Garden of Secrets Past
Minotaur, Aug 16 2011, $24.99
The intriguing unsigned letter asks retired botanist Dr. Lawrence Kingston to come to a specific address In Mayfair. The anonymous author who says he knows that Dr. Kingston has solved cases wants his help in solving a crime that occurred on his property three weeks ago.
Fascinated by the note, Kingston visits the address, which turns out to be Jardine’s gentlemen's club. Stunned as they have had a checkered past, Kingston is greeted by Lord Frances Morley, owner of the Sturminster a country estate; which is renowned for its historical gardens. Morley explains he wants Kingston to investigate the murder of a man found dead at Sturminster by a little girl. Kingston investigates the homicide believing the enigmatic unbroken code on a monument in the garden is the key; someone agrees as the inquiry places Kingston and Morley in danger.
The fifth English Garden Mystery (see The Water Lily Cross and The Trial of the Wild Rose) is an entertaining whodunit as the past and the present converge during Kingston’s amateur sleuthing. The cast is solid in support of the protagonist who is at his best working the enigmatic murder case. The story line is fast-paced with a fascinating brief afterward explaining the code in further depth. Gardens of Secret Past is wonderful mystery as events two centuries old still remain relevant.