The Garden Plot (Potting Shed Mystery Series #1)

The Garden Plot (Potting Shed Mystery Series #1)

by Marty Wingate

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804177702
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Series: Potting Shed Mystery Series , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 290
Sales rank: 43,337
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate is a regular contributor to Country Gardens as well as other magazines. She also leads gardening tours throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and North America. The Garden Plot is her first novel. More Potting Shed mysteries are planned.

Read an Excerpt


He couldn’t stay away. The thought of what lay beneath the earthen floor had consumed him for months. He’d let it slip only once, and at first he thought it wouldn’t be noticed, but no luck. He’d been asked and asked until he shared details. Details led to plans, and plans led to grandiose dreams of fame and fortune; these had temporarily taken over his more sensible side. Now he had acquired a “partner”—an unwanted partner, one he wished with all his heart he could shed.

He stepped past the pots of faded pelargoniums—They certainly do need a gardener, he thought, but why now?—and down the stairs, then let himself in quietly and pulled the door to, not wanting to risk another sound that might set the dog off. First morning light wasn’t what it used to be—the autumn sun rose later and later, and on this day, fog dimmed the light even more. He dared not switch on a light, and so he moved carefully through the basement.

Up and out into the back garden, he stopped for a moment to make sure no one watched. Moving along the wall, he walked to the shed. He had been surprised to see the ivy cleared away. It made his task easier, but it made it easier for others, too, and that worried him. The fewer people who knew the real secret, the better. He’d already made one enormous mistake; he didn’t want to make any more.

He wanted only to look again, perhaps dig a bit, just to feel as if he were doing something. If he could find one of the markers, he could use it as evidence that he was no amateur, but a professional who could find and recover new—old—pieces of history. He took off his coat, then reached over and pulled one of the spades off the wall. He uncovered the mosaic again and then dug deeper. Water seeped into the hole, and he smiled to himself. Yes, he thought, you stay safe down there.

He plunged the spade in one more time and heard a metallic sound. Reaching down into the muck, his hand grasped the small treasure he sought.

“Digging? Have you reconsidered?”

He turned abruptly, not realizing he’d been followed. A wisp of fog trailed behind the speaker, like a ghostly companion.

“No, not really digging,” he said, clutching the treasure in his hand while he leaned the spade up against the wall. “I told you, we can’t disturb the place. This is too important.”

“Important? To whom? Will you really let this slip away while the others take the glory—and the money—away from you? From us?”

It was the same argument. But only a trace of temptation remained; he brushed it aside for good, he was finished with those thoughts. He turned to get his coat and had just put it on when the spade came down on his skull.

