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The Cipher Garden (Lake District Mystery #2)

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  355 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Warren Howe is surprised by a hooded visitor while working in a garden in Old Sawrey, a lovely village in England's Lake District. Soon it is Warren who is deadmurdered with his own scythe. The police identify several suspects, but lack the evidence to make an arrest.
Years later, an anonymous tip sparks the interest of DCI Hannah Scarlett, who heads the local Cold Case Re
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Hardcover, 266 pages
Published November 30th 2005 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Ant Harrison
The Cipher Garden by Martin Edwards is another in his 'Lake District' mystery series. Historian-cum-amateur detective Daniel Kind is drawn into another crime from the past after trying to discover the 'secrets' of the garden at his new cottage. Coincidently this links with the unsolved murder of Warren Howe, which is being investigated by DCI Hannah Scarlett. Hannah and Daniel are attracted to each other (in a very drag-it-out, let's pretend it's not happening kind of way) and some of the back s ...more
Sharonm
Actually, I'd give this a 4 1/2 stars, but no halves are available in Goodreads. This is the second in a series set in the English country side and starring a cold-case detective and historian who have feelings for each other but are also in relationships with others. The characters are very well realized, and the setting is brought to life. The story line here has to do with obsession and its effects on both those who are obsessed and those who are the objects of the obsession. A husband and wi ...more
Susan
On the basis of a very flimsy tip. DCI Hannah Scarlett, as head of the cold case team, decides to reopen the case of Warren Howe, murdered with his own scythe several years previously. Daniel Kind, a historian and former Oxford don, is also interested in the case as well as discovering the secret of the strange garden at his cottage. The murder mystery is a bit thin. However, the book was very unsatisfying in repeatedly referring to the strangeness of the garden, but never giving the slightest d ...more
Jane
THe story took a long time to really get going and I guessed the murderer. Not as good as The Coffin Trail but I would still read the next one as I like the main characters and it will be interesting to see what happens to them next.
Kate
Interesting cold case mystery set in Lake Country of England. I'm a softie for a setting of small British villages and tangled webs that characters weave.
Clarissa Draper
Genre: Mystery
How I read it: I own it.

What attracted me to the book: I read the author's blog and mainly because books of this genre are my favorite.

Who should read this book: If you love mysteries... it's for you!

Summary (from amazon): When the body of Warren Howe, master landscaper and equally masterful ladies' man, is found hacked apart with a scythe in a garden in Old Sawrey, England, suspicion falls on his wife, Tina, in Edwards's engaging second Lake District mystery (after 2004's The Coff
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Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Book 2. from the Lake District series, where we again meet DCI Hannah Scarlett who heads up a team investigating cold cases and Daniel Kind, a historian who has given up his job in Oxford University, to live a quite, idyllic life in an area of the Lake District where his father lived and worked as a policeman and was Hannah's boss and mentor. Daniel is anxious to find out all he can from Hannah about his father, who is now deceased, as he left his family for another work when Daniel and his sist ...more
Jo
Second in the series and better than the first-just. As I splurged on all the books in the series I will read them all but they are a disappointment and not nearly as good as I hoped they would be. I'm always on the look out for a new crime author who has been prolific but these are very slow going, predictable and eminently guessable. If you're on holiday and someone has left one by the pool then read it or pick it up in a charity shop or kindle freebie then fine-otherwise don't bother
Plum-crazy
"A beautifully crafted book, & for lovers of the Classic Whodunnit, there's a delicious twist in the tale"...yes, I'd say that pretty much summed this tale up!

While it's not a gritty, gory tale (the sort I love!) it's a bit more than what I'd class as a "cosy mystery". There is indeed a twist at the end which I sort of saw coming but got slightly wrong! I won't say more as I don't want to spoil it for future readers but would recommend it :o)
Karen
This was a nice second mystery in the Lake District by Martin Edwards. This story was full of realistic people, living their lives in a small village. A murder 10 years ago gets revisited when the family of the victim get poison pen letters. This includes the cold case squad and when they start questioning the friends and relatives, secrets get revealed and emotions flare. I would not hesitate to pick up another in this series, if I run across one.
Cheryl
I liked this #2 of the series quite well. Not quite as well as the 1st on but again, this one also kept me guessing. I didn't figure out who did it until much, much later in the story and then I never figured out the why until it was revealed. Martin Edwards writes a great mystery. I'm still trying to figure out why Daniel Kind is still with Miranda but perhaps he'll come to his senses later on in the series. For now though, I'm enjoying these wonderful mysteries during this cold winter season!
Diane Heath
This is the second Lake District mystery. Daniel's sister comes for a visit. Daniel is investigating the history of his garden. It is not a difficult mystery. Hannah is working a cold case about the death of a gardener. The reader is introduced to the villagers thru Kirsty and her story along with Hannah's and Daniel's create the three legs of the story
Alison
Unfortunately I really did not enjoy this book in spite of being interested in the location. I probably did not do the book justice by reading it in a relatively piecemeal fashion, but don't think that my rating is really affected by this.
Suzie Grogan
Terrific stuff. The second I have read in this series and this is a really good mystery with a proper twist in the tail. And it is set in the wonderful Lake District ( a sense of which is very real in the writing). Highly recommended.
Mickey Hoffman
A traditional mystery. Finally! Not a "thriller" where I know who dunnit on page three. The garden is only one thread of the story and more of a subplot. No need to avoid the book if you're not into gardening because the book's not about that. It's about a small country town and the interesting people who live there, both newcomers and natives. The MC is a former history professor whose father was a detective in that same locality. He's moved there now to escape the academic grind. His father's ...more
Grace
3.5 stars

This is the 2nd book in the series and I really enjoyed it. What I like about the author is that I really don't have a clue until right at the end when the killer is revealed. I like the way he draws the characters and shows their flaws as it makes them seem very real.

