Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Garden Club Murder
Tish Tarragon Mysteries – Book II

BY Amy Patricia Meade

Severn House
1 July 2019/ ASIN: B07TXLVLPP

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde 


Tish Tarragon has been asked to cater for retirement community Coleton Creek’s annual garden awards. Residents are not happy that the same person wins every year, and that the lucky winner is the least liked member. Sloane Shakleford is a wealthy man who delights in upsetting people any way he can, so not many tears are shed when he is found battered to death with a spade in his lawn chair. There is no shortage of suspects, and Tish finds herself getting involved in her second case.

I do love a good cozy mystery, and this is shaping up to be an entertaining series If you are new to the genre this is a classic example, featuring as it does an amateur sleuth with an interesting job (catering), an animal (bichon frise), love interest (attorney) and a closed community with secrets. It manages to avoid what I consider some of the least appealing features of the genre, namely, overly zany characters, more romance than mystery and impossibly far-fetched events.

Tish is in her late forties with a gay assistant and neither pets nor relations, so is fairly atypical. The catering takes a back seat to the sleuthing, which constitutes most of the plot – another big thumbs up from me for that. Despite all the suspects, I didn’t have much trouble working out whodunit but enjoyed reading about a set of well described characters I cared about in an appealing setting. This is only the second in the series, so it has not amassed much of the sort of history between the characters that longer series gather, but more than one of Tish’s friends and helpers has a problem to work out that will be carried over into the next book. I will certainly want to read it.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2019