You Can’t Beet This Bunch of Gardening Mysteries
With April being National Gardening Month and May being National Mystery Month, now is the perfect time to dig into mysteries set in gardens and flower shops. While the settings might be beautiful and peaceful, they can quickly turn into a scene of murder and mayhem.
Mum’s the Word by Kate Collins
First in the Flower Shop series of cozy mysteries. Abby Knight is the proud owner of her hometown flower shop, but a new low-cost competitor is killing her profits-and a black SUV just rammed her vintage Corvette in a hit-and-run. She’s determined to track down the driver, but when the trail turns deadly, the next flower arrangement might be for her own funeral.
The Garden Plot by Marty Wingate
First book in the Potting Shed cozy series. Pru Parke always dreamed of living in England. And after the Dallas native follows an impulse and moves to London, she can’t imagine ever leaving—though she has yet to find a plum position as a head gardener. Now, as the sublet on her flat nears its end, the threat of forced departure looms. Determined to stay in her beloved adopted country, Pru takes small, private gardening jobs throughout the city.
On one such gig in Chelsea, she makes an extraordinary find. Digging in the soil of a potting shed, Pru uncovers an ancient Roman mosaic. But enthusiasm over her discovery is soon dampened when, two days later, she finds in the same spot a man’s bludgeoned corpse. As the London police swarm her worksite, ever inquisitive Pru can’t quite manage to distance herself from the investigation—much to the dismay of stern Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse. It seems that, much as he tries, even handsome DCI Pearse can’t keep Pru safe from a brutal killer who thinks she’s already dug up too much.
Death in Bloom by Jess Dylan
First in the Flower House mystery series. Sierra Ravenswood is the new part-time employee of the Flower House, a flower shop in Aerieville, Tennessee. It’s true she didn’t expect to be back in her hometown at twenty-eight-years-old, but after her dream of making it as a singer in Nashville crashed and burned, she’s just grateful to have found a soft place to land.
Because, after all, Sierra firmly believes in being optimistic and positive about life, so she’s sure she won’t have to work at the Flower House forever. But things take a decidedly negative turn when a customer drops dead in the middle of her new bouquet-arranging workshop at the store. When it’s discovered he was poisoned by a snack at the event, everyone at the workshop, including Sierra, is on the suspect list. To make matters worse, her boss has gone AWOL and left the store to her for the cost of one dollar, leaving Sierra in charge of both his store and his high-energy Corgi puppy, Gus.
The town is on edge, and Sierra knows that murder is something that an upbeat attitude and a bouquet of sweet-smelling roses can’t fix. She’s determined to figure out whodunit, before anyone else in town meets an untimely reason for needing funeral flowers.
A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber
First book in the Fairy Garden Mysteries. Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder … Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when Courtney was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic.
A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father’s landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes. Now she’s starting a book club tea.
But the light of the magical world she’s created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside her patio fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected source.
Arsenic in the Azaleas by Dale Mayer
First in the Lovely Lethel Gardens series. After her ex-husband leaves her high and dry, former socialite Doreen Montgomery’s chance at a new life comes in the form of her grandmother, Nan’s, dilapidated old house in picturesque Kelowna … and the added job of caring for the animals Nan couldn’t take into assisted living with her: Thaddeus, the loquacious African gray parrot with a ripe vocabulary, and his buddy, Goliath, a monster-size cat with an equally monstrous attitude.
It’s the new start Doreen and her beloved basset hound, Mugs, desperately need. But, just as things start to look up for Doreen, Goliath the cat and Mugs the dog find a human finger in Nan’s overrun garden.
And not just a finger. Once the police start digging, the rest of the body turns up and turns out to be connected to an old unsolved crime.
With her grandmother as the prime suspect, Doreen soon finds herself stumbling over clues and getting on Corporal Mack Moreau’s last nerve, as she does her best to prove her beloved Nan innocent of murder.
A Muddied Murder by Wendy Tyson
A Greenhouse Mystery book. When Megan Sawyer gives up her big-city law career to care for her grandmother and run the family’s organic farm and café, she expects to find peace and tranquility in her scenic hometown of Winsome, Pennsylvania. Instead, her goat goes missing, rain muddies her fields, the town denies her business permits, and her family’s Colonial-era farm sucks up the remains of her savings.
Just when she thinks she’s reached the bottom of the rain barrel, Megan and the town’s hunky veterinarian discover the local zoning commissioner’s battered body in her barn. Now Megan is thrust into the middle of a murder investigation—and she’s the chief suspect. Can Megan dig through small-town secrets, local politics, and old grievances in time to find a killer before that killer strikes again?
Flowerbed of State by Dorothy St. James
In celebration of National Gardening and National Mystery Months, enjoy a cozy mystery set in the beautiful but somethings deadly setting of a garden.
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