What happens when a Master Gardener innocently plants packets of magical seeds from the Peruvian Amazon in experimental plots operated by New Anglia s agricultural college? Why does Bemis International Group, Agricultural Chemicals Division (BIG AG) feel so threatened by the plants those seeds produce? What is the mysterious eco-terrorism group doing to save the monarch butterfly?
Author Rolf Margenau revisits the twenty-year-old hero of Public Information, Wylie Cypher, in his seventy-fifth year. He is a volunteer Master Gardener and is involved with four women plus Emma, his Weimaraner. One of those women is responsible for the plants that threaten to destabilize the comfortable world of seeds genetically engineered to withstand potent weed killers. Another is Wylie s bitter ex-wife. The third is a granddaughter who lives with him as she completes law school and the fourth, Linda, is his former nurse who gives new meaning to septuagenarians living in sin.
Wylie has had a career as an international attorney. He employs his negotiating and legal skills with varying degrees of success in resolving numerous challenges that arise during the fourteen-month period of the story. Mainly, he tries to save fellow Master Gardener Anne Proctor from ruin at the hands of BIG AG. In doing so, he leads an expedition to the jungles of the Peruvian Amazon to search for magic beans, corn and wheat.
Elizabeth Pendleton Crangle ( Bitsy ) is an unlikely eco-terrorist whose monthly newspaper column offers timely gardening advice at the beginning of each chapter. Her guidance is spot on, but she does have a bit of an attitude. Gardeners will appreciate her suggestions that, as Bitsy says, will guarantee blissful gardening.
Dick Geier, the ruthless and profane CEO of BIG AG, engages in corporate shenanigans that reflect current headlines. Among other things, he manages a program that infiltrates Master Gardener organizations throughout the country, and finds new and unethical ways to enrich himself and his cronies.
The author tells the story with sharp insight and ribald humor.Lawyers, tycoons, politicians, young and old lovers, windbags and adventurers populate his story. The characters interact in Dickensian fashion, and most of them receive their just deserts.
The book has received critical acclaim from The Sacramento Book Review, Reader Views, The Portland Book Review and other authors.
About the Author
Bestselling author Rolf Margenau has written four novels and published two photography books. The novels feature a main character named Wylie Cypher, first seen as a twenty-year-old college dropout who comes of age during the Korean War. At forty, Wylie is a successful but burned out lawyer with a failing marriage. He tries to find lost youth on a trek with his daughter through the high Andes. Instead, he finds mayhem, murder, a devastating civil war in Peru, and loses a toe. Retired, in his mid-sixties, Wylie does battle with BIG AG as a Master Gardener. He befriends a group of eco-terrorists who help save the Monarch butterfly. Then in a novel called National Parks, an aged Wylie lives in a dystopian future where Congress attempts to sell off our national parks to bail out a bankrupt country. The novels featuring a younger Wylie are realistic with a dose of humor. The books about older Wylie are solidly satirical. Critics find them very funny, but meaningful and thought provoking. Rolf Margenau lives amid farmland in northern New Jersey with his first wife of over sixty years. He is now working on a new novel, Longevity. It's about a process that extends human life by 30-35 years. What could possibly be bad about that?