Garden of Thorns Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Garden of Thorns

Mark Owen was excited that Hilary Chase had chosen to accept a position cataloguing the Coburg collecting in Fort Worth, TX, his hometown. They had met on a previous dig in Scotland (in Dust to Dust) and there was a definite attraction between the two. Mark was trying to take things slowly so that Hilary would not be frightened of physical intimacy and men in general. Hilary was trying to not be frightened of Mark and his need for a more physical relationship, but she still had not recovered from her rape years before. As Mark and Hilary try to sort out boundaries in their relationship, they also become more involved in the history of the Osborne House, where two women had mysteriously died in murders that were never solved. Mark was helping to supervise the dig and Hilary was cataloguing Coburg treasures, both of which had links in the past. But someone did not want them to delve any deeper into the past and would stop at nothing, not even murder, to keep the past buried...
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Garden of Thorns was an entertaining gothic romance/mystery, but it was not of the same caliber as Ashes to Ashes or Dust to Dust, where we meet Mark and Hilary for the first time. I didn't really have any feelings for the main characters and so wasn't really rooting for them to get together, but didn't mind if they did. They mystery was really good, though. In fact, Carl is very good at having a main mystery and then filling in the gaps of the story with a lot of little sub plots and secondary characters that really make the book enjoyable. Also, Carl gives the reader some good background information on the Fort Worth area and educates the reader on archaeology and artifacts all without the reader even being aware that they are being taught, which is a nice side benefit. If you enjoy romantic mysteries, you will enjoy this one, but keep in mind that her other romantic mysteries are much better.

The review of this Book prepared by Debbie

Chapter Analysis of Garden of Thorns

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   50% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   theft/fraud investigation Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Texas Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   descript of kissing Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Lillian Stewart Carl Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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