I'm looking forward to trying the other books in the series.
Georgia Lengyel
Enjoyed this book as well as I did the previous one. However, I hope the endings of the next books in the series do not 3end in the same way - violently and with the murder dead.
Elaine
I liked this second in the Lake District Mystery series much better than the first one (The Coffin Trail). Perhaps it's because I'm getting used to his oh-so British style or because not a lot of time was spent rehashing the characters' histories, or just because it was much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, my library doesn't have any more in this series so I've already purchased the next in the series. Can't wait to read it!
Monica
This is only the second book in Martin Edwards series that takes place in the Lake District of England...and it grabbed me as much as the first one did. Edwards is a wonderful descriptive author...I feel like I’m walking through this beautiful region of the Lake District. This is the perfect book if you enjoy mysteries that take place in small English villages...where gossip is a way of life and everyone knows everyone else. Amazing that a murder can go unsolved for so long...that is until DCI H ...more
Sarah
This is the second in the series that I have read and I feel that as a series it is starting to pick up pace. For some reason I found it hard to remember the connections between some of the characters in this story- they all seem to be ex partners of each other.

DCI Hannah Scarlett has reopened the case of Warren Howe who was murdered folowing a a tip off. Daniel Kind is uncertain as to why his garden is laid out the way it is and his investigating into this ends up tying in with Hannah's investi
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George
An enjoyable mystery set in the English lake district. The story mixes personal story lines with the mystery. The lead characters are a retired British Oxford history professor who has moved to the Lake District and who loves mysteries and the younger Detective Chief Inspector in charge of cold cases. Besides becoming involved in a cold case murder investigation, the professor also is trying to unravel the meaning of the overgrown cipher garden in his new home.
Heather
Probably a 2.5 Martin Edwards' characters seem pretty shallow to me. The book was okay and I may read the third in the series.
Helenhig
Another reviewer wrote 'There are quite a few characters, but nearly all of them are already connected and it took me a while to remember who was who.' and I must say I agree with that. I read it once then six months later read its predecessor and am now giving it another go; reading it in eformat adds to the confusion as it takes time to go back for clarification. Interesting plot.
Auntie M Graff
With a string of other novels to his credit, including the Harry Devlin series, Edwards newest centers around Oxford historian Daniel Kind, who escapes academe to an idyllic valley in the Lake District, one of my favorite places in the entire world. Add DCI Hannah Scarlett, and you have a new set of psychological thrillers to eat like brain candy!
Matthew Ogborn
Hannah and Daniel's worlds become even more intertwined in this second of the Lake District series and it works a treat too. Another story with a twist that I'd wager most would find hard to spot ahead of time with a more vivid set of characters across two generations. A victory for well paced crime that has a sting in the tale. Highly recommended
Sheila
Midsomer Murders (without the beautiful houses) transplanted to a barely recognisable Lake District with fictional additions. Lord, what naughty things they country folk do get up to!
I like books with a good sense of place, but this wasn't one of those. Caricature characters too.
Still, I did finish it, so it can't have been all bad.
Charlotte
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth
Daniel Kind, the history detective and police detective Hannah Scarlett circle a cold case like fighters in a ring who are hesitant to engage. They poke and prod at the problem taking way too long to get the ball rolling. The characters are like able and the location worth reading about but it overshadows the story.
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Martin Edwards was educated in Northwich and at Balliol College, Oxford University, taking a first class honours degree in law. He trained as a solicitor in Leeds and moved to Liverpool on qualifying in 1980. He published his first legal article at the age of 25 and become a partner in the firm of Mace and Jones in 1984.

He is married to Helena with two children (Jonathan and Catherine) and lives i
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More about Martin Edwards...

Other Books in the Series

Lake District Mystery (6 books)
  • The Coffin Trail (Lake District Mystery #1)
  • The Arsenic Labyrinth (Lake District Mystery #3)
  • Serpent Pool (Lake District Mystery #4)
  • The Hanging Wood (Lake District Mystery #5)
  • Frozen Shroud (Lake District Mystery #6)
The Coffin Trail (Lake District Mystery #1) The Arsenic Labyrinth (Lake District Mystery #3) The Hanging Wood (Lake District Mystery #5) Serpent Pool (Lake District Mystery #4) Frozen Shroud (Lake District Mystery #6)

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“He loved the smell and feel of old books. To hold them was to touch the past.” 7 likes
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