Blog Tour Review, The Murder Garden

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The Murder Garden
Alice Castle

281 pages
November 15, 2022


About the book:


A winding path leads past the beautiful begonias to an overhanging oak tree. But underneath, a deadly secret is hiding…

Beth Haldane cradles a warm cup of tea and admires the view of crisp, red autumn leaves scattering the lawn of her little garden. But the peace and quiet is interrupted when her loyal pet pooch sniffs out something suspicious. At the bottom of a freshly-dug hole is a bone: and it looks worryingly human.

Even for a mystery-loving amateur sleuth like Beth, the discovery of a body beneath her own lawn is a little too close for comfort. But when the police insist that she must know something about the remains, digging up the truth herself is Beth’s only option.

With gossip flying all around Dulwich Village, Beth has her work cut out to find the culprit. Could a local cat-sitter, with keys to every home on the street, have been involved? Is her ex-actress neighbour a little too good at acting innocent? And was a whispered secret at a dinner party meant to point Beth in the right direction?

Scouring her garden for missed clues, when Beth discovers a shining silver engraved coin she’s certain it will lead to the victim’s identity. But the arrival of a threatening anonymous message sends chills down her spine… can Beth find a killer hiding in plain sight, before she’s the one pushing up daisies?

A deliciously cozy and gripping murder mystery, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and The Thursday Murder Club.

My review:

While this is book 8 in the series, this is my first Beth Haldane read and it really does read as a stand alone.   I had no trouble following the plot.

I love a cozy series.  Characters you get to know.  There are murders or at least crimes, but no high intensity scenes to worry about.  They just make me happy.  This one lived up to my expectations.  I read it in a little over a day.

Beth is a little quirky and surrounded by a good cast of characters.  There are a few pets, some neighbors, a boyfriend and of course a murder to solve.  I’ve been on a roll reading books where while digging, bones are found.  It doesn’t try and overcomplicate the plot or throw in twist after twist.  Just what I wanted in my cozy: an amateur sleuth and a murder to solve.  And doesn’t that cover scream cozy place to be?  Now I do always wonder as I read these why anyone would hang around these sleuths cuz I would definitely notice my friend solving her eighth murder.  LOL

If you are looking for a British cozy series, then this will delight you.

Author Bio:

Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Alice is an avid reader of crime fiction, her favourite stories are cozy crimes with a strong sense of place. When she couldn’t find a series about her beloved south London, she decided to write her own – and single mum amateur sleuth Beth Haldane was born. Alice also writes twisty psychological thrillers for HQ Digital under the name A.M. Castle. The Perfect Widow was a top selling audiobook in 2019 and The Invitation hit the top 50 on Amazon UK in 2021. Alice lives with her two children and two cats and, if she isn’t writing or reading a whodunit, she’ll be watching one on telly.

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