Five Star, Oct 2004, 25.95, 260 pp.
After twenty-three years of marriage to Jack, garden designer Liz Clarke divorced him as their plans for the future did not gel; she wanted to settle down spending quality time together while he wanted to see the world. Jack went off sailing while Liz opened up Liz Clarke Garden Designer in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Melissa Castle, Liz's pregnant goddaughter, frantically calls her with the news that Staci Hooper, chairwoman of this year's garden tours has been murdered. Liz rushes to the scene only to learn that the stunned Melissa failed to call 911 or the police. Liz calls, but searches for the housekeeper who she finds frightened. When the evidence points towards Melissa, Liz, ignoring the police and the danger to herself, digs into a dirty scenario in which a host of people hate the odious obnoxious Staci.
THE DEADLY GARDEN TOUR is a fun amateur sleuth tale that starts a bit slow to introduce the heroine, but once she arrives at the crime scene, the tale and Liz go at top speed. The story line contains a fine support cast that either enhances the small-town environs or provides insight into the protagonist or prime suspect. Fans who enjoy a New England cozy will want to read this solid who-done-it.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner