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The Blue Rose (English Garden Mystery #1)

3.31  ·  Rating Details ·  338 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Alex and Kate Sheppard have found the perfect house; the home they had always dreamed of owning. Nestled deep in the Wiltshire countryside and surrounded by a two acre walled garden, The Parsonage was to be their little paradise…but nothing stays perfect forever.

Soon after moving in they make an impossibly exciting discovery--one that defies every known law of nature and s
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 29th 2005 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 2004)
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Sep 04, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Much more complex and thought provoking than the cozy mysteries I have been reading lately. Don't get me wrong - cozy mysteries have their place. They are very light and enjoyable - however, to me, they seem to have pervaded the literary market to the detriment of other mystery genres.

In any event, this harks back to the reason I came to love mysteries. Besides the obvious, the solving of the mystery - there is the conflicting feeling, thoughts, and motives of the characters you would character
Jan 29, 2016 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Cannot believe I never entered a review of this book! This is the first of the Lawrence Kingston mystery series and I loved it! I initially purchased one of these at a library book sale and am so glad that happened! This turned out to be quite suspenseful and I loved the twists and turns. This was much more of a thriller than I thought it might be at first. I always love Eglin's inclusion of horticultural information--that is one of the things that makes this series so unique to me, I think. Tho ...more
Laurel Bradshaw
Being set in England, and about gardens and gardening, I thought I would love this book, but it was just okay. It did get better toward the end, but I almost didn't finish it, not being terrible interested in the characters. The mystery was tepid - it tried to be a sort of cozy suspense/thriller. That doesn't work! I will read more in this series to see if it gets better.

Book Description from

Alex and Kate Sheppard have found the perfect house; the home they had always dreamed of ownin
Oct 18, 2012 Brandie rated it really liked it
What an interesting tale! The title first grabbed my eye because I love roses so much. It isn't my usual mystery either - it doesn't have as much action as I normally like and the beginning was slow, but it felt so right for this story.

The story revolves around Alex and Kate Sheppard. They buy a new house and discover in their new garden a beautiful blue rose. A blue rose does not currently exist - so this is quite a find and many people are interested in getting their hands on this new rose.

