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Murder in the Secret Garden

(Book Retreat Mysteries #3)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,475 ratings  ·  219 reviews
Things 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
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Berkley
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Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so excited to be back in Storyton and to wander the beautiful gardens. No cell phones, no computers, no deadlines, a vacation from the rat race surrounded by books, books and more books.

The Medieval Herbalists are guests at Storyton Hall and when one their bodies is found floating down the river Jane and the Finns are on the case. The suspects are many but they are up to weeding out the murderer.

Ellery Adams continues to create stories that surpass the last. The mysteries
Dawn Michelle
Finally. A story that was good! I was really starting to wonder about this series and whether or not I wanted to continue with it and this book made me say YES! I will be continuing on.

I had no idea..well, that isn't true, I DID have a glimmer of a clue, but this one was filled with red herrings and didn't really pay attention to that glimmer until closer to the end and by the time of the reveal I had most of it worked out, including the killer, but to be honest, that didn't make it any less s
Really 4.5 stars, but I rounded up.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Berkley and Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions stated in this review are explicitly my own.*

The Book Retreat Mysteries have become one of the series I look forward to when they're released, so naturally when I got the chance to get a for-review copy of this book I snagged it.

Jane is a wonderful character, she's a single mother and yet balances it wonderfully with her duties as manager of St
Doward Wilson
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Enter the book themed resort home of Jane Stewart as she welcomes The Medieval Herbalists group and the guests at an unusual wedding. Mix together a garden filled with poisonous plants, a local druid with a past, wedding members with secrets, new village residents and herbalists with devious plots and you get a tangled web of lies, deceit, revenge and murder. This series delivers non-stop action, fascinating characters and a background story that thrills with adventure. A must read cozy mystery ...more
Sep 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Just a nitpick, but there was no murder in the secret garden.
Ellen Hamilton
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although this is the 3rd book in the series, I enjoyed it immensely. There were a few details that would probably have made more sense if I read the other two first, but they didn't prevent me from falling in love, head over heels, with this book.

I loved it because even though it is a contemporary novel, the characters still uphold traditional values, principles, and morals. I'm in love with Edwin. I want to read the first two books just to get to know him.

Everything was so interesting in this b
I couldn't help but being swept away by Murder In the Secret Garden. Enchanting and magical with romance with a multi-layered plot that was beautifully written. The Medieval Herbalists are staying at Storyton Hall, a book-themed retreat where patrons go to read and relax with no distractions of modern day life and Jane Steward is responsible for guarding the hidden library with secret books and manuscripts inside.

There's an upcoming wedding, and will be something for the nature lovers, gardeners
Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This truly unique series just keeps getting better!

When I read the first book in the Book Retreat Mysteries, MURDER IN THE MYSTERY SUITE, I just knew this was going to be an amazing series. It feels so good to be right! ;-)

MUDER IN THE SECRET GARDEN, as with the first two book in the series, is a blend of old fashioned mystery, spy thriller, and cozy all magnificently rolled into one. It’s both gripping, and fun. Author Ellery Adams seems to have channeled not only many prolific authors, but sev
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: daniele

Murder in the Secret Garden
A Book Retreat Mystery, Book #3
By Ellery Adams
Author Website:
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele


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
Peggy R
I am a huge fan of this author so any new release, whatever the series, automatically goes on my buy list. This is the third book in a series that just keeps getting better and better. In my opinion, I thought this was the best book yet.

This author has such a talent for creating idyllic settings, wonderful characters and cleverly crafted plots and mysteries. As a result, the reader is transported into her world from page one staying engaged until the book concludes. This story is no exception. T
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jane Steward is the Guardian for Storyton Hall's fabulous book-themed resort. And within the walls of this resort, lies a secret garden, hidden behind a locked door, that houses the most beautiful and deadly plants. This garden, seemingly straight out the classical novel "The Secret Garden" will be a wonderful place to visit for their latest guests, the Medieval Herbalists, visiting the resort for their annual gathering coinciding with the wedding of one of their member's sister. But when a gues ...more
Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-book
There is a group of plant lovers staying at Storyton Hall - The Medieval Herbalists and there is a wedding happening (the sister of one of the Herbalists wants to get married at the Hall and have a Medieval themed wedding), as well as this there is a new shop in the town - and for the grand opening they are doing a rubber duck race down the river! It all seems to be joyous, until Jane Steward discovers one of the Medieval Herbalists dead in the river - but she didn't drown,

It is up to Jane and t
Jan 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ellery-adams, cozy
It took me a month to slog through this muddle. The plot is horrendous, improbable, mention of Guardians and Templars ?????...complete with an anti Catholic barb at medieval monks and feminist ire....skip it, honestly..get a nice cozy
Carol Stanley-Snow
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I love a good mystery and this is one!! Not my first foray to Storyton Hall, nor will it be my last!

Ellery Adams is a great author and i so look forward to more great mysteries!!
I've read straight through this series up to this book and have enjoyed my time at Storyton Hall. Although the books can be read individually and in any order, I think it's a good idea to start with the first in this series because it has important background info that will help you understand some of the relationships in the next books. All in all, this is an enjoyable series, with lots of great literary references, a lovely setting, good character development and solid plots.

