Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Red Book of Primrose House - Cozy Mystery Review

The Red Book of Primorse House (A Potting Shed Mystery #2) by Marty Wingate (Amazon Link)

Rating: Very Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  Pru Parke has her dream job: head gardener at an eighteenth-century manor house in Sussex. The landscape for Primrose House was laid out in 1806 by renowned designer Humphry Repton in one of his meticulously illustrated Red Books, and the new owners want Pru to restore the estate to its former glory—quickly, as they’re planning to showcase it in less than a year at a summer party.
But life gets in the way of the best laid plans: When not being happily distracted by the romantic attentions of the handsome Inspector Christopher Pearse, Pru is digging into the mystery of her own British roots. Still, she manages to make considerable progress on the vast grounds—until vandals wreak havoc on each of her projects. Then, to her horror, one of her workers is found murdered among the yews. The police have a suspect, but Pru is certain they’re wrong. Once again, Pru finds herself entangled in a thicket of evil intentions—and her, without a hatchet.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoyed the first book in the series and the blurb of this one really caught my attention.

My Impression:  If I made a list of series that I had neglected but for the life of me couldn't figure out why than The Potting Shed Mysteries about American born Gardener working in England, Pru Parke, would have been at the top of my list.

This book starts just a little while after the first book ends.  Pru has started work at her dream job, head gardener at 18th century Primrose House.  The gardens are huge and neglected and the home owners apparently believe in miracles given some of the deadlines they've tasked Pru with but she has a red book from famed landscape designer Humphry Repton to use as a guide.  I was unfamiliar with Repton when I started this book but I've done quite a bit of reading since!  He's really a fascinating man and an incredible designer.

I really liked Pru in the first mystery but felt even more connected with her in this one.  She has some surprising character development where I really felt like I got to know her so much more.  As well, I enjoyed seeing her relationship with Christopher grow and really see her on the job in charge of the gardens of Primrose House.

The mystery starts almost from page one even though the murder itself comes much later.  There are so many questions raised like just what did her original interaction with Ned mean?  Why does Davinia, the owner of Primrose House, seem so on edge - especially where Ned is concerned and just who is behind the acts of vandalism.  While I can't say I was shocked by the reveal I was completely entertained from start to finish.  I'm already looking forward to catching up with Pru and Christopher and seeing just what trouble Pru ends up in the middle of next!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I already have several books in this series and in another series by the same author on my Kindle and I'm looking forward to reading them.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy cozies this is a fun series.  I really enjoy the twist of an American gardener in an English garden.


  1. This sounds like a fun cozy series! Nice that you have more waiting to be read.

  2. So you can read on and no excuse! Yes an American in an English garden sounds like fun. Good to hear it was another great cozy.

  3. This one sounds a lovely holiday read - I hope you've had a great Christmas and a happy new year to you and your family:)

  4. This does sound like a great read, Katherine. I love that the mystery starts right away.

  5. I started this series, and like you, I neglected it. I really ought to get back to them, especially now that I know the second book is also good. Thank you for reminding me to pull them out again!