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Best-Laid Plants

(Potting Shed Mystery #6)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  64 reviews
A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve.

Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher
Published October 17th 2017 by Random House Publishing Group - Alibi
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Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read all of this series except the first book, it is on my TBR shelf. This is one of the best in the series as Pru Parke is offered a chance to consult on a restoring an Arts and Craft Garden in Cotswold. Pru and her husband have friends there and one host the village annual fete. They decided to take a vacation at the same time. Pru accepted the consulting job and they head for Cotswold. At arrival the owner of the gardens is too I'll to see Our and she is given 3 of his gardening books ...more
Probably 3.5-3.75 stars--not my favorite in this series but still a solid offering, so rounding up to 4.

The sixth book in this cozy mystery about an American gardening expert who has settled in England, restoring historic gardens and solving mysteries she comes across. I like Pru, she is a 50-ish, mostly strong female character and I also enjoy Christopher, her husband who is a former Detective Chief Inspector. In this book, Pru is asked to go to the Cotswolds (where she and Christopher's roman
Carla Johnson-Hicks
The sixth book in this cozy mystery continues with the story of Pru Parke, an American gardening expert who has settled in England, restoring historic gardens and solving mysteries she comes across. In this book, Pru is asked to go to the Cotswolds (where she and Christopher's relationship began) to consult on the restoration of an Arts and Crafts style garden. Pru and her husband have friends there so they decided to take a vacation at the same time. When they arrive at the estate, they find ou ...more
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
“Best Laid Plants” earns 5+/5 Gardens of Flowers, Herbs, and…Fun!

Although Marty Wingate’s Potting Shed Mystery series has received well-deserved rave reviews, I am a newbie starting with book six, cleverly titled “Best Laid Plants,” and after only a few pages, I am now a big ‘fan.’ Marty Wingate has penned a well-written mystery with descriptions creating delightful mental pictures, intriguing dialog, and lots of possible conclusions that I couldn’t put down. Don’t overlook the way she begins e
Pru is asked to come to the Cotswalds to help restore a historic garden that has fallen into disrepair. She and Christopher look forward to the getaway – until Pru discovers a body in the garden. Because the local police force is seriously understaffed, Christopher is called on to lead the investigation, but this time, he welcomes Pru's assistance.

One of the things I like most about this series is that, despite their 'newlywed' status, Pru and Michael aren't 20-somethings just starting out in l
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

Another garden, another dead body. If one didn’t know better one could easily wonder if master gardener Pru Parke was somehow planting “corpse seeds” wherever she went. Because no matter where Pru travels to consult on gardens, whether in her beloved England or her native Texas, she seems to have a knack for finding a body, and getting herself involved in a murder investigation.

This particular case is return trip to the Cotswolds for Pru, with the intent of
Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)
Another outing for Pru and her husband, Pru has been asked to come and quote for reviving an Arts and Crafts style garden by the person who will inherit (although the current owner and designer of the garden is still alive, albeit unwell, but he also would like to see it renewed). Although they could have stayed with friends Carol (the heiress) has booked them into a local Bed and Breakfast which seems to be on its last legs! However that is the least of their problems when a couple of days afte ...more
I came, and stayed, for the title. Brilliant, right?

Agatha Christie-esque in that there are a lot of random adult characters within a community who are hiding various things, and then there's the big reveal at the end. But nobody executes quite like Dame Agatha. It was alright, or maybe slightly better than alright. I think I'm not a huge fan of the cozy mystery.
Kathy Martin
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pru is hired to assess an Arts and Crafts garden in the Cotswolds and jumps at the chance. She thinks it would be a great vacation for her and her husband Christopher. She isn't there long before the builder of the garden, Batsford Bede, is found dead in his garden and Christopher is drafted to solve the crime.

