Title: Murder in the Secret Garden Author: Ellery Adams Expected Publication: August 2nd 2016 by Berkley Format: eBook, Paperback, 304 pages Genre: Cozy Mystery Source: My thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book. Series: Book Retreat Mystery #3
I do like the Book Retreat Mystery series by Ellery Adams even thought I do roll my eyes every time Jane Steward talks about her sons. There is just a strange dynamic there - incredibly over protective and sheltering in a silly way that no mother, from my experience, tends to be.
Jane Steward is a single mother to seven year old twin boys and also is the current guardian of Storyton Hall. A book centered anti- technology resort that encourages rest, relaxation and reading, in a remove valley of western Virginia. With the addition of her great aunt and uncle and the usual hotel staff, they tend to their guests, but yet, there always seems to be a murder afoot either on their ground or nearby.
The Medieval Herbalists, people who spend their free time studying, growing and using herbs, have decided that their annual gathering will take place at Storyton this year. What Jane did not know at the time was that there was a very specific reason why this location was picked. One of their guests has an ulterior motive and now there is a woman’s body floating down the river at the same time as the local duck race. Add to the first dead body issue, there will be more, Edwin Alcott has returned. Yep, the same Edwin that has a secret of his own and left Jane alone to figure out if he was a good guy or just a thief.
Jane is not the only one entrusted with the future of the hall. She has the fins, a group of men who work at the hall and use their talents to protect the Steward family. With bodies showing up that have been poisoned, the herbalists underfoot, a wedding, rumors of cheating, corporate secrets, a druid, Jane needing to be an advocate for her guests, blackmail, a missing manuscript, revenge and multiple layers of everyone’s story – Jane is in for the longest week of her life.
What is interesting about this series are the book titles and quotes sprinkled throughout. Ellery Adams keeps her readers engaged with multiple plot points so if one part seems a bit off, stay tuned because something new is coming up next. I recommend that you start with the first book in this series, ‘Murder in the Mystery Suite’, and enjoy the adventures of Jane Steward and Storyton Hall.