Book Review: Anthony Eglin’s English Garden Mystery Series

On the library online catalog, I searched ‘Garden’ (surprise, surprise), but was actually, well…..surprised,…to note that the search also brought up some fiction.

First on the list I selected a book by Anthony Eglin, titled, ‘The Lost Gardens’. *I didn’t realize this was actual the second book in his five book series, but it turned out not to matter much.*

I was definitely engrossed in these easy yet enjoyable reads, and I quickly devoured the series, which includes the titles:

The Blue Rose

(aforementioned) The Lost Gardens

The Water Lily Cross

The Trail of the Wild Rose

Garden of Secrets Past

 

I was intrigued, even before reading the book, at its description of it being a ‘cozy mystery novel’, a phrase I hadn’t ever heard, not being a big ‘mystery genre’ reader. If you’re interested in what this refers to, click here: http://www.cozy-mystery.com/Definition-of-a-Cozy-Mystery.html

Retired botany professor, recent widower, and crossword puzzle aficionado Lawrence Kingston becomes involved in amateur sleuthing with the first novel, The Blue Rose, in which a young couple purchases a country home with extensive, and overgrown and neglected, gardens, discovering the unimaginable, and impossible: a true blue rose.

Kingston’s help and advice is sought by the couple, and as word slowly gets out, the amazing situation turns dangerous as greedy plant breeders queue up, some resorting to thievery or even murder, to get the here-to-fore thought-impossible rose specimen.

Not only does the mystery twist and turn, but non-fictional aspects drew me in to this, and each, story — plant lore, facts, and information were really interesting, and have definitely enticed me to learn more about various historical aspects of gardening, including the famed English formal gardens and kitchen gardens which were described beautifully in the books.

Entertaining yet light, I greatly enjoyed each book, and wish there were more than five! I would be hard-pressed to pick my favorite, though I think if forced to choose, The Water Lily Cross stood out as being unique among them, and being a bit more dramatic than the rest.

If you, like me, need a break from non-fiction how-to’s about composting, give these a try.

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