Cuddle up to a cosy gardening murder mystery

Every month I am sent details of books I can review, and when Seeds of Murder dropped into my in-box I said yes straight away. I generally go for books which are nature or health-based and this is described as a gardening murder mystery. I also enjoy this type of cosy crime mystery – novels that are not too graphic in their depiction of crime and violence but which allow you to play detective and guess who the perpetrator is.

Here is the official book blurb…

Steph Williams has landed her dream gardening job working for the wealthy, gated community of Beaulieu Heights. With her beloved dog Mouse for company, she’s quite content to be left alone to tackle the weeds and tend the flowers. There might be one resident who keeps a locked shed to which Steph is forbidden access, and secret feuds she happens to overhear, but it’s none of her business. That is, until she’s called in front of the neighbourhood committee, accused of blackmailing the residents with notes disclosing their darkest secrets. Now, she’s swapping gardening gloves for a detective’s notebook, with just ten days to clear her name and save her job. The seeds of suspicion have been planted. But when Steph’s investigation leads her to discover some freshly disturbed earth in the shape of a grave, it becomes a race against time to unearth the true culprit’s identity before it’s too late…

But, what did I think? I loved the backdrop of the Beaulieu Heights gardens, and, like when I garden myself, I found the passages of writing where Steph was working in them very relaxing. Whilst these were not too long the book would definitely be more enjoyable if you have a passion for plants and gardening.

The characters were interesting and varied and it’s nice to hear there is a second book, as there is more to come from the lead character, Steph. The star of the show, however, is Mouse her faithful dog! He is almost human-like and it’s a great way to bring in a secondary lead character without over complicating the plot. I was kept guessing who was behind the ‘goings on’ right until the end. Just like in Midsummer Murders, the multiple events and back stories are fantastically ridiculous for one small community.

I recommend you read it whilst reclining in the garden on a warm day. The perfect way to enjoy the fruits of your labours.

Hannah is the author of The Cactus Surgeon, a nature & health memoir. Living in London, Hannah suffered burnout and was diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder. With no information available to help her, she found her own way to get better.

Growing up in a garden centre, her childhood was full of nature and plants. This was in stark contrast to the concrete of the capital, where she became unwell. In searching for the answers to her illness, she wonders whether being torn from her pot and replanted in a more hostile environment was the reason her body started to malfunction.

After seeking out alternative therapies, and moving to the countryside of North Essex, her ‘green recovery’ continued. It’s a book of mindful moments, savouring the small wonders of nature.

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