BOOK REVIEW – An English Garden Murder: An utterly addictive English cozy mystery (Julia Bird Mysteries Book 1)

by Katie Gayle  (Author) — (Katie Gayle is, in fact, two of us – Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel)

A Book Review by Jackie Houchin

AN ENGLISH GARDEN MYSTERY, first of three books in the Julia Bird cozy mystery series is another irresistibly written book.  I don’t know what exactly it is that endows a book with a pleasurable stickiness that refuses to let the reader go, no matter how late the hour or how many of those hours it has held on to them.  But Katie Gayle (two authors, really) has a great jar of that substance liberally applied to this book. I began and then read late into the night, with cliff-hanger chapters, appealing characters, including a miscreant dog and a gentleman who’s the look-alike and sound-alike of a Sean Connery James Bond. And the bodies, whoa!  I mean dead ones (ha-ha).

When Julia Bird, a retired London social worker, moved to the small village of Berrywick, she thought life might become boring. Sure, the cottage was lovely, and the garden even more so. She could grow roses, make plum jam and scones, and…raise some hens. Of course, that is when and where the trouble began, because under the old shed which was set to be torn down to make room for the new chicken coop, was a… yep, a skeleton.

Within seconds (it seemed) the entire village knew of the find and gossip spun around like a whirling dervish. Julia was the talk of the town, in a bad way, and the lone village policewoman seemed too overwhelmed to investigate the find.  Ah-ha!  An opportunity for Julia to stick her nose into village life (and death, because there are more of those that occur). And it seems there was not a shortage of viable suspects. Good heavens!

It really is a jolly romp of a book, with the chocolate lab pup to add some sweetness and frustration. I LOVED this book!  I promptly ordered the next two in the series for my Kindle. I dare say…YOU will too, once you read it. It’s a totally entertaining mystery book!

(more than) FIVE STARS


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