There are all sorts of suspects including the daughter of his long-time love and a life coach who has been helping him and who had a previous relationship with Christopher after his divor
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
When I began to read the first Potting Shed Mystery, I wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy it. In this 6th in series, Pru is an old friend, especially as she and Christopher walk memory lane. It has been three years since they met. They are now newlyweds, having met at a crime scene and got to know each other at a fete, of which this year’s is ready to take place. They are in the Cotswalds for a short job Pru accepted. They will attend this year’s fete while visiting friends Pru met that first yea ...more
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best-Laid Plants by Marty Wingate is a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable entry into her Potting Shed Mystery series, which features professional gardener Pru Parke. Marty Wingate calls on her own expertise in the gardening field to add depth and color to the book with each chapter prefaced by an excerpt from the journals of the fictional Batsford Bede, whose expansive gardens at Glebe House Pru has been hired to restore to their former glory. These excerpts not only foreshadow some part of t ...more
Linda Baker
I am always happy to get my hands on a new Potting Shed Mystery with its mystery, gardening tips and lore, quirky characters and a touch of grown-up romance. Pru Parke is a transplanted Texan whose life dream was to relocate to her mother's native England. Her first year in England was a challenge, but now she has a good reputation and a steady flow of jobs. Not only is she established professionally, but she has married semi-retired Chief Inspector, Christopher Pearse. All her success comes at ...more
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Good, engaging plot and wonderful characters that I would not mind visiting with again. Not one hundred percent my cup of tea at the current time.
JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Pru Parke is a well-known gardener in England. Although she was born in Texas, it was the British gardens that stole her heart and helped her make a home for herself on the other side of the world. And now the celebrated gardens of Batsford Bede in the Cotswolds are badly in need of repair, and Pru has been called in to consult on how to refurbish the garden by the closest person Bede has to family, his ersatz neice, Coral Summersun. 

Coral first meets with Pru in the garden office, and Pru is co
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
American Pru and her British husband, DI Chris (already forgot his last name), are in the countryside for Pru to assess a once-famous garden fallen into disrepair. The garden designer, Batsford Beede, was once famous for his designs (I think), but after the death of his lover many years ago he let it go; now he's ill, and his heir presumptive Coral wants to see if the gardens can be saved. What can't be saved is Batsford, who gets creatively murdered fairly soon, with Pru finding the body and Ch ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clean-cozy
This British cozy series features gardener Pru Parke and her husband Inspector Christopher Pearse, a former Scotland Yard detective. The series focuses on the various gardening projects on which Pru works, which have a way of leading Pru and Christopher into being involved in a murder investigation. In "Best-Laid Plants", Pru is consulting on a short-term project and she and Christopher take advantage of what should have been a relaxing break in the Cotswolds. However, the trip is nothing like w ...more
Maria Logan-Montgomery
I read the uncorrected proof copy of Marty Wingate's Best Laid Plants, and didn't want it to end. This is another cozy mystery I couldn't put down. Not only did Best Laid Plants have a good mystery, it had provided a treasure trove of both common plant names and their botanical names. While I usually highlight grammatical and punctuation errors in books I review, I found myself highlighting plant names and interesting tidbits about the plants.
Set in England, Pru Parke, gardener extraordinaire,
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What better to read in October but a cozy mystery! This series, A Potting Shed Mystery, is one of my fav’s due to it takes place in the UK, the heroine is in her 50’s [like me], and the books are rich with places, facts and an actual storyline to wrap yourself up in.

For those of you who have not read this series, Pru Parke is a historical gardener from the states who now lives in England with her law enforcement husband, DCI Christopher Pearce. In this newest edition we start out in the same pub
Even a time-away vacation of sorts turns into a dangerous adventure when Pru Parke and her husband, retired DI Christopher Pearse, return to the place they first got together. They are looking forward to renewing friendships and investigating an overgrown treasure of a garden. While this is a working vacation for Pru, it is the best kind with research and walking about the plants - no heavy lifting or digging.
The adventure starts from the first, when they check into a B&B that is not given a ful
Jennifer Ritter
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Best-Laid Plants is the sixth publication in Marty Wingate's Potting Shed Mysteries. Horticulturist Pru Parke receives a letter from a Miss Coral Summersun inviting her to come to the Cotswolds to confer on the restoration of the Glebe House gardens of Batsford Bede. As it is in the same area as friends Natalie and John Bennet-Smythe of Grenadine Hall and is time for their annual autumn fete, it is an easy decision to accept. She and husband, police inspector Christopher Pearse, plan to make a w
Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)
Pru gets an offer to come to Cotswold by a lady named Coral because she will soon be inheriting a home with a lovely garden that is in disrepair. Pru and Christopher have friends nearby so they think it will be a lovely way to get away and visit but that is not what happens. Pru and her husband are staying in a B&B that is very strange with a lonely old lady who can't cook a chicken and the adventure just gets better from

