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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

(Potting Shed Mystery #3)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  605 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Perfect for fans of Laura Childs, Ellery Adams, and Jenn McKinlay, Marty Wingate’s enchanting Potting Shed Mystery series heads to Scotland as Pru Parke plans her wedding . . . all while a vengeful murderer is poised to strike again.

After her romantic idyll with the debonair Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse culminates in a marriage proposal, Pru Parke sets
ebook, 288 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Alibi
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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Patricia Tucker
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

Pru Parke accepts a 3-month job assignment at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, to authenticate a journal supposedly written by an 18th century botanist, Archibald Menzies. Pru also accepts the marriage proposal of DCI Christopher Pearse and intends planning her wedding, while working the short assignment.

Day one, of her new job, Pru is called a fraud by one of the people she w/b working with, Iain Blackwell. He is so disagreeable, finding
Susan Foulkes
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
How wonderful to be reunited with Pru and Christopher!

The setting this time is Edinburgh where Pru takes a break from physical gardening to authenticate a journal written (allegedly) by Menzies.
This was my cue to do some research!

One of the things I love about this series is that I'm constantly learning gardening a non-gardener I find it fascinating.

Of course Pru being Pru, the story would not be complete without a murder!
This time it is an annoying colleague and Pru comes under
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thank you, Alibi/Random House, for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I had a smashing time reading this mystery, and particularly discovering another "cozy mystery" series that I enjoy. There is the sense that this is the second book in the series but I wasn't sure. The reason I mention that is because there are several references in the book to a murder case that was resolved by Pru, the main character in this book. In fact, during the process of solving the
If you enjoy gardening, reading cozies with a touch of mystery,
murder, and romance with forthcoming wedding plans, this is
the book for you!!!
This is the third book in A Potting Shed Mystery series but can
be read as a stand alone. It is easy to follow as the author
presents the past and present in an effortlessly manner.
The characters are all well defined. Each adds their own flavor
to the story.
There are many twist, turns and surprises throughout the story.
Pru Parke is on a three month
Another fun installment to the series but I do have to admit that I really felt the gardening element to the story was missed. Pru in a research assignment started off interesting but quickly became tedious. Granted, it was the direct path to the murder mystery but that didn't make the setting any more appealing for me. Pru needs to be in a garden somewhere doing something with flora. I don't know the first thing about gardening but I do find that aspect of the series to be a major draw for me. ...more
This is book #3 in the Potting Shed Mystery series which is a fun little cozy mystery series set with 50-something Pru Parke continues to build her name in Britain's gardening world while solving the mysteries and crimes that seem to turn up wherever she is. In this book, Pru takes a three-month research post at the The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland, hoping to publish a career-defining paper about the work, determining the authenticity of the journal of a 18th-century botanist and ...more
Linda Baker
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Transplanted Texan Pru Parke finds herself in a very different situation after her successful gig at Primrose House (The Red Book of Primrose House). Not only is she inundated with offers, but she has also had a marriage proposal from Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse of the London Met. The two have taken a six-month leave together and decide to get married after Pru's three-month engagement at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Pru has been hired to authenticate a journal attributed to ...more
Kathy Martin
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a busy time for Pru Parke. She has just accepted the proposal of Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse and is planning a wedding. She has also taken a short term job at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh while Christopher remains in London. Pru's job is to authenticate a journal supposedly written by botanist and explorer Archibald Menzies. She is fascinated and has visions of writing a definitive article about the journal and about Menzies. She isn't expecting a boss who seems to ...more
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For someone who loves to read, there is probably no greater delight than discovering an author heretofore unknown to oneself. I am new to Marty Wingate and this series, and I am delighted and wearing a big smile on my face. I really enjoyed this book--I found myself trying to dig out time just so that I could read it. As someone who loves cozy mysteries and gardening, this book was a perfect match for me.

