by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an e-book copy of The Bluebonnet Betrayal, and a link to order it from Amazon.
In the two years since Pru Parke moved from Texas to her mother’s homeland in England, Pru’s life has transformed in ways she could never have imagined. Now married to former London Met detective chief inspector Christopher Pearse and settled in at Hampshire’s Greenoak, Pru receives the offer of a lifetime. The passionate gardener is being asked by the Austin Rock Garden Society to act as a liaison at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show until their arrival. Pru barely has time to pack a bag before she finds herself at Christopher’s London flat in Chiswick, a location that allows her to be close and on the scene as she helps to create the ARGS vision. A recreation of a spring day in the Texas hill country, the exhibit will feature the Texas bluebonnet and its glorious blue intensity.
Although Pru had hoped to only be a temporary stand-in before the Austin ladies arrived, she finds herself inundated by texts, calls, and emails from the trendy garden designer as well as the young biofuel scientist sponsor. The contractor Mr. Chiverton (Chiv) proves to be a gardening whiz, but any conversations with him lasting longer than a minute raises the ire of his territorial business and personal partner Iris Bright. The eventual arrival of the ARGS (still minus their president Twyla Woodford) seems to add more items to Pru’s task list than remove them, and keeping them on task proves to be akin to herding cats. Twyla’s welcome presence comes late and all too briefly, as her body is discovered horrifically buried in their garden’s rock wall.
The London detective chief inspector turns out to be Christopher’s former sergeant, and perhaps feeling the need to prove himself, he orders both Pru and Christopher to stay far away from the case. That proves to be impossible when Pru hears the voice of Twyla whispering in her head, and although Pru worries about her sanity, Christopher doesn’t hesitate to join her by working undercover alongside her. It seems that Twyla had stirred up romantic rivalries within those at the Chelsea Flower Show, and Pru and her husband will have their hands full sorting out alibis and motives.
This fifth in the Potting Shed Mystery series is a pleasure to read on so many fronts, from the likable characters to the descriptions of gardening. Even those with black thumbs will be enchanted. The scenes of Pru’s daily activities in London are just as delightful, including her morning breakfasts, pub lunches, and therapeutic talks and walks with the neighbor’s dog. The Chelsea Flower Show is a world unto itself, with sponsors profiting off of the promotions while celebrities appear to enhance their images. The sizzling chemistry between Christopher and Pru hasn’t lessened one bit, and despite their maturity, they are newlyweds in every sense of the word. Pru’s attachment to the garden, her need to fulfill Twyla’s vision, and her support of her husband make her an admirable heroine, with a witty sense of humor and sharp intelligence. This series just gets better and better.
To enter to win an e-book copy of Death of an Bluebonnet Betrayal, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “bluebonnet,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 17, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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