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The Coffin Maker’s Garden

(Ash Henderson #3)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,261 ratings  ·  312 reviews
A village on the edge…
As a massive storm batters the Scottish coast, Gordon Smith’s home is falling into the North Sea. But the crumbling headland has revealed what he’s got buried in his garden: human remains.


A house full of secrets…
With the storm still raging, it’s too dangerous to retrieve the bodies and waves are devouring the evidence. Which means no one knows how man
...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published January 7th 2021 by HarperCollins
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Susan I read this as a stand alone too and t worked for me. I don't mind reading a series out of order, but I would have liked to have read the first two ju…moreI read this as a stand alone too and t worked for me. I don't mind reading a series out of order, but I would have liked to have read the first two just for background history.(less)
Susan I purchased my hardback copy from the Book Depository. I like them and they're a bit less expensive with free shipping and no tax. The mailing process…moreI purchased my hardback copy from the Book Depository. I like them and they're a bit less expensive with free shipping and no tax. The mailing process does take longer though.(less)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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Maureen
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
*4.5 stars *

It’s a dark stormy winter’s night on the Scottish coast, it’s blowing a hooley, and the little village of Clachmara is being devoured by the North sea, with chunks of gardens crumbling into the icy depths below, and the headland disappearing by many lengths, but what makes this scene even more terrifying is that in Gordon Smith’s back garden, the erosion has revealed human bones - lots of them! In addition, the local police have a more recent serial killer to catch - a child murderer
...more
Paromjit
Stuart MacBride returns to his Ash Henderson series, set in Oldcastle, Scotland, Ash is now a former DI, working at the Lateral Investigative Review Unit (LIRU) with the heavy drinking forensic psychologist, Dr Alice McDonald. This is written in the trademark MacBride style with its comic and black humour, with the feel of the early Logan McRae books, by which I mean the gruesome murders and high body counts, both from the past and in the present, not to mention the horrifying assaults and injur ...more
Sandy
I’ve been reading this author’s work for ages & while I enjoy the Logan McRae books, have to admit I prefer this series. It’s been 7 years since A Song for the Dying. So I’m thrilled to see the return of Oldcastle’s crankiest, perpetually injured ex-DI.

In fact, it might be prudent if you don a flak jacket before even cracking the cover because the entire Lateral Investigative & Review Unit (LIRU) is back. That includes ex-copper Ash Henderson, forensic psychologist Dr. Alice McDonald & DI “Shift
...more
Ceecee
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A stormy night in Clachmara, a boat floundering near an unstable cliff, a helicopter attempting rescue, a rumble and disaster as the cliff collapses revealing the Coffinmakers Garden. Di Malcolmson (aka Mother) of Oldcastle Division, Ash Henderson and Dr Alice McDonald of LIRU (Lateral Investigative and Review Unit) investigate and make further horrifying discoveries. As if this isn’t bad enough there also a child killer to catch.

This story is as gritty as Aberdonian granite as a trail of destr
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Susan
Butties, Chippies, and Brollys - Oh My!

First, that title. Rarely does a title alone grab me but I was sold on sight. The book was smiling at me - the barely there sort covering a wealth of mordant humor. I wanted to mine it all.

The story features a cast of colorful characters set on the Scottish coast in a Whodunnit frame. Ripe with heaping doses of grit, this was a stand out among other police procedurals for me.

Ash Henderson and his gang of misfits are called in to investigate a case no one w
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Pat (not getting friend updates currently)
That was magnificent! I am a huge fan of Stuart MacBride and have read pretty much all of his books. (Former Detective Inspector) Ash Henderson is now working as a civilian consultant for the Lateral Investigative and Review Unit (LIRU) along with forensic psychologist Dr Alice McDonald. They both have plenty of demons. In addition Alice is drinking far too much and Ash is recovering from a bullet wound in his foot.

It was a dark and stormy night in Clachmara and police are called because of hum
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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: There were shackles fixed to the bricks opposite, the chains furry with rust. A mattress on the floor, filthy with brown stains. Heavy-duty stainless-steel hooks, screwed into the beams of the floor above. More brown stains on the concrete floor beneath them.

