by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Murder in the Secret Garden, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and also one to purchase it from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy where a portion goes to help support KRL.
At West Virginia’s Storyton Hall, Jane Seward strives to host book-themed retreats for guests longing to escape from the busy world inundated by technology and high tech social media. The manager’s latest endeavor involves the Medieval Herbalists, a gathering of men and women devoted to the study, practice, and appreciation of the medieval use of herbs. So when one of their members, a photographer in the erotic style of Georgia O’Keefe, is found drowned and possibly poisoned during the town’s annual rubber duck race, there is an abundance of knowledgeable suspects.
As the manager of Storyton Hall, Jane feels it is her duty to protect her guests, no matter how much they might irritate her. That includes the Poison Princess, a celebrity television “expert” who revels and takes joy in the destructive powers of poisonous plants. Jane has also recently discovered her other role in life—-Guardian of Storyton Hall’s unbelievably impressive and priceless library of historically impactful tomes. Jane hopes to display for the first time one of its amazing books, with the eventual goal of selling one or two to fund repairs and restore the manor to its former prestigious state. A theft during a wedding being hosted on the premises threatens all of Jane’s hopes, especially when the most likely culprit is the man who has also stolen her heart.
This is a delightful series that starts with a simple premise—-a book-themed guest manor–and expands it through the introduction of an entirely new fascinating mythology. There are warring factions, sparring philosophies, and warriors who have been trained for generations solely to protect the knowledge held between pages. Jane faces a dilemma familiar to librarians across the world; should one protect and preserve books to the point that no one will ever be able to see them?
The mother of twin boys proves to be a stellar investigator, as devoted to her family as to protecting Storyton Hall and her guests. She is steadfastly supported by the Fins, ostensibly the Hall staff but actually trained soldiers and security experts. Throughout this series, readers learn with Jane her duties and responsibilities, and it so worth the journey. The conclusion is unexpected, tragic, and ultimately redemptive, ensuring for an extremely satisfying blend of bibliophilic mystery and fantasy lore.
To enter to win a copy of Murder in the Secret Garden, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “secret,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 27, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.
Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
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