by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a signed copy of The Garden Club Murder, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore.
Letitia “Tish” Tarragon, perfect name for a chef, is the proud owner of Cookin’ the Books Café and Catering, a marvelous destination that combines the best of two worlds…books and food. Divorced a year ago, she has set up her business in the delightful historic early twentieth century clapboard building in Hobson Glen, Virginia. Her style has been described as a “literary caterer” providing a Midsummer’s Night lawn party, Wonderland tea party, a Christie-inspired murder mystery dinner, or an English Garden luncheon. She also has cookbooks from around the world and a lending library for all to enjoy. Along with the literary theme and delicious food creations, she has a couple of friends to provide her with personal and professional support: BFF Mary Jo “MJ” Okensholt and Julian “Jules” Jefferson Davis, Channel Ten’s weatherman and cocktail designer extraordinaire. A great cast of characters and…murder!
Cookin’ the Books (March 2019)
The Garden Club Murder (Sept. 2019)
The Garden Club Murder earns 5/5 Garden Spades…Entertaining Fun!
Tish, along with BFF and favorite bartender Jules, will be spending the weekend catering a garden awards reception at Colton Creek Sixty-Plus Community. Tish’s catering style uniquely combines a literary theme for her events, and the residents are excited to see how The Secret Garden will be incorporated into the festivities. But, it’s the garden competition that holds the most excitement…well, the most competitive anxiety and…murder! Participants have created the most beautiful gardens, but each contestant seems more interested in de-throning retired businessman Sloane Shackleford who has been crowned winner the past five years. Unfortunately, someone literally took out the competition. Tish and Jules we’re enjoying a tour of the best entries with the garden club president, but instead of admiring Mr. Shackelford’s manicured perennials, lotus blossoms, and koi pond, they discover him bludgeoned with the murder weapon nearby…a garden shovel. Few mourn his demise recounting the man’s antics and use of professional gardeners, but there seems more to this murder than a “weeding” out the competition.
And the winner is…Amy Patricia Meade for an excellent, entertaining second book in her Tish Tarragon Mystery series! Amy’s writing style uses vivid descriptive language for the setting, gardens, food, and characters with dialogue that best illustrates tone and the various personalities and a sense of humor I greatly enjoyed. Readers will not be surprised by karma’s choice of victim, but that’s where the obvious ends. Using a third-person narrative (not my favorite perspective, but done very well) Amy provides a reluctant, yet realistic, amateur detective. She’s easy to talk to and the gossipy senior citizens give her plenty of information that it’s hard to avoid a bit of sleuthing. She also doesn’t circumvent law enforcement which I appreciate. There are several suspects with some clever motives to consider, extra mysteries to capture attention, and an “I didn’t see that coming” ending that makes this a favorite book. Personal highlights: Tish and Jules have a very humorous, enjoyable brother/sister-style banter, and Jules thoughts on moving into the community is hard not to find a giggle or two; the plethora of senior citizens are varied, entertaining, and yes, under suspicion; for “fur” friend lovers, you’ll enjoy the victim’s Bichon Frise Biscuit who may or may not have gotten a bad rap in Shackleford’s antics. I loved it, but with all the cleverly named luncheon items and mouthwatering food descriptions, I expected a bonus recipe or two for my own garden party. Just saying…
Be a Big Fan!
Amy Patricia Meade started her writing career with the critically acclaimed four-book Marjorie McClelland Mystery series in 2006 with the first book, Million Dollar Baby, set in post-prohibition. She also penned a two-book Pret’ Near Perfect Mystery that started with Well-Offed in Vermont (2011), and Don’t Die Under the Apple Tree (2012) in her Rosie the Riveter following Rosie O’Doyle Keefe working in the shipyards during WWII. Reviews make these series well worth exploring!
Editor’s Note: We are having trouble with our comments-we can see them on our end but they aren’t showing up on the website so rest assured even though you don’t see it you are entered in the giveaway. But if you feel better about it, just enter via email-details below!
To enter to win a signed copy of Garden Club Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “garden,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 21, 2019. If entering via comment please include your email address, if entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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