Alibi – Random House
Pru is an English Gardener from Texas. She has given herself a year to find a full time position as a head gardener before she must return to Texas and pick up her old job and her old life. She is nearing the end of the year at the start of the book. (We are reminded of her situation through an assortment of delightful rejection letters.) While she is waiting for the head gardener position, she has been working as a contract gardener for a variety of people.
The Wilson’s hire her to fix up their back yard for them and in the process she finds some Roman mosaic. That is exciting enough, but the next day she discovers a body lying on the mosaic. The police come and particularly Detective Inspector Pearse.
The Garden Plot is part mystery, part romance and part whimsy and all thoroughly enjoyable. Pru is refreshing as a fifty something woman who has set herself a goal and is determined to achieve the goal by her standard. The D.I. Pearse is not over done. He is a police man through and through, but leavened with wit, compassion and an interest in badgers.
The other characters that wander through the story are written to be well rounded and interesting, and they populate the story to give it flavour and just the right amount of chaos.
I recommend The Garden Plot for mystery lovers and garden lovers alike.