinks things through vs rushing in without thought while still keeping with her original likable persona. Overall, I recommend getting a pint, some crisps or chips, your favorite plush chair or recliner, and settle in for friendly evening with two of my favorite characters.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Even a time-away vacation of sorts turns into a dangerous adventure when Pru Parke and her husband, retired DI Christopher Pearse, return to the place they first got together. They are looking forward to renewing friendships and investigating an overgrown treasure of a garden. While this is a working vacation for Pru, it is the best kind with research and walking about the plants - no heavy lifting or digging. The adventure starts from the first, when they check into a B&B that is not given a ful Even a time-away vacation of sorts turns into a dangerous adventure when Pru Parke and her husband, retired DI Christopher Pearse, return to the place they first got together. They are looking forward to renewing friendships and investigating an overgrown treasure of a garden. While this is a working vacation for Pru, it is the best kind with research and walking about the plants - no heavy lifting or digging. The adventure starts from the first, when they check into a B&B that is not given a full star rating. While they could stay with friends, this couple feels they are where they can do the most good and see the humour in their situation. Good humor, good deeds and being flexible are required when the first person they meet seems to be an old flame of Christopher's. There are a good number of characters adding their influence to this story, also giving doubt as to whom the true villain is and why when the elderly Mr. Bede, "Uncle Batty," turns up dead under suspicious circumstances. All along we asssume he is dying. Who was in a hurry to speed up his departure? Coral Summersun, the ersatz niece who commissioned Pru for the job of reorganizing the gardens is somewhatof a mystery herself. She seems to know something about plants and gardening, was raised on the estate, but also seems a bit vague, not all there. She believes she is in line to inherit, but could her life choices have affected Uncl Batty's final wishes? While the mystery is first class, it is Pru who makes these books a must read. Not only do I wish to see her triumph each time, I enjoy watching her grow as a person. I accepted a copy of this book via Netgalley to review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Ritter

    Best-Laid Plants is the sixth publication in Marty Wingate's Potting Shed Mysteries. Horticulturist Pru Parke receives a letter from a Miss Coral Summersun inviting her to come to the Cotswolds to confer on the restoration of the Glebe House gardens of Batsford Bede. As it is in the same area as friends Natalie and John Bennet-Smythe of Grenadine Hall and is time for their annual autumn fete, it is an easy decision to accept. She and husband, police inspector Christopher Pearse, plan to make a w Best-Laid Plants is the sixth publication in Marty Wingate's Potting Shed Mysteries. Horticulturist Pru Parke receives a letter from a Miss Coral Summersun inviting her to come to the Cotswolds to confer on the restoration of the Glebe House gardens of Batsford Bede. As it is in the same area as friends Natalie and John Bennet-Smythe of Grenadine Hall and is time for their annual autumn fete, it is an easy decision to accept. She and husband, police inspector Christopher Pearse, plan to make a working vacation of the trip. When they arrive in the village, they find their accommodations to be in a Fawlty Towers type B&B run by octogenarian widow Fabia Draycott. Upon meeting Coral, Pru finds her a lot different than expected--more open and less knowledgeable. At the first meeting, Coral gives her all of Uncle Batty's journals describing the process of creating the gardens. Within a few days of arriving, and before meeting Mr. Bede, Pru arrives at Glebe House to find his lifeless body in the garden with a large statue atop him. As the local police are understaffed and overworked, Christopher is pressed into dduty as the chief investigator. Since Pru has the knowledge of the gardens and was first on the scene, Christopher brings Pru into the investigation as well. The first premise is that everyone in the small village is a suspect. With overlapping and contradictory clues, it takes until the very end to unmask the murderer. This story shows the effects of greed and deep compassion, the meaning of friendship and the consequences of miscommunication. A story of many layers, depth of characters, and a mystery to solve, I do recommend this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)