Pru Parke is an enjoyable protagonist: an American ex-pat botanist who is successfully
Madonna Dolin
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a hard book for me to really get into because the intro scene is about finding a body so you know there has been a murder but then the book starts out with Pru and her fiance Christopher on holiday. It was over 30% in the book before the murder occurred and so much that happens in the store doesn't relate to the murder or the investigation of it at all. I would have preferred this to be classified as fiction instead of mystery. The only other issue I had with this book was the volume of ...more
Laura Salas
I was so happy to check in with Pru and Christopher again. They feel like old friends--people I would like to spend time with in real life, too.

This is another well-plotted mystery (although I felt the clues to whom the killer was were a bit too obvious), with some history about Archibald Menzies woven throughout. Subplots dealing with wedding planning and the reunion of long-lost family members were entertaining and captivating.

And, adding to the appeal for me was the fact that it was set in
Vicki Jaeger
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Vicki by: Goodreadds
This is the second Pru Parke book I've read, and have enjoyed both of them. A little mystery, a lovely romance and wedding in the works, some gardening...who could ask for more? I always enjoy the secondary characters Ms. Wingate creates, as they are just as well-developed as her leads. The wedding dress designer, Madame Fiona, is hilarious and horrifying at the same time. (It makes me thankful that I didn't have to choose a wedding dress, having worn my mother's dress; and my mom and sister ...more
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this series and it keeps getting better and better. Texas transplant takes the British Isles by storm between her garden restorations and her sleuthing. Pru is in Scotland and murder follows her to the Royal Gardens. This cast of characters keeps you very involved and it's nice to have an older couple as the heroes. Love the flower and garden facts.
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I liked this book. Pru was fun and I liked her character. The mystery was sprinkled with information about a botanist. I enjoyed reading about Edinburgh as well. I would suggest this book to anyone who loves cozy mysteries.
A Murder and a Wedding.

This time Pru Parke is in Edinburgh for 3 months to authenticate a journal. And when she's finished she and Christopher will be getting married.
As much as I enjoyed the book, I knew from the start who was going to get murdered and everyone would have an alibi.
Figuring out the murderer and motive wasn't difficult but the enjoyment of the book for me was the interaction between the characters and the fun of Pru finding out what is involved in planning a wedding.
Laurie Way
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying this series. The setting, with beautiful gardens and English country homes, can't be beat. The main characters are quite regular folks and easy to know. The mysteries themselves are intriguing and fun to solve.
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
For those of you that have not started reading this series, book #1 The Garden Plot: Potting Shed Mystery Series is the beginning of the upset of Pru (Prudence) Parker’s life. Pru, a 50-something master horticulturist, quits her job in Texas and moves to London in hopes of finding a job and staying in England for the future, but while at one her small gardening jobs she finds a body, beginning her trail of misfortune when it comes to corpse finding (think Murder She Wrote). The prior book, The ...more
Mystereity Reviews
Book 3 of the Potting Shed Mystery has Pru heading to Edinburgh, Scotland for a temporary job authenticating a newly discovered journal by Archibald Menzies, a noted 18th century botanist. Trouble starts with her colleague, Iain, whose disapproval and snide comments about how she got her job lead to tension and arguments between the two. When Iain is found dead, Pru finds herself under suspicion and begins investigating to clear her name.

The plot was very good; lots of twists and turns and
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books
Pru and Christopher are planning their wedding after spending 6 months exploring England together. Christopher is returning to Scotland Yard and Pru selects a job in Scotland to authenticate a new journal by Archibald Menzie, an early explorer of the new world plants. The journal has been missing from Menzies's writings. Her arrival at the gardens is not very welcoming and she has problems with a coworker and can't get any answers. The coworkers body is later found and Pru is taken to police ...more
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Between a Rock and a Hard Place, by Marty Wingate, is a part of the Potting Shed Mystery. This book takes place in Great Britain, which is one of the reasons I chose it, plus centers around Pru Parker, a horticulturalist. Pru, age 50, moves to London to find a job and stays in Great Britain. There are mentions throughout the book of horticultural information and makes the reader feel like they are in Edinburgh, Scotland, the location of this installment.

