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The Blue Rose (English Garden Mystery #1)

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  394 Ratings  ·  71 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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Aug 28, 2011 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
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
May 11, 2013 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
Sep 26, 2011 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.
Oct 18, 2012 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.

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.
Jan 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding gardening mysteries !!!! Im surprised there aren't more of these types of mysteries .......
Jan 17, 2015 rated it liked it
A horticulture mystery? I couldn't resist.
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, a cozy mystery with a difference. A must read for gardening fans.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
In the garden of their newly purchased home a couple find a blue rose! Such a flower is believed to be a horticultural impossibility, yet there it is. A botanist is contacted, an attorney found and options to financially capitalize by selling the rose to the highest bidder are reviewed. Unfortunately it is not that easy and before long the couple wish they had never laid eyes on the blue beauty. Although the book gets off to a slow start it becomes very exciting as the race is on, not only to ca ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
The proper mix of intellect, entertainment and mystery
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)
Charice Grace
Jun 09, 2014 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
Sep 21, 2014 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
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 23, 2016 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
Oct 30, 2011 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
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-mystery
Great characters, great mystery plot and well written! I loved the inclusion of the botany information and the code information linked to the war. All the details show the book was well researched and thought out. I will definitely read more by this author and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes British mysteries or anyone with an interest in botany. Probably Rosemary and Thyme fans will love it.
Sep 23, 2010 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.
Sarah Adamson
Apr 16, 2014 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!
Kim Garza
Aug 05, 2012 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.
Mira Alecci
Mar 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I really liked the premise of this book, but was way less than impressed with the storytelling and the writing. The idea of a blue rose turning up in someone's garden with mystery attached to its origins as well as the events that begin to occur after its discovery is wonderful. However, the story itself seemed rather empty and far too much of it was made up of unimaginative phone conversations.
Jan 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
It was so very slow. Barely interesting at all. Not even the slightest hook to keep me reading. I finished it in one sitting, and it was painful the whole way. It was a waste of my time. Sorry, Anthony Eglin, if you happen to be reading this. Maybe if the reader was a botanist it would be more interesting...
Jun 05, 2016 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.
Feb 25, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
Ugh, boring and kind of basic. No interest in the characters, conflict, or the "detective." It's been done a million times - Hercule Poirot and Nero Wolfe do it better. Didn't finish time is at a premium, and this couldn't hold my interest.
Vivienne Walker
Aug 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
This is an "English" garden mystery that couldn't be more obviously written by an American. I love crime books and I love gardening so this book, recommended by an American acquaintance sounded perfect. I couldn't finish it because it was so awful.
Aug 18, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, gardens, uk
Not only did I enjoy this, I sent it to my friend Heidi who talks about becoming a landscape gardener when she retires from publishing. As a mystery, I felt its pace was a bit slow and predictable but I enjoyed the characters and country setting.
Aug 31, 2014 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.
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I just discovered this author, Anthony Eglin, and I love the additional horticultural history/knowledge, plus a good ole whodunnit! This was not my favorite of his books I've read thus far, but it also was his debut mystery novel.
Wiebke Kuhn
May 13, 2016 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.
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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
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English Garden Mystery (6 books)
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