    Pru gets an offer to come to Cotswold by a lady named Coral because she will soon be inheriting a home with a lovely garden that is in disrepair. Pru and Christopher have friends nearby so they think it will be a lovely way to get away and visit but that is not what happens. Pru and her husband are staying in a B&B that is very strange with a lonely old lady who can't cook a chicken and the adventure just gets better from there...lol. Soon Pru finds the old guy who owns the place dead in his gard Pru gets an offer to come to Cotswold by a lady named Coral because she will soon be inheriting a home with a lovely garden that is in disrepair. Pru and Christopher have friends nearby so they think it will be a lovely way to get away and visit but that is not what happens. Pru and her husband are staying in a B&B that is very strange with a lonely old lady who can't cook a chicken and the adventure just gets better from there...lol. Soon Pru finds the old guy who owns the place dead in his garden with a statue on top of him, is it an accident or murder? They soon figure out he was murdered and there are a good number of suspects from those who think they will inherit or benefit in some way from the old guys death or just some shady characters lingering around.  Pru and Christopher are one of my favorite cozy couples and I like that they are an older couple (it's Pru's first marriage and she is 50). I enjoy reading about characters that are only slightly older than me instead of the younger bunch from time to time. :) She is an American with English roots and a love for English gardens which is why she moved to England. She has become quite well known. Christopher was an inspector when they met and has retired...well sort of because he seems to always get roped into the investigations, once a cop always a cop. :) They are just so cute together!! This has a really good mystery too and the author gives you some great suspects and I had a hard time trying to figure out which one might have done it. Had my suspicions but wasn't really sure till the end.  I really like this series so I think anyone should give it a try if you like cozies.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnston

    Princess Fuzzypants here: I have enjoyed all the Potting Shed mysteries since the first one and this is no exception. I truly like Pru, her husband Christopher, and all the other friends and characters. I love how English she has become and I enjoy wandering through the various parts of the UK where she goes to plant her gardens. This one is set in one of the prettiest parts of the country, The Cotswolds, which increased my pleasure. Pru is invited t0 assess a formerly beautiful garden that has be Princess Fuzzypants here: I have enjoyed all the Potting Shed mysteries since the first one and this is no exception. I truly like Pru, her husband Christopher, and all the other friends and characters. I love how English she has become and I enjoy wandering through the various parts of the UK where she goes to plant her gardens. This one is set in one of the prettiest parts of the country, The Cotswolds, which increased my pleasure. Pru is invited t0 assess a formerly beautiful garden that has been permitted to go wild. The owner and designer of the garden is an elderly gentleman who wants Pru to have his notes so she can replicate his work. While she is deeply ensconced in assessing what needs to be done, she meets a woman from Christoper’s past who sets alarm bells ringing. Then the gentleman is murdered in his own garden and between his “niece” with whom he has recently been reunited, his neighbours and friends and his doctor and lawyer, there are lots of suspects. The local police enlist Christopher to head the investigation so while Pru is asking questions, she is not being intrusive. I like that. I cannot imagine a real police force would stand for some of the things cozy heroines do. Her uncovering the villain doesn’t suspend credulity. It is quite by accident so her being threatened by the murderer also seems realistic, which I tend to enjoy more. The mystery is good too. It was not obvious and kept me guessing almost to the end. I give this five purrs and two paws up.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    I adore Marty Wingate’s other series, the one featuring plucky, enthusiastic Julia Lanchester. Her adventures overseeing and expanding tourism in the country village of Smeaton-under-Lyme, Suffolk, and helping out with her famous father’s BBC Two nature show, A Bird in the Hand, are a pure delight! I doubted I would like Wingate’s other series as much — and I don’t. Best-Laid Plants, the sixth in the Potting Shed Mystery series about transplanted Texan Pru Parke, now a formal garden landscaper i I adore Marty Wingate’s other series, the one featuring plucky, enthusiastic Julia Lanchester. Her adventures overseeing and expanding tourism in the country village of Smeaton-under-Lyme, Suffolk, and helping out with her famous father’s BBC Two nature show, A Bird in the Hand, are a pure delight! I doubted I would like Wingate’s other series as much — and I don’t. Best-Laid Plants, the sixth in the Potting Shed Mystery series about transplanted Texan Pru Parke, now a formal garden landscaper in England, proved entertaining enough; however, it was never as clever or charming as the Birds of a Feather series that features Julia Lanchester and her delightful family and friends. Still, I never felt lost with Best-Laid Plants, and, although I figured out the villain halfway through the novel, I liked Pru, even though most of the other characters were either nonentities or parodies of themselves: meltdown-prone Coral Summersun, stoic Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, motherly B&B owner Fabia Draycott, otherworldly alternative-medicine practitioner Cynthia Mouser. Pru Parke and neighbors Lizzy Sprackling and Natalie Bennet-Smythe were the only three-dimensional characters in the entire novel. That said, I must give Wingate credit for a decent plot, even if the novel could have used fuller characterization. In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group — Alibi in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This is the first Mary Wingate book I have read. There are plenty of gardening terms and species names I did not recognize. This did not really matter but did not do much to enhance the setting. I just substitute pretty flowers for all the descriptions by species names. There were a lot of British words used that this American English speaker did not understand. Some of them were self-explanatory in context, but some were not. I found this odd as Pru is a Texan living in England. The author coul This is the first Mary Wingate book I have read. There are plenty of gardening terms and species names I did not recognize. This did not really matter but did not do much to enhance the setting. I just substitute pretty flowers for all the descriptions by species names. There were a lot of British words used that this American English speaker did not understand. Some of them were self-explanatory in context, but some were not. I found this odd as Pru is a Texan living in England. The author could have explained things in American as she lives in Seattle and her heroine is Texan. I found myself looking up many words which educated me but detracted from the story. Pru and Christopher are semi-newlyweds- three years and not in their 20s, more like in their 50s. Pru is a well known gardener and is hired to provide guidance on the restoration of an Arts and Crafts garden in the Cotswalds. Christopher was a detective. Pru finds the body of the current owner in the garden. Thus begins the investigation of the crime. This book can be enjoyed as a standalone story. Although I enjoyed the book, I found it ironic that some of the revelations had they been known by the murderer would have led to a totally different outcome of the story. Netgalley and the publisher allowed me to read an Advanced Reader’s Copy. These are my own unsolicited opinions.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    Gardener Pru Parke is invited to an estate in the Cotswalds to revive a once gorgeous but now overgrown garden. Her inspector husband Christopher accompanies her to make it a nice little vacation. But the bed and breakfast they’re staying at leaves much to be desired, and then Pru stumbles upon the estate owner’s dead body in the garden. Soon Pru and her husband are both caught up in a murder investigation. Hopefully they can solve it before the murderer takes care of Pru, too. This was the first Gardener Pru Parke is invited to an estate in the Cotswalds to revive a once gorgeous but now overgrown garden. Her inspector husband Christopher accompanies her to make it a nice little vacation. But the bed and breakfast they’re staying at leaves much to be desired, and then Pru stumbles upon the estate owner’s dead body in the garden. Soon Pru and her husband are both caught up in a murder investigation. Hopefully they can solve it before the murderer takes care of Pru, too. This was the first book from this series I had ever read, and I really enjoyed it! Pru and her husband are very likable and have a cute relationship. There’s a whole host of secondary characters, and they’re all well fleshed out and entertaining. The mystery was good, revealing clues bit by bit, although Pru really should have figured out who the murderer was much sooner. The one thing I didn’t love was all the horticulture. If you are a gardener, you would love the descriptions of all the plants in the gardens. But since I’m bad at remembering what basic flowers and plants look like, and I’d never even heard of most of these, the lengthy descriptions got very tedious. I’d give this book a 3 1/2 but will round up to a 4 for enjoyable characters, a decent mystery, and a very clean book. Thanks to NetGalley for the free ebook.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Tucker

    I always look forward to each new book in this series. Pru is offered the job of returning a neglected garden (in the Cotswolds) to its former glory, in this installment. Upon arrival at the bed and breakfast, arranged for them, Pru and husband Christopher find the house cramped, outdated and the elderly owner eccentric. Descriptions of their meals (especially a kitchen encounter over toast) add humor to the story. The neglected garden belongs to an older gentleman, in failing health, Batsford Bed I always look forward to each new book in this series. Pru is offered the job of returning a neglected garden (in the Cotswolds) to its former glory, in this installment. Upon arrival at the bed and breakfast, arranged for them, Pru and husband Christopher find the house cramped, outdated and the elderly owner eccentric. Descriptions of their meals (especially a kitchen encounter over toast) add humor to the story. The neglected garden belongs to an older gentleman, in failing health, Batsford Bede. Coral Summersun (who stands to inherit the house and gardens) meets with Pru and gives her Batsford's journals, written while he and Coral's mother planted the gardens. Before Pru can meet with him, though, she finds Batsford dead in the garden. When the death is discovered to be murder, instead of an accident, Pru and Christopher take on the task of sorting through clues and questioning townspeople. There is a cast of interesting characters (each seeming to have secrets) and incidents leading up to the discovery of the murderer. The author kept me busy following clues, I learned something about