Clean Readers: th
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Storyton is a book-themed resort complete with numerous gardens. The Medieval Herbalists are visiting and they have a special interest in one of the gardens. Unique series. Wonderful characters. Great detail and history about books. Storyton, with it's secret passages, is much more than a resort. I'd love to visit! Books, books, books, tea and even a spoiled cat. Jane Steward takes her role as guardian of Storyton very seriously. She makes a very wise and courageous heroine. Well-paced. A little ...more
Linda Smatzny
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This time Jane Steward is hosting a group of Medieval Herbalists at Storyton Hall. Also Edwin Alcott has returned to the village and Jane is both angry at him and wants to see him. After the conclusion of a duck race, Jane discovers a body in the river. It is one of her guests and a member of the Medieval Herbalists. Jane and her employees race to find the killer before anyone else gets murdered. The group of people who are around Jane have such varied talents that they are a joy to read about. ...more
Nancy H
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another good entry in the Book Retreat Mystery series, this one tells the story of Jane Steward and her staff solving several murders where poisonous plants are used as a possible murder weapon. There is a secret garden involved which houses many species of poisonous plants, so Jane has to figure out whether or not these plants were used for nefarious purposes. It is a good story with likable characters, a great setting, and a good plot.
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cosy-mystery, mystery
There is a reason why I postpone reading new books by my favourite writers. With their books - it isn't simply reading anymore. It is a delicious feast, devoured, yet always leaving me hungry for more... :) I truly hope there WILL be more... One of my favourite series by one of my favourite writers.
Mystery well plotted, thought through and executed, so to speak. Very colourful characters, and the secret still kept within the mystery...
Plus a little blooming romance as a bonus.
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm loving this series.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another fantastic cozy mystery! Storyton hall is perfect setting for a mystery - a book lovers paradise. Jane is a great main character, well developed and real. Can’t wait for book 4!
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Templars really? The central mystery was fine and I still enjoy the setting, but the romance angle I’m finding wanting.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, library
Great narration. Love the characters. Looking forward to the next in the series.
I’m still really loving this series and I had been worried that the “family secret” aspect would get old (it hasn’t) or that the “themed retreats” at Storyton Hall would get stale – but this series continues to delight. I’m surprised how much I really enjoy the details of the foods, events, and outings planned for the three very different “special events” featured in the these three books. This third installment focuses on Medieval Herbalists and a wedding and I loved all the details about deadl ...more
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another great addition to the series. This book had some nice twists and turns along with two murders to solve. Ellery Adams definitely has another hit on her hands with the Fins and now with the Templar "joining" in.
Murder in the Secret Garden is the third book in the Book Retreat Mystery series by New York Times Bestselling author Ellery Adams. This cozy mystery is written as a stand-alone story, but I believe readers will appreciate the book more if they read the previous novels to better relate to the characters and their roles. That stated, this story won't lessen reading enjoyment of the previous books in this series. This is definitely a unique series which improves with each addition to the series! T ...more
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Murder n the Secret Garden is the third book in the A Book Retreat Mystery series.

Another wonderfully story by one of my most favorite authors, Ellery Adams.

It’s always a thrill to visit with the folks at Storyton Hall and this book was no exception. Jane Steward, in addition to managing Storyton Hall, also has her twins, Hemingway and Fitzgerald, to raise. I particularly enjoy reading about the boys, they’re not mischievous, but boys will be boys. But Jane can count on her very capable cook, Mr
Mason Canyon
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A magical garden, a manor featuring an Agatha Christie Tea Room and a couple of murders blend together for an all-out fascinating read in author Ellery Adams’ latest Book Retreat Mystery series release.
MURDER IN THE SECRET GARDEN will quickly draw you in with a meeting of Medieval Herbalists at Storyton Hall, along with a fancy wedding. The book-themed resort comes alive through the author’s vivid descriptions. The gardens flourish on the pages through her eye for details.
The core cast of charac
Lisa Morin
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What I wouldn't give to spend time at The Storyton Resort, curled up with a favorite book or three and enjoying a cup of tea.
Each time I read a book written by the talented Ellery Adams, I take a ride on an emotional rollercoaster. She weaves not only a story filled with mystery, adventure, friendship and love, but there is a deep emotional connection that reaches out to me.
In this 3rd book in the Book Retreat series, Jane Steward is hosting a wedding and a group of plant lovers known as The Med
Olivia Farr
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
"Murder in the Secret Garden" is a slow paced mystery that takes place at a book-themed resort. Jane, the owner and mother of two, is currently hosting a group of Medieval plant enthusiasts at Storyton. She finds one of them dead in the river with the appearance of being poisoned. At the same time, her sort-of boyfriend (and professional thief) who she hasn't seen or heard from in months reappears. The book is very slow paced. It's 269 pages in total, which makes it relatively short, but the dea ...more
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USA Today and New York Times bestseller author, Ellery Adams, has written over thirty novels and can’t imagine spending a day away from the keyboard. Ms. Adams, a Native New Yorker, has had a lifelong love affair with stories, food, rescue animals, and large bodies of water. When not working on her next novel, she bakes, gardens, drinks vats of coffee, spoils her three cats, and snacks on black li ...more

Other books in the series

Book Retreat Mysteries (5 books)
  • Murder in the Mystery Suite (Book Retreat Mysteries, #1)
  • Murder in the Paperback Parlor (Book Retreat Mysteries, #2)
  • Murder in the Locked Library (Book Retreat Mysteries, #4)
  • Murder in the Reading Room (Book Retreat Mysteries #5)