The Skeleton Garden by Marty Wingate {Book Review}

I received an ebook copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Skeleton Garden by Marty WingateTitle: The Skeleton Garden
Pages: 294

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.

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Leels Loves Books Book Reviews

I found this book to be slow, confusing, but definitely a mystery.

I found the story to be incredibly slow. We were given a lot of information that I am not sure was warranted or necessary. I would say the first half of the book was just following the ins and outs of Pru’s day. Not quite sure I can say it linked in with the mystery part of the story.

I think the extensive detail and information that was provided lent to a lot of my confusion, but I was also confused with timelines. I am not 100% sure what the time period was of the book. At times, I felt it was present time and then times felt it was past time and I had an incredibly difficult time keeping it straight.

Aside from those two things, the mystery itself was good. Definitely one that has the wheels spinning and you don’t figure out until the book does (which I love in a mystery story.)

There were a lot of “suspects” in the mystery and it was fun to narrow it down. I have to admit, I was quite surprised at who the actual criminal was, and enjoyed reading the mystery part of the book.

If you can get past the slowness in the beginning, it really is a great mystery read!

About the Author

Marty WingateMarty Wingate is a Seattle-based writer and speaker about gardens and travel. She is the author of the Potting Shed mysteries from Random House/Alibi, about Pru Parke, middle-aged American gardener who moves to England and digs up more than weeds. The first two in the series are The Garden Plot and The Red Book of Primrose House, followed by the third in late summer 2015. Her new cozy mystery series, Birds of a Feather, begins in June 2015 with The Rhyme of the Magpie. You can hear Marty on the podcast A Dry Rain, free from iTunes and always available at She leads garden tours to European and North American destinations.

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