Pru Parke always dreamed of living in England. And after the Dallas native follows an impulse and moves to London, she can’t imagine ever leaving—though she has yet to find a plum position as a head gardener. Now, as the sublet on her flat nears its end, the threat of forced departure looms. Determined to stay in her beloved adopted country, Pru takes small, private gardening jobs throughout the city.

On one such gig in Chelsea, she makes an extraordinary find. Digging in the soil of a potting shed, Pru uncovers an ancient Roman mosaic. But enthusiasm over her discovery is soon dampened when, two days later, she finds in the same spot a man’s bludgeoned corpse. As the London police swarm her work site, ever inquisitive Pru can’t quite manage to distance herself from the investigation—much to the dismay of stern Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse. It seems that, much as he tries, even handsome DCI Pearse can’t keep Pru safe from a brutal killer who thinks she’s already dug up too much. (From

Bubby: Unfortunately for our readers, both Sissy and I are zombies today. I think that perhaps if I fill the bathtub with diet Coke and submerge myself, I might be able to have half a brain. I think Sissy is worse off though, and cannot be saved. Given these circumstances, I am so glad we have a great book to review. Right Sissy? Sissy? SISSY!

Sissy: I’m here. In body. I thought about bringing you a diet Coke on my way here but obviously that wouldn’t have been nearly enough to bring you out of your current coma. As I was NOT sleeping at 2:00 this morning, I was ruminating about how fab it would be to just take off and go live in England for a bit. My son lives in England right now and even though he loves the people he has met, the thing he talks about most is how wet and cold he is all the time. What a fantasy killer. Nevertheless, all the while reading The Garden Plot I was pulling for Pru to get a job so that she could stay in England, where her heart was. I though it was very clever how Marty Wingate puts a rejection letter from prospective employers at the beginning of every chapter.

Bubby: It was quite clever, especially as each of them talked about different strengths and qualities of poor Pru. If she had been a Brit instead of an expat American, I think many of those jobs would have been hers for the asking!

Sissy: She actually had dual citizenship because her mother was British.  Bubby and I are almost totally British American (there are whisperings of some French Huguenots in there somewhere but nobody can prove it) so I think we should be welcomed with open arms, should we ever cross the pond, by “our people.”  Notwithstanding the revolution and all that. Get over it, already!  One of my new British friends I have met through my son has told me she is trying to get rid of his American accent and turn him into a proper English gentleman.  Speaking of which, Pru meets a lovely one, and the ensuing romance is quite satisfying.  Kudos to the author for making middle-aged women vital and sexy!

Bubby:  Wow, sissy, it looks like you might have finally awakened!  I loved detective inspector Christopher Pearse and the romance that unfolds between him and Pru.  He keeps finding Pru in “hinky” situations, any one of which would cause one to consider abandoning the relationship, but he perseveres!  We see so much showy, flashy, overly physical romance in the books which become available to us, so it was refreshing to have a romantic lead who sees our girl’s heart first and falls for her–patiently waiting for and believing in her.

Sissy:  Most of all, I identified with Pru and was so grateful for her happy ending!  That is not a spoiler because I refuse to read books that don’t have a happy ending; therefore you can rest assured that there will be no book reviewed herein that does not meet a certain requisite happiness quota.  My adult children are always helpfully on the lookout for me–in conversations about movies one might often hear “No, mom should not see that.”

Bubby:  I agree.  I refused to see the play that my son and his friends were involved with at the high school last year because it was too sad.  I don’t want to see the one they are currently doing for the same reason, but I have been told I will be labeled an unfit mother if I don’t attend, so…

Sissy:  The Garden Plot is a charming cosy mystery/romance full of interesting characters and a very relate-able heroine.  Beware creepy neighbors who attach climbing rungs to your shared back fence!  4 bubbles.

Bubby:  Yeah for a delightful contemporary story set in England!  Yeah for English gardens and handsome detective chief inspectors!  4 bubbles from me.

Click HERE to buy The Garden Plot by Marty Wingate at

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