Another line of Polaroids hung on either side of the shackles. Only in these ones, the people weren't smiling. In these ones, the colours were mostly reds and blacks.

Alice crept forwards, pulling a reluctant Henry with her.

'What
...more
Gary
Dec 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed the 'Logan, McRae' series for a few years now and would highly recommend it to readers who fancy a crime series that's full of humour and a little different. I have been meaning t start this series for sometime and although I realise it is not an ideal place to start with book 3 I didn't feel that it spoilt my enjoyment of this book. There was plenty to like about this book and I had mixed feelings throughout without completely connecting with either the characters or plot. For me ...more
Adrian Dooley
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
My first Stuart McBride book and boy what a fun read! Ultra violence, dark humour, gruesome subject matter and most importantly a compelling story.

This is the third in Ash Henderson series, an ex DI now working in the Lateral Investigative Review Unit with his sidekick forensic psychologist, the heavy drinking Alice McDonald.

We have duel investigations going on with these two, a serial killer who has been undetected for decades and also a child murderer who is escalating his crimes with every ki
...more
Lou
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Coffinmaker's Garden is the third instalment in the Ash Henderson series, set in the small city of Oldcastle, Scotland. Former Detective Inspector Henderson is now working as part of the Lateral Investigative Review Unit (LIRU) alongside forensic psychologist and serious-drinker Doctor Alice MacDonald. It's a wild and windy night in the quaint village of Clachmara as Storm Trevor blows in from Scandinavia battering the local area with a promise of more to come. The news on the radio states t ...more
Kirsty ❤️
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As much as I love the Logan Macrae series, I have really struggled to like Ash Henderson. The previous stories were good but the character never sat well. It's all changed in this book. Maybe it's because the murdered daughter storyline is resolved (as much as losing a child can be resolved, it is still prevalent in this book) and we've moved on a few years and it's a wholly new serial killer (two actually, we are spoilt here) with no personal attachments but this book feels like a breath of fre ...more
Mags Schofield
I know I'm the odd one out here, but I really didn't enjoy this book. Too violent. Too dark. Too much rule breaking. Too much torture. Too much sexism. Too much racism. Too incredulous.
Ash is a Superhero - able to continue despite all the beatings, injuries, amputations, torture, stabbings and shootings he receives along the way. But he's the nasty evil Superhero with a psychopathic love of inflicting pain and torturing anyone he assumes to have done wrong. This to me was the ultimate hypocrisy
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Stephen Robert Collins
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elaine Tomasso
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for an advance copy of The Coffinmaker’s Garden, the third novel to feature former DI Ash Henderson, now a consultant to Police Scotland in the fictional town of Oldcastle.

Ash and his sidekick, forensic psychologist Dr Alice McDonald, are hunting a child killer when they are diverted to help another team. Gordon Smith has led an apparently blameless life until his home starts sliding into the sea and human remains are uncovered,
...more
Amina Kara
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I've read a few Stuart MacBride books and this one was as amazing as some of the others I've read.

This was really well written, and I loved the balance between dark/gruesome and humour. Stuart clearly has a knack for that! The descriptive writing and setting of the scenes was also excellently done (I don't think I'd have the courage to go down into a basement where the house was in danger of falling off a cliff! There were a couple of those moments in the story and they were so well written, I
...more
Angela Moore Garden Tea Cakes and Me
What a gripping and at times a very dark read. Book 3 in a series, and it certainly has me wanting to know more about Ash Henderson in particular his close relationship with Alice and Shifty. Enjoyed that story moved around the majestic scenery of Scotland and not just focused in an urban environment. I’ll never look at theatre scenery in the same way again.

Another great crime story from Stuart, I’m up to book three in the Logan MaRae series and I’ve just downloaded the next book in the series.
...more
Sharon
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a fabulous 5* read! This is the first book I've read by this author (I know! Where have I been?) but, he's definitely on my 'favourite author list' now and what a treat I've got in store, working my way through the back catalogue! Could take a while...