badgers (protected in England) and I laughed at Pru's encounter with a bull. I received an ARC from NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I got a free copy of this book through Net Galley in exchange for a free review. I really enjoyed this one! Pru and Christopher are a lovely married couple. They love each other, but it doesn't have to be over emphasized. I love cozy mysteries, but don't really like too much romance. This book had the right mix. There were several characters that I didn't like at first. I warmed up to them and found this to be a strength in the book. The town is full of quirky people that really made me fall in lo I got a free copy of this book through Net Galley in exchange for a free review. I really enjoyed this one! Pru and Christopher are a lovely married couple. They love each other, but it doesn't have to be over emphasized. I love cozy mysteries, but don't really like too much romance. This book had the right mix. There were several characters that I didn't like at first. I warmed up to them and found this to be a strength in the book. The town is full of quirky people that really made me fall in love with it. A pet fox, a life coach that makes weird jelly, a B&B with odd wiring and an owner that can't cook are just a few. I am not a gardener at all, but the plants and garden discussions did not distract from the story as a whole. I got a good idea of what the gardens looked like and the particularly lovely spots. However for those who enjoy gardening, I'm sure you will get a more vivid picture. I figured out who the murder was a little over halfway through. It was not obvious at first, but there were enough clues to figure it out before Pru. Again a good mix. There is enough mystery and enough romance and enough quirks and enough clues to make for a really enjoyable book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carole

    Marty Wingate has done it again! I have read all the books in the potting shed series of mysteries and she continually and consistently comes up with great plots, unique scenarios, quirky characters and all so brilliantly written! If you haven't read any of this series I would suggest this is as good as any to start with. It's easy to jump right in and get to know Texan Pru Parke and her gorgeous British Detective Inspector husband Christopher, both very likeable and easy going. Pru is getting qui Marty Wingate has done it again! I have read all the books in the potting shed series of mysteries and she continually and consistently comes up with great plots, unique scenarios, quirky characters and all so brilliantly written! If you haven't read any of this series I would suggest this is as good as any to start with. It's easy to jump right in and get to know Texan Pru Parke and her gorgeous British Detective Inspector husband Christopher, both very likeable and easy going. Pru is getting quite a name for herself in the gardening world and, once again, she is tasked with helping to restore a neglected country garden to its former glory, but before she can meet the owner he is found dead, underneath one of the gardens many statues. Though Christopher is in overall charge of the investigation, Pru, finding the body, just naturally gets involved in the pursuit of the killer. There are several suspicious suspects, including an old girlfriend of Christopher's, lots of red herrings, lots of funny moments, an encounter with a bull called Custard, and plenty of pints drunk in the local pub! A fun read, a clever plot, wonderful descriptions of the local British countryside, and lots of references to plants, all make this a very entertaining mystery.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura Salas

    I am always happy when a new Potting Shed Mystery comes out, and Best-Laid Plants didn't disappoint. It's not just that the books in this series are neatly plotted, with subtle clues planted (hehe) inconspicuously here and there. It's also that they are a total escape. Although I don't like to garden, there is something so inviting about the mysteries that Pru finds herself involved in. The atmosphere of grand old British estates combined with thoroughly modern crimes and a diverse group of inte I am always happy when a new Potting Shed Mystery comes out, and Best-Laid Plants didn't disappoint. It's not just that the books in this series are neatly plotted, with subtle clues planted (hehe) inconspicuously here and there. It's also that they are a total escape. Although I don't like to garden, there is something so inviting about the mysteries that Pru finds herself involved in. The atmosphere of grand old British estates combined with thoroughly modern crimes and a diverse group of interesting people pulls me in. Pru and her detective husband Christopher are so warm and real. Not perfect, but totally relatable. I have been reading (or starting) lots of books lately where I just want to slap the characters, they're so annoying. But here, in Best-Laid Plants, it's only the killer I want caught. This charming mystery was a bit melancholy, revealing missed chances and unnecessary heartbreaks. But it's also a celebration of life, love, beautiful plants, and justice. I love reading about a main character who's smart but not painfully witty, and I love books where the criminal is caught and wrongs of all kinds are righted in one way or another. Bring on Book #7!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.