Cozy Gardening Mysteries

Spring is for gardening! Last weekend I was working in my garden and then I thought that growing plants and flowers provides a lot of backgrounds for mystery novels. “Like everything else under the sun, innocent plants can be put to harmful uses”, writes Susan Albert Witting, the author of the China Bayles herbal mysteries.

Garden mysteries contain double meaning: gardens have beautiful flowers and plants and yet can be full of thorns and hide ingredients that can kill. Rare or prize winning plants can be worth fortunes, have worldwide markets and be the source of a crime.

Here’s a bunch of six interesting specimens worth planting on your bookshelf: 

The most famous horticultural sleuth was definitely Rex Stout’s detective Nero Wolfe (M). This New York City private eye raised prize winning orchids in his dwelling.

Susan Albert Witting writes the China Bayles Herbal Mysteries (M) which feature an herbalist and former attorney, in Pecan Springs, Texas.

The Dirty Business Mysteries (M) by Rosemary Harris. Paula Holliday, former media executive in New York, is a master gardener and an amateur sleuth. The book contains a lot of information about gardens, plants and herbs.
The Dancing Floor (M), a terrific suspense story by the master of  English country mystery, Barbara Michaels. An absolutely perfect book for me – fun with elements of supernatural, mysterious, intellectual, romantic and unpredictable.

The Savage Garden (M) by Mark Mills  is a darkly provocative mystery set in post World War II era in Tuscany, Italy.
Janis Harrison’s Roots of Murder (M), a small-town murder mystery centered around flowers, features Missouri florist Bretta Solomon. It was a good weekend read.

Gardening cozy mysteries will entertain you and will not keep you up all night listening to every creak on the stairs or whisper in the shrubs. 

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