Murder in the Secret Garden
by Ellery Adams
Mass Market Paperback:
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: August 2, 2016
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
There is a hidden garden filled with beautiful but deadly plants such as mandrake and nightshade. Tucked away behind ivy-covered walls and accessible only through a single locked door, the garden is of special interest to Jane’s current group of guests, The Medieval Herbalists. But when one of them turns up dead, Jane must discover whether a member of the group has come to Storyton Hall to celebrate their passion for plant lore or to implement a particularly cruel means for murder.
Murder in the Secret Garden is a cozy mystery and the third book in the series. You don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one, and this story didn't spoil the previous mysteries.
There is a "secret" garden in the sense that a group of gardeners and herbalists visit a hermit who has a walled garden, but it's only briefly mentioned in the story. Herbal knowledge didn't play much of a role in solving the murder, either. But the mystery was interesting enough that I kept reading, and the main characters were nice, interesting people.
The main characters belong to a secret-society security detail for the resort/hidden library, so they used their skills to investigate. Due to this sense of having equal right (and need) to investigate, the heroine took a piece of evidence from a scene so she could have first look at it. She otherwise had a good relationship with the official investigators.
It's a clue-based mystery, and they looked for solid evidence like the police did. I realized whodunit before the heroine, but there were a number of possible suspects until the last few clues were found. There was no sex. There was occasional use of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this cozy mystery.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.