Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Skeleton Garden - Review

The Skeleton Garden: A Potting Shed Mystery by Marty Wingate
Rating: Good
Source: NetGalley
Description:  USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate's Potting Shed series continues as expert gardener Pru Parke digs up a Nazi warplane - and a fresh murder.  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.  (from Goodreads)

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book: I had really enjoyed the previous book in the series that I read and I couldn't resist the buried World War II era plane buried in the garden!

My Impression:  I read the first book in this series, The Garden Plot soon after it came out and really enjoyed it.  For some reason I missed the next two books even though I had copies but couldn't resist jumping in with book 4.  Thankfully, Stormi, a blogger friend, gave me a quick update on what I had missed so I was ready to go.
I really enjoyed spending time with Pru.  I liked the gardening discussions and getting a look into what it takes to keep up a garden on a big estate in the English countryside.  I also really liked how Pru developed her relationships with Simon, Evelyn, and especially her nephew Orlando.  Her marriage to Christopher, a policeman made her involvement in the investigation make sense.  I really enjoyed Christopher's character as well.  I liked that even though he had more experience with more serious investigations he worked really hard to work with the younger detective, Martin, and not step on his toes. 
I loved the connections to World War 2 in the mystery.  Between the buried plane , the investigation, and the Wartime themed fundraiser it was really interesting.  For me the mystery got off to a bit of a choppy start though this may be because I'm jumping into book 4 after only reading book 1. Once the story got going I was sucked in and really enjoyed the book.  I did guess the who and the why fairly early on but I really wanted to see how it all worked out, find out how certain characters reacted to information, and just spend more time with Pru, Christopher, Simon and everyone else.  
I'm looking forward to going back and seeing what I missed as well as reading what adventures has in store for her next

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely!  I'm really looking forward to the next book and catching up on the books I missed.

Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely!  Especially if you enjoy cozy mysteries and gardening.


  1. The buried plane is a fun idea, and I think the details of gardening on a big estate would be fun too. A lot of times when I read books about those estates I often think how much upkeep would be required! Sounds like a nice touch.

  2. I've seen this series around and wondered about it. Will keep it in mind as I've begun getting back into cozies. The buried plane angle is fun, but I am definitely no gardener. LOL

  3. Sounds like a good series and the array of characters make me want to get to know them. I like the link to WW11 as well. I should read more mystery!

  4. Next to food, gardening is a favorite hobby during the warmer months of the year! Looks like a good cozy!

  5. I am glad you enjoyed the book and that what I told you helped. I really liked Orlando and it was fun seeing Pru with a teen since she never had kids and so really didn't know what to expect while Christopher has a grown son. I can't wait for the next one! :)

  6. It seems I've been reading a lot of fiction set in the WWII years. This book was a most welcome addition for me!

  7. I have the first in this series on my TBR. Glad the series continues to be a good one. That is certainly a twist to have a plane buried underneath an estate's garden. What a find.

  8. The tie in to WWII really appeals to me--a buried plane! I haven't yet tried this series, but I'd like to.