Soon Pru finds the old guy who owns the place dead in his gard
Susan Johnston
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Princess Fuzzypants here:
I have enjoyed all the Potting Shed mysteries since the first one and this is no exception. I truly like Pru, her husband Christopher, and all the other friends and characters. I love how English she has become and I enjoy wandering through the various parts of the UK where she goes to plant her gardens. This one is set in one of the prettiest parts of the country, The Cotswolds, which increased my pleasure.
Pru is invited t0 assess a formerly beautiful garden that has be
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
I adore Marty Wingate’s other series, the one featuring plucky, enthusiastic Julia Lanchester. Her adventures overseeing and expanding tourism in the country village of Smeaton-under-Lyme, Suffolk, and helping out with her famous father’s BBC Two nature show, A Bird in the Hand, are a pure delight!

I doubted I would like Wingate’s other series as much — and I don’t. Best-Laid Plants, the sixth in the Potting Shed Mystery series about transplanted Texan Pru Parke, now a formal garden landscaper i
This is the first Mary Wingate book I have read. There are plenty of gardening terms and species names I did not recognize. This did not really matter but did not do much to enhance the setting. I just substitute pretty flowers for all the descriptions by species names. There were a lot of British words used that this American English speaker did not understand. Some of them were self-explanatory in context, but some were not. I found this odd as Pru is a Texan living in England. The author coul ...more
Patricia Tucker
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always look forward to each new book in this series. Pru is offered the job of returning a neglected garden (in the Cotswolds) to its former glory, in this installment.

Upon arrival at the bed and breakfast, arranged for them, Pru and husband Christopher find the house cramped, outdated and the elderly owner eccentric. Descriptions of their meals (especially a kitchen encounter over toast) add humor to the story.

The neglected garden belongs to an older gentleman, in failing health, Batsford Bed
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, chick-lit
I got a free copy of this book through Net Galley in exchange for a free review.

I really enjoyed this one! Pru and Christopher are a lovely married couple. They love each other, but it doesn't have to be over emphasized. I love cozy mysteries, but don't really like too much romance. This book had the right mix.

There were several characters that I didn't like at first. I warmed up to them and found this to be a strength in the book. The town is full of quirky people that really made me fall in lo
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marty Wingate has done it again! I have read all the books in the potting shed series of mysteries and she continually and consistently comes up with great plots, unique scenarios, quirky characters and all so brilliantly written!

If you haven't read any of this series I would suggest this is as good as any to start with. It's easy to jump right in and get to know Texan Pru Parke and her gorgeous British Detective Inspector husband Christopher, both very likeable and easy going.

Pru is getting qui
Laura Salas
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, adult, e-book, 2017
I am always happy when a new Potting Shed Mystery comes out, and Best-Laid Plants didn't disappoint. It's not just that the books in this series are neatly plotted, with subtle clues planted (hehe) inconspicuously here and there. It's also that they are a total escape. Although I don't like to garden, there is something so inviting about the mysteries that Pru finds herself involved in. The atmosphere of grand old British estates combined with thoroughly modern crimes and a diverse group of inte ...more
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author Marty Wingate has again created one of those stellar marvels known as a cozy mystery. Her cast of characters, each one with a unique personality, includes several from previous novels, but remembering them or not is irrelevant to your enjoyment of this story. Even if your knowledge of gardens consists of "leaves of green let them be," you can have fun with the colorful descriptions of the enormous variety of plant life which can be found in a proper English garden. And now, we come to the ...more
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USA Today best-selling author Marty Wingate writes The First Edition Library series (Berkley) set in Bath, England, about the curator of a collection of books from the Golden Age of Mystery. Book one, The Bodies in the Library, concerns murder among an Agatha Christie fan-fiction writing group, and in book two, Murder Is a Must (October 2020), an exhibition manager is found dead at the bottom of a ...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)
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Potting Shed Mystery, #3)
  • The Skeleton Garden: (Potting Shed Mystery, #4)
  • The Bluebonnet Betrayal (Potting Shed Mystery, #5)
  • Midsummer Mayhem (Potting Shed Mystery, #7)

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