Murder in the Secret Garden by Ellery Adams is the third book in the “Book Retreat” mystery series. Publisher: Penguin Random House, August 2016

Murder in the Secret GardenThings really go to seed in the newest novel in the New York Times bestselling Book Retreat mysteries. . .

There is a hidden garden bordering the grounds of Jane Steward’s book-themed resort—a garden filled with beautiful but deadly plants such as mandrake and nightshade. Tucked away behind ivy-covered walls and accessible only through a single locked door, as described in the pages of Frances Hodges Burnett’s classic novel, the garden is of special interest to Jane’s current group of guests, The Medieval Herbalists. But when one of them turns up dead, Jane must discover whether a member of the group has come to Storyton Hall to celebrate their passion for plant lore or to implement a particularly cruel means for murder.

With thousands of books at her disposal, Jane believes she has the proper materials to solve this deadly problem. If she’s wrong, however, she may lose something far more precious than the contents of Storyton’s secret library. . .

Once again, Ellery’s narrative immediately pulled me in and I embraced all that was happening in the pages of this fantastic book. From the beginning to the finale, the frenzied pace never missed a beat as Jane and her compadres set out to solve this murder. The mystery was done nicely as it kept me involved in all the action where each clue brought me closer to the killer’s identity. I liked how each character had a pivotal role that ratcheted up the suspense factor that kept me reading on as I had to know what happened next. The author did a great job in the build-up of this well-written drama and when I thought I had it all figured out, the author changed directions all to the betterment in the telling of this tale. With a likable cast of characters, engaging dialogue and the perfect backdrop of Storyton Hall this was a great read and I look forward to more exciting adventures with this group.

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