Customer Reviews

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The Garden Plot 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
RandeeBaty More than 1 year ago
I've been known to compare cozy mysteries to various foods such as marshmallows and cupcakes. This one I would have to compare to one of those fabulous desserts that has whipped cream and chocolate and nuts and a great crust. You're so happy that you choose to eat dessert that night and you're so satisfied when your plate is clean. I enjoyed this book that much. Pru Parke is an American ex-pat gardener living in London after the death of her mom who was British. Even though Pru's dad was American and she grew up in Dallas, England felt more like home to her because everything her mom had told her and how she had brought her up. She has decided that if she can't find a permanent job in one year, she's going back to Texas and a guaranteed job. As she takes on one of her last jobs in London, a body turning up in the garden she's working on throws her life into turmoil. One of the strengths of this book is the character of the, well, characters. They were good people trying to do the right things, except for the villains and they obviously had to be villainous. I don't enjoy books where the good guys are rude to each other or sarcastic or hate each other through most of the book. While there were a few instances of people doing things that rational thought should have told them not to do, it wasn't ever out of spite or meanness. These characters felt and acted like the friends and family they were supposed to be to each other. The romance was pleasant without all the angst that some writers can't seem to do without. I found everything about this book to be enjoyable. I loved the London atmosphere, the characters were likeable people that I could enjoy, the mystery was well done, the writing was smooth and the editing was professional. I hope we get to visit with Pru Parke and her friends a lot more in the future. I received this book through Netgalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not familiar with plant and flower names and species, but I was able to enjoy this book with them included. I am no gardener and this gave me insight and appreciation for those who do. The characters where well developed and you were not bogged down by details you didn't need for the story line, yet you were able to feel connected to each character. Can't wait for the next book!
ArizonaJo More than 1 year ago
I will confess that I am not a gardener and plants do thank me for that as I have a black thumb. Now that I have said that - I loved this book. I hope this is the first in a series by Marty Wingate because I would love to read more about Pru Parke and DCI Christopher Pearse. Pru is from Dallas, TX where she was born to an American father and a British mother. She has moved to London now that her mother has passed away. She had always dreamed of living and working in England thanks to her mother's stories as she was growing up. She is a professional gardener who has studied English gardens and knows the historical and contemporary gardens of England. She is a mature (50+), self-reliant woman who can also be quite stubborn. She has given herself one year in England to get a permanent job or she has to move back to Texas. The story begins during her last month in England and she still hasn't obtained a permanent post as a gardener. She does odd gardening jobs for private home owners; but she's about to run out of money and the return to Texas is looming. It's at her newest odd job where she stumbles - literally - over a dead body and the mystery begins. The author began each chapter with a rejection letter from a prospective employer that Pru had sent an application to for a job as a gardener. I thought that this was a clever way for me to get to know Pru a little better because of her thoughts and reactions to each letter. The mystery was well plotted and moved along at a good pace. Her character development was excellent and I really felt like I knew all of the caracters in the book. Her romance with DCI Pearse is quite lovely as they take their time getting to know each other. This made sense to me since both character knew that Pru might have to leave. The ending made me smile and cheer for Pru as Marty gave us a simple HEA that will hopefully leave the door open for more adventures for Pru with DCI Pearse. I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The main character is pursuing a new life by moving from Texas to Great Britain. Along with creating or recovering gardens, she stumbles across a murder victim. I learned historical gardening bits. The next book is out November, 2014. I liked the characters and want to know what happens next?
CARFL More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this series. I don't garden but still enjoyed it! Can't wait for the next book in the series to come out. I have already pre-ordered it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An easy read. Fun to hear the quirky differences between American English and British English. Liked that romance was underplayed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, found it hard to put down. Can't wait for the next adventure with Pru!
Annefj More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it tremendously. I plan on reading anything else she writes!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an easy to read, not long story that was so enjoyable. Highly recommend for readers of light mysteries.
Anonymous 3 days ago
csrsvivr More than 1 year ago
Pru Parke from Dallas, Texas finds herself in London living in a rental flat, doing odd jobs to survive. Her dream job is to oversee and develop some of England’s beautiful gardens. She has allowed herself one year to accomplish this task. One of her new work sites ends up a murder scene and she meets Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse. Will Pru meet her deadline? Will she assist in solving the murder? First in the series and I bought the rest of the series to see where it goes. Great Read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What do you do if you are a brilliant American gardener seeking head gardener position in Britain? Get buried in a murder mystery plot of course! Texan transplant Pru Parke finds herself caught up in a murder investigation in London when all she wants is to fulfill her dream of becoming a head gardener at a historic home anywhere in Britain. Marty Wingate has crafted believable characters and an enjoyable mystery that leaves the reader feeling good at the end of the story. If you are looking for a fun, cozy, and enjoyable mystery to read then I definitely recommend this book.
KarenSue More than 1 year ago
Nice cozy mystery. I liked the characters so much that I bought the rest of the series and am waiting on a new release. Good mixture of US and British characters.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: The Garden Plot - Potting Shed Mystery 1 Author: Marty Wingate Published: 5-6-2014 Publisher: Random House Publishing Group/Alibi Pages: 268 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Amateur Sleuths; Cozy Mystery ISBN: 9780804177702 ASIN: B00GL3Q176 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4 Stars . Pru Parke is a middle aged woman who decides to move from Dallas, Texas to England in order to learn more of her heritage. With the death of her mother and the breakup of a longstanding relationship her last ties to the states are severed and she is free to follow her dream. Pru, a gardener and landscape designer has given herself one year to find a permanent job to support herself preferably as a head Gardner for a historical estate, thus combining her passion and experience of gardening. What she hadn't planned on was finding a dead body in the potting shed. It is through her growing relationship with Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearce that Pru is able to keep abreast of and help with the investigation. Which considering she starts out as a person of interest is not a bad thing. The concept is unique in that we have an American transplant trying to find her way in an unknown environment. She has shown she has courage and is not afraid of hard work by her actions. All of the characters are just as well rounded and believable. As this is the first in what I hope is a long standing series it has a few slow spots, but on the whole is a rather quick read. The story line stays on track without jumping round from scene to scene, There are a few twist and turns to keep it interesting and the reader involved. My rating is 4 out of 5 stars. I believe this series will appeal to cozy lovers, those with an interest in gardening especially the history of English gardens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank heavens there are still talented storytellers in our world who do not depend on blood'n'guts and porn to weave a good tale! Kitt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little mystery
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the characters and location.
dgvt More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this well written book  it had many twists and turns - look forward to the next one with pru.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was such a great, easy, and exciting read! I am so looking forward to the second book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
zhela More than 1 year ago
i bought this for my mother and she liked it so much i am reading it. if you like mysteries be sure to give this a read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This cozy mystery is the first of a series. Pru moves to England starting a new chapter of her life in her 50s. There is a lot about gardening but evenly sorted with interesting characters and Pru stumbling into a murder scene. There is humor and a lovely romance throughout. If you are looking for a cozy ,mystery that is light and fun, this is it. Took my mind off everyday stress and was just delightful. Primrose House is the next book and I was happy to learn that the 3rd book of the series will be out this August.
SewGaga More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book! Being 50+ and having the love of digging in the dirt myself, I could connect easily with Pru. I loved her character and her tenacity, although I found myself thinking several times "just  leave it alone!!!", but that is what made it  such a good read and one that was hard to put down. I can't wait  to read more garden mysteries and find out whether Pru will end up staying in her beloved England!
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