Book Review: Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A Potting Shed Mystery by Marty Wingate

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A Potting Shed Mystery by Marty Wingate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher:  Alibi

Summary: After her romantic idyll with the debonair Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse culminates in a marriage proposal, Pru Parke sets about arranging their nuptials while diving into a short-term gig at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. At hand is the authentication of a journal purportedly penned by eighteenth-century botanist and explorer Archibald Menzies. Compared to the chaos of wedding planning, studying the journal is an agreeable task . . . that is, until a search for a missing cat leads to the discovery of a dead body: One of Pru’s colleagues has been conked on the head with a rock and dumped from a bridge into the Water of Leith.

 Pru can’t help wondering if the murder has something to do with the Menzies diary. Is the killer covering up a forgery? Among the police’s many suspects are a fallen aristocrat turned furniture maker, Pru’s overly solicitous assistant, even Pru herself. Now, in the midst of sheer torture by the likes of flamboyant wedding dress designers and eccentric church organists, Pru must also uncover the work of a sly murderer—unless this bride wants to walk down the aisle in handcuffs.

Another fun installment to the series but I do have to admit that I really felt the gardening element to the story was missed. Pru in a research assignment started off interesting but quickly became tedious. Granted, it was the direct path to the murder mystery but that didn't make the setting any more appealing for me. Pru needs to be in a garden somewhere doing something with flora. I don't know the first thing about gardening but I do find that aspect of the series to be a major draw for me. Still, I enjoyed the mystery. The victim was one that, while they didn't deserve the end they met, was such that they made it clear why they weren't deeply & widely mourned once they were dispatched. Oddly, I figured out the killer this time very quickly but I just didn't believe I was correct so it was a nice surprise ultimately, to find that I had been. I very much enjoyed following Pru and Christopher's wedding plans. It was nice to see all the people heard about over the course of the first two books, show up in this one. Marcus was a surprise for Pru and me as well. I enjoyed finding out more about Jo's husband and the ups and downs of Pru and Christopher's planning from wedding dress to church. I never doubted it would all come together in the end no matter what tried to intervene and I was very satisfied with the culmination. I have really enjoyed the evolution of Pru and Christopher's relationship and think it'll be nice to follow them as a married couple living in the same place 24/7. I really liked that Christopher was willing to transfer to wherever Pru's work took her. I can't wait to read about their adventures in Hampshire. I'd recommend this installment definitely and will absolutely continue with the series.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Coming Soon August 4, 2015

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