Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Skeleton Garden: A Book Review

I received this book from NetGalley, through the courtesy of Alibi/Random House. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

The Skeleton Garden

Texas transplant Pru Parke has put down roots in England, but she never dreamed she’d live in a grand place such as Greenoak. When her former employers offer Pru and her new husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, the use of their nineteenth-century estate while they’re away for a year, she jumps at the chance. Sweetening the deal is the prospect of further bonding with her long-lost brother, Simon, who happens to be Greenoak’s head gardener. But the majestic manor has at least one skeleton in its closet—or, rather, its garden.

Working on renovations to the extensive grounds, siblings Pru and Simon squabble about everything from boxwood to bay hedges. But when the removal of a half-dead tree turns up the wreckage of a World War II–era German fighter plane and a pile of bones, the arguments stop. That is, until a rival from Simon’s past pays a surprise visit and creates even more upheaval. It’s suddenly clear someone is unhappy their secrets have been unearthed. Still, Pru’s not about to sit back and let Simon take the fall for the dirty deed without a fight.

I love mysteries, although I haven't read many of them lately.  When I was given this book to read and review, I thought it would be a fun read.  But I struggled through it and it took me 3 weeks to read this short book.

The beginning of the book was hard for me to grasp as the characters were introduced.  I found myself flipping back and forth between pages trying to understand who each character was.  The character would come into the book and then later, Wingate would introduce them.  And the writing was hard to understand in the beginning.  I felt like Wingate was using European English to talk about the little English town despite the main character being American.

Once I got used to the writing and all the characters were introduced, the book was easier to read.  Not faster as I felt there was a lot of "fluff" and non important information in the story.  I did enjoy the referrals to World War II but the side stories and conversations weren't all that interesting and dragged the actual mystery out.

I have never read any of the other Potting Shed Mysteries, and while the story referred to other books, they weren't necessary to understand the plot of this book.  While I liked Pru, I'm not sure I'll read any of the others.