I loved the characters and the
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pru and Chrstopher are planning their wedding. Pru takes a temporary research project in Edinburgh while Christopher returns to his busy schedule at the Met. Pru's associate, Iain resents her presence and there is some question why she was appointed to the task. Soon, Iain is murdered and Pru is a suspect. The murder investigation is interspersed with Pru's hilarious dealings with her wedding plans. The dress fittings were hilarious! A wonderfully fun cozy, perfect for a relaxed weekend.
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Definitely not my favorite of the series. It was longer than it needed to be and took too long to get to the point. I listened to the audio-book and kept zoning out. I did finish it because I liked the scenes with Pru and Christopher. Although Pru's ignorance about what goes into a wedding was annoying. Given her age, I had a hard time buying it. I will continue with the series though.
Jenni Schell
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
Overall this was a really great read. The characters were great and sometimes hysterically funny. I can't wait for more.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
My ARC courtesy of Alibi/Random House and Net Galley - much thanks!
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

I love this cozy mystery series, and it was absolutely perfect for the mood I was in as I read it.

One of the reasons I love it so much is that the heroine, Pru Parke, is easy for me to identify with. While in earlier times Pru might have been coyly referred to as a “woman of a certain age”, the fact is that Pru is in her 50s and starting her life over in England. That she has found a realistic and romantic love on her journey just makes it that much more
Celine Godfrey
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was looking forward to this one as it is set in Edinburgh and I know a lot of the areas included which I always find makes a book more enjoyable for me. This is the third in the series which I've found myself reading back to back. So nice to follow Pru's progression, not only career wise but personally with Christopher. For a "cosy" mystery, there's always a lot more going on rather than just the main murder and I like the way the author weaves all the links together.

My usual genre is
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another enjoyable adventure, and the continuing story line between Pru and Christopher, plus other supporting characters, just makes you want to spend time in their world. I really like that the scenery changes in this cozy series, but you still feel like you’re hanging out with friends which is just the way a good cozy mystery series should make you feel, in my opinion. I am really happy we don’t have to wait for something along the lines of book 10 for Pru and Christopher to realize and/or ...more
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wedding, death and intrigue

Brilliant. An engagement, a forthcoming wedding and a new short term job. Can she organise the wedding when there are so many miles between them? Why is her position questioned by some of her colleagues? A death adds to the mix and when her name is quoted as being a suspect, she knows that she has to look into the death. Was it an accident or was it more sinister? A beautifully crafted novel that blends a nervous bride to be with an active investigation whilst still
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was so fun to visit Pru and Christopher again, in another installment of the Potting Shed Mystery series. Christopher has proposed and Pru has been offered a short-term job in Scotland authenticating the journal of a famed botanist. Pru sees it as a fantastic opportunity while she is planning the wedding.

As nothing ever quite goes as planned for her though, Pru finds herself working with a disgruntled colleague, questions as to why she even has the job and ultimately, the mystery of a dead
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoy this series where each plot revolves around a different garden and I learn a bit more about famous personalities in the plant world. The books are well-written and Prue and Christopher are interesting and believable. As usual, the cast of secondary characters contains some gems that always adds to the pleasure of reading this series. Highly recommend if you enjoy cozy mysteries with a solid plot, substantial characters and a bit of romance.
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Marty Wingate is a Seattle-based mystery writer who also lectures about gardens and travel. She is the author of the Potting Shed mysteries from Random House/Alibi, about Pru Parke, middle-aged American gardener who moves to England and digs up more than weeds. Her second cozy series, Birds of a Feather, follows the adventures of Julia Lanchester, daughter of a celebrity ornithologist and manager ...more

Other books in the series

Potting Shed Mystery (7 books)
  • The Garden Plot (Potting Shed Mystery, #1)
  • The Red Book of Primrose House (Potting Shed Mystery, #2)
  • The Skeleton Garden: (Potting Shed Mystery, #4)
  • The Bluebonnet Betrayal (Potting Shed Mystery, #5)
  • Best-Laid Plants (Potting Shed Mystery #6)
  • Midsummer Mayhem (Potting Shed Mystery, #7)
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