My life consists of two seasons: planting season and winter. During the planting season, there is barely time to sit and enjoy a coffee at Green Horizons Nursery, Garden and Landscaping Center. Winter days allow me the leisure of putting my feet up when I’m and visit my mother in Florida. I love my work, which is to run the garden center.

My typical day starts early. No need to work out – my job gives me plenty of exercise as I work alongside my staff lugging pots of shrubs and flats of vivid, colourful perennials from greenhouses to display tables for customers to marvel over and fall in love with, take home and plant for years of enjoyment.

My first order of business each morning is to start the coffee going before I jump into the shower, taking care not to step on my British Blue, Cinder. A typical cat, he likes to wind around my ankles to remind me that he hasn’t been fed in a whole eight hours. Poor kitty.

It doesn’t take me long to get dressed. I have a closet full of short-sleeved shirts and khaki shorts, which I wear with steel-toed shoes. The decision takes barely a minute, and I’m not a fussy gal either. My outfit is complete when I strap on my tool belt containing pruning sheers and other gardening gadgets, but I save that for when I get to work.

After a quick coffee, juice and bagel, I jump into my FJ Cruiser and head for the garden center while I chomp on an apple. I’m usually the first to arrive, although my loyal staff, Pete DeHaas and Jane Shawson, join me for my second coffee, their first, no long after I arrive. Pete is in his sixties and is a big, robust guy with a shock of white hair while Jane is a wiry blond in her fifties with a sunny disposition no amount of adversity can disrupt. We spend a few minutes discussing incoming shipments, which typically include gardening gloves, seed packets and planters, and check what the day’s weather will bring. The garden center’s orange cat, Tabby, sits on my lap having her ears massaged while we lay out our plans.

Oddly enough, I tend to trip over dead bodies in this line of work, something that never happened in my former corporate job. Seems people like to kill and bury their enemies in places I’m bound to find them: down a well, for example, where I recently found a skeleton while my staff worked a landscaping job on the outskirts of the sleepy town of Sandalwood. I’m getting used to finding dead bodies, and I love a challenge, especially when solving it keeps Green Horizons in the black. And nothing kills a business like a rotting corpse.


You can read more about Marilee in GROUNDS FOR DEATH, the second book in the “Garden Plot” mystery series. The first book in the series is DEATH IN THE FORSYTHIA.

Andrea Zanetti lives on the banks of the Etibicoke Creek with her husband and four rambunctious cats. In addition to writing, she spends her time tending her overgrown perennial gardens and ponds. Visit Andrea at www.andreazanettiauthor.blogspot.com.

** Andrea has generously offered to give away one copy of GROUNDS FOR DEATH. To enter, you must leave a valid e-mail address with your comment. One entry per person and this is open to anyone with a U.S. and Canadian mailing address. Contest ends on December 20th at 6pm EST. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will be notified by e-mail and has 2 days to respond. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **

Books are available at online booksellers.

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