Tuesday 2 April 2024

Murder Takes Root (The Gardener Mysteries Book 2) By Rosie Sandler (2024)



Steph is excited to get her hands stuck into her latest gardening project. This time, she's been commissioned by Lady Clara of Ashford Manor to restore the stately gardens to their former glory.

But the estate is suddenly thrown into chaos when a dead body is discovered in one of the rooms. The police rule it as suicide, though Steph's convinced they're barking up the wrong tree. Because she knows the deceased better than they do and it could only be one thing: murder. And if the police won't listen to her, then Steph will have to get to the bottom of the case herself.

As Steph starts digging for the truth, it seems the staff are hiding more than it seems. But one thing is for sure, she's not going to let the killer lead her up the garden path...

Gardener turned amateur sleuth Steph and her adorable dog are on the search for a killer in this highly gripping and unputdownable cosy crime novel. Fans of Richard Coles, Fiona Leitch and Sarah Yarwood-Lovett will be hooked from beginning to end.

This is the second book in what's turning out to be a wonderful series. Steph's latest gardening project is on the Ashford Manor estate and it quickly becomes clear that an infestation in the garden will be the least of her worries. Sir Angus a nonagenarian who thinks someone is poisoning him, shouting and arguing in the middle of the night, a hostile and secretive head gardener and a suspicious sudden death all create a tense atmosphere of mystery and danger. 
Lightheartedness and heartwarming scenes emerge primarily with Steph's dog, Mouse and the estate's dog, Belle. The side characters are a friendly and likable bunch of people and it made me sad when the murder happened as the young victim was fun loving and had taken on the responsibility of caring for his autistic brother.

The mystery kept me guessing as there were one or two characters I thought could definitely be involved and I was surprised when the big reveal came. 

Because of the temporary nature of Steph's jobs there aren't a lot of recurring characters such as friends or romantic interests for Steph. But, her family do make appearrances and I so enjoyed their interactions especially those between Steph and her Dad. I'm intrigued as to what will happen when Steph meets her biological mum!

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