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THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE: a Potting Shed Mystery ~Marty Wingate

“’And in landscape gardening,’ Repton wrote, ‘everything may be called a deception by which we endeavor to conceal the agency of art and make our works appear the sole product of nature.’”

Master Gardener Marty Wingate adds another mystery in the garden for Texas born Pru Parke to dig into and find the root of the problem.  I so enjoyed the first book in the series, THE GARDEN PLOT ,  I was delighted to be sent THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE by TLC Book Tours   for review.   I received an uncorrected, unproofed e- copy so that I could share my excitement during the holiday season with you.

Pru Parke has returned to England to find a master gardener position and restore an historic garden back to its intended splendor.  As luck would have it, Pru and a Police Detective discover a romantic connection and that makes her restoration job at Primrose House even more delightful an opportunity.  The house has already been restored as Hugh and Davina have purchased Primrose House from the Earl of Hamilton.  They are so happy to hire Pru to muster the gardens and are able to give her the hundreds of years old master plans (1806) from the original designer – Humphrey Repton.  His plans are in what is called The Red Book and they contain beautiful descriptions and watercolors of his original concepts and ideas.  Pru hides the valuable book in her cottage on the grounds.   Right away little, strange events begin to happen.

The descriptions of the gardens and the work of digging holes, finding hundreds of roses, repairing masonry walls, dozens of heritage apple trees and terracing the hillside draw an incredible image to the mind’s eye and one can nearly smell the earthy ground work and the greenhouse heaters.

Scary moments begin to happen as are an integral part of any mystery.  There are lights at night and strange noises and then the shed catches fire.  The local newspaper starts a blog about the garden restoration and repeatedly mentions in the post are being singled out for disruption.  The project is damaged and stopped several times and with a deadline fast approaching the pressure is on to discover the culprit.

There is a secondary mystery in THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE as Pru searches to discover if she has any relatives living in England after the death of her British born mum.

The eighteenth-century manor house in Sussex fascinated the gardener from Texas who is being severely tested along with her well – meaning  crew – Ned, Liam and Fergal Duffy, Ivy and Robbie and then all the police.  There are some good pub scenes and the secondary characters add some serious problems and that good British humor and whimsy. The language was fun and kept the pace of the story progressing, developing and moving the reader from cup of tea to cup of tea.

The book was incredibly entertaining and a fun read.  I enjoyed THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE from cover to cover.

From the book jacket:

“Marty Wingate writes about gardens and travel, and she has now combined those two loves with her passion of mysteries.  Mary’s how-to-garden information is available in books, online, and on the radio.  She lives in Seattle with her husband, who shares her love of travel and is always ready for on-the-ground research into pubs and English beer.  Learn more about her at marytwingate.com

Marty Wingate Facebook

The Garden Plot
Supreme Justice
The Fixer Series

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6 Responses to “THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE: a Potting Shed Mystery ~Marty Wingate”

  1. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Patricia — I’ve simply got to tell my friend, Sandi (a Master Gardener and voracious reader) about this series. It sounds like its right up her alley!

    Patricia Reply:

    This is a great read and very fun I would start with THE GARDEN PLOT as this is the second story by Marti Wingate about PRU the master gardener in UK. what a read
    Patricia recently posted..MRS. KAPLAN AND THE MATZOH BALL OF DEATH: A Mystery to Solve ~by Mark ReutlingerMy Profile

  2. Sara Says:

    Wow. I can’t believe this. I just ordered this book. I adored the first one and am looking forward to the second.

    I appreciate your review letting me know I have a lot to look forward to.

    If I’m not mistaken, it was your review of the first book that made buy it and I didn’t regret it:~) This is why I love to visit here and read your reviews!!!
    Sara recently posted..And then she said…My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Oh Sara thank you for your wonder full words….I do not think you will be disappointed with book 2 at all.
    Patricia recently posted..MRS. KAPLAN AND THE MATZOH BALL OF DEATH: A Mystery to Solve ~by Mark ReutlingerMy Profile

  3. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours Says:

    I can always use an entertaining and fun read! I’m glad you can recommend this one.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    Patricia Reply:

    This author is so fun and the information so interesting – I watched one of her lectures on the computer. I needed a light read as I put my garden to bed for winter
    Patricia recently posted..MRS. KAPLAN AND THE MATZOH BALL OF DEATH: A Mystery to Solve ~by Mark ReutlingerMy Profile