Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Murder in the Secret Garden

Author:  Ellery Adams
Series:  A Book Retreat Mystery #3
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Berkley
Publication Date:  August 2, 2016

Description:  There is a hidden garden bordering the grounds of Jane Steward’s book-themed resort—a 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, as described in the pages of Frances Hodges Burnett's classic novel, 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.

With thousands of books at her disposal, Jane believes she has the proper materials to solve this deadly problem. If she’s wrong, however, she may lose something far more precious than the contents of Storyton’s secret library.

My Review

I am a huge fan of this author and all of her series so whenever there is a new release it is an automatic buy for me.  Each book she writes is pure enjoyment and never disappoints. Murder in the Secret Garden, which is the third book in the Book Retreat Mystery series is no exception.  In my opinion, I think this is the best book to date in the series and I have loved them all.

The story is well written with a nice steady pace.  What I love about this author is her talent to create stories that have idyllic settings and wonderful characters that transport readers into that world and allows them to become immersed in the story.  Storyton Hall is the perfect setting for the Book Retreats and Jane Steward is the perfect Guardian for its secrets.  I mean who wouldn't want to attend a book retreat in an old English manner transported to Virginia with all of its secrets and mysteries.  And that's just the setting.  The characters in this story a rich and dimensional.  They are real and tangible in such a way that the reader connects with them.  Jane is a wonderful heroine for this story; she is loyal, caring, spirited and while daunted by the task of restoring Storyton Hall she perseveres despite whatever happens.  In this third book we get a better understanding of Edwin Alcott and his background, which provides for a nice twist.  I like how the relationship between him and Jane is progressing and it will be interesting to see where the author takes this part of the story.

The mystery is clever and has plenty of moving parts.  There are two different murders and it is up to Jane and the Fins to figure out if and how they are related.  As a result, there are plenty of suspects with differing motives and the author does a terrific job of weaving clues throughout the book.  I didn't figure out the identity of either killer until each was revealed to Jane.  Both mysteries are wrapped up nicely and provided a nice twist in how the two were connected.

This was a great read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a story that will transport you to another place and provide you with hours of entertainment.  I would suggest the books be read in order as it helps with the understanding the mythology in the book.  If you haven't tried this series yet, you won't be disappointed.  I can't wait for the next installment.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your review. I've not read any of her books.