Charice Grace
Jun 09, 2014 Charice Grace rated it really liked it
The book is very well written. Containing descriptive vocabulary and jocular comments, I found myself intimidated by it and wanting to read more.I especially enjoyed how the author portrayed the growing love between the two protagonists: Alex and Kate. The ending was also very sought out. Eglin cleverly ended the book by referring to the beginning: a murder of crows. To me it symbolizes that with every end there is always a beginning, for the book started with Kate seeing the murder of crows and ...more
Kathleen Dixon
I liked the idea of this book but it was quite plodding unfortunately. I also found the description of the rose a bit too sci-fi - simply "blue" would have been sufficient, without the other superlatives and the twist.
Despite the ploddingness I did read it through. At one stage I decided to skip a couple of dozen pages, but then I wanted to find out what had happened to get it to that point. That shows a good plot, I guess. So then I just skimmed through the long-winded bits.
I was so looking forward to this series. I love stories that integrate mystery and horticulture. But this was a disappointment. Alex and Kate were whiney. The Professor Kingston, who supposedly has a role in future Eglin novels , has a lack of personality except being self important Most of the other characters were self serving. clueless or just plain evil.
(view spoiler)
Sep 22, 2014 HD rated it it was ok
I picked up The Blue Rose thinking it was a UK cozy mystery (which I almost always enjoy), but it morphed into an international thriller (which I also enjoy) and the two just didn't seem to mesh well. I usually read slowly, savoring the story and the atmosphere and the vocab, but ended up barely skimming the last half of the book, I was so bored and tired of the vocab which didn't match the characters. It was non-stop "Christ" this and "Jesus" that and very distracting. I'm also not a fan of fou ...more
Sep 27, 2011 Judy rated it it was ok
I thought I'd try this series as it pertains to garden/gardening. The main character never developed and the story just went on and on with a bad ending. There are 4 more books, but I'll shelve them in my nothing else to read column.
Jan 25, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Outstanding gardening mysteries !!!! Im surprised there aren't more of these types of mysteries .......
Apr 04, 2012 Jean rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, a cozy mystery with a difference. A must read for gardening fans.
Jan 24, 2016 Ann rated it it was ok
I haven't read any by this author before and I don't think I will again!! Hackneyed, corny, poor plot, the characters were stereotypes from an earlier age, possibly the 1950s . I see that the author, though English, lives in the USA, I think he is writing about a bygone England that he see through rose coloured spectacles! Although published in 2004 none of the characters uses a mobile phone, one character even uses a roll of film, perhaps it published in the USA many years ago? If so perhaps it ...more
Jan 25, 2015 Robin rated it liked it
A horticulture mystery? I couldn't resist.
Sarah Adamson
Apr 17, 2014 Sarah Adamson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really interesting mystery - not your traditional cozy! This is the story of a young couple moving into their new home in the countryside. As they clear the overgrown garden, they discover the unknown - a blue rose. The back and forth between the main characters is interesting and very relatable. The mystery itself is complex and full of exciting twists and turns. I look forward to more in this series!
Wiebke Kuhn
May 16, 2016 Wiebke Kuhn rated it liked it
The plot is just a tad too twisted to be believable, the language is just a bit too British witty, and the characters just too stereotypical (the Professor, the Antique store owner...). But I did learn a few things about roses, so that was fun.
Jun 05, 2016 Samantha rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed the mystery. I love mysteries, especially one concerning a blue rose - wish there such a thing as a blue rose but well....I guess not. Read this book a long time ago & was not disappointed.
Sep 12, 2014 Allison rated it liked it
I'm not normally a huge mystery fan, but I got this book for free from a friend so I thought I would give it a try. I was surprised that I enjoyed it. I liked that it is not based on killing everyone and trying to figure out who did it. Having a mystery based on a flower was a nice change of pace.
Connie N.
This mystery started out slow, with a lot of setup about gardening, roses in particular. But as the story progressed, it became much more exciting and interesting. Hard to believe that a one-of-a-kind blue rose would create the passion and excitement that it did, leading to kidnapping and murder.
I liked the reference at the very beginning to a "murder of crows." Kate and Alex are very agreeable but naive main characters who became embroiled in a worldwide scheme. I also liked the gardening quote
Jan 02, 2015 Lise rated it liked it
I liked the non-focus on the series' hero, and the horticultural references. There just couldn't find a spark in the language, the characters, the setting, or the plot.
Becky Rippel
Apr 14, 2014 Becky Rippel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Gardeners
Shelves: mysteryscape
What happens when a true Blue Rose is found in an abandoned garden? In spite of a high state of secrecy surrounding it, word gets out and life becomes a nightmare.
Jun 28, 2015 Jean added it
Another good mystery by Elgin. Couple of ends not tied up, but otherwise good.
Oct 30, 2011 Sharon rated it liked it
Gardeners dream of a mythical blue rose. Anthony Eglin builds on this dream with a standard British mystery. Lawrence Kingston, a bit of a self-assured curmudgeon and a garden expert, investigates the discovery of a blue rose in a English garden, connected to The Parsonage recently acquired by a young couple. Name dropping both of people, places and restaurants, gives a sense of currentness. True mystery aficionadoes may find the tale lacking. I enjoyed thinking about what might happen should a ...more
Julie lit pour les autres
Lu en français: La rose bleue
Diana S
Dec 16, 2014 Diana S rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
I give it 3.5 stars ****
Reading Faerie
A very good read. The end was quite action-packed for a story about a rose. Very unexpected.
A mystery I couldn't figure out. Different
Apr 20, 2015 Susan rated it liked it
fun read especially for gardeners
Sep 25, 2010 Bonnie rated it liked it
It took me a little while to get really interested in this book, but I ended up enjoying it. Alex and his wife Kate find a blue rose in the extensive and overgrown garden of their recently bought old house. Since a rose that color was unheard of they know they had something rare and extremely valuable and go to a lawyer for advice. The lawyer arranges for an auction. This is not satisfactory to several unscrupulous would-be buyers and Alex and Kate find themselves in danger.
Sep 05, 2016 Kim rated it liked it
Jolly good read. ;)
Kim Garza
Aug 05, 2012 Kim Garza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book the old fashioned way, by browsing the shelves of the library. It is a traditional cozy mystery with modern overtones. Alex and Kate Shepard are clearing the extensive garden of their newly purchased English country cottage when they discover an genetic impossibility, a blue rose. This is the start of a good old mystery of greed and murder in the English countryside.

For all fans of traditional mysteries where everything old is new again.
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Author of the Arsène Lupin Literary Prize winner THE BLUE ROSE and International Book Awards winner, THE ALCATRAZ ROSE, Anthony Eglin grew up in England and worked in art and advertising before starting The Larkspur Company, which produced a series of best-selling garden videos. Addicted to gardening, his own former pint-sized garden was awarded Garden Design magazine's Golden Trowel Award. Tony i ...more
More about Anthony Eglin...

Other Books in the Series

English Garden Mystery (5 books)
  • The Lost Gardens
  • The Water Lily Cross
  • The Trail of the Wild Rose
  • Garden of Secrets Past

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