This is a fabulously told murder mystery with the lead character of Ash, who was in the police, but who now works as a consultant in a team called LIRU - Lateral Investigative Review Unit - described as a 'sort of New Tricks'.
The story is abou
...more
Shannon M
May 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
One year ago, I discovered and subsequently devoured MacBride’s Logan McRae series of novels. He had written them over a period of several years; I read them in one.

I was keen to discover whether the author’s new Ash Henderson novel, THE COFFINMAKER’S GARDEN would match the standard set by his earlier series. I was aware that there were two other Ash Henderson books, written several years ago, that did not match the popularity of the Logan McRae series, so I didn’t bother to read them. “The Coff
...more
Veronika Jordan
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Here is an author who manages to find humour in the face of adversity. Well not just adversity, more like in the face of serial killers, blood, gore, torture, beatings and murder. It’s exciting, full of suspense, sometimes a bit over-the-top and unbelievable, but always enjoyable. It involves the hunt for not one but TWO serial killers – a bit like BOGOF but with more violence (except when there’s a rush in the middle-of-Lidl’s bargain aisle).

On the minus side, I was not keen on Ash’s Clint East
...more
Bridget
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Stuart MacBride's third instalment in his 'Ash Henderson' series is an absolute humdinger! This was my first read by the author and also this series so I wasn't totally sure what to expect and was blown away by the rocket-paced action, thrills and danger. If you want a slow-burn, comfortably paced story then The Coffinmaker’s Garden isn't for you.

The author's creation of many of the characters in this novel is outstanding, particularly in the case of Ash Henderson, an ex-Detective Inspector.
...more
Shelagh Wadman
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this thriller and Stuart MacBride’s dark humour shines through the writing. I made a list of all the interesting Scottish words that I had to look up!! The Coffinmaker’s Garden is the third book in the Ash Henderson series.

A massive storm is hitting the coast at Clachmara and the headland is falling into the sea taking with it houses and gardens. Young mum Margaret Compton and her son Alfie standing on the headland are shocked to see human bodies being swept into the raging se
...more
Ali Kennedy
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-pigeonhole
This is my first Stuart MacBride book (despite having a few on my Kindle!) and I'm wondering why I haven't read them sooner!

This is a gritty but witty crime crusade throughout Scotland. Starting with a landslide which exposes human remains, Ash Henderson, and his work partner Alice, get deeply involved in investigating the crime, while simultaneously investigating the murder/disappearance of local children.
It is not for the faint hearted but the action/violence is offset nicely with some fantast
...more
Alison
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Stuart MacBride’s ‘The Coffinmaker’s Garden’ as read on the Pigeonhole book club app with other readers, was a truly outstanding read. My first of Stuart MacBride, however my Kindle is now loaded with another 5 of his books ready to read. Such intelligent, fascinating, riveting writing with a fast pace, incredibly beautifully poetic pose in 3D imagery, all the literary senses are smacked in your face, you are a part of the story. Alison great cop black-humour to get you through the job. Although ...more
Susan Hampson
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Oh wow! button-down the hatches because this is one hell of a stormy ride as the sea batters and erodes the coastline, taking with it the gardens and homes perched on top. There hasn’t been a hole deep enough to hide the horrors of the coffin maker’s true nature as his victims remains tumble into the sea. He of course is nowhere to be found.

What a tremendous opening to what is a real-world mind blocker. This book took over me, as I carried my kindle everywhere I went not able to lose even a seco
...more
Liz Mistry
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have waited sooooo long for my Ash Henderson and Dr Alice MacDonald fix .... I'm quite giddy to share my thoughts on The Coffinmaker's Graveyard but it's here and I am excited to share my review with you.
I settled down with this during the second Covid lockdown and was chuffed to bits to be thrust right into the brilliant Henderson/MacDonald dynamics. It was so lovely to reconnect with them seven long years after their last outing together and a lots happened in the interim. They are now cons
...more
Paul
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Ash Henderson novels have a very special place in my heart because they are what introduced me to Stuart Macbride's work. So when I heard a third book was on its way I became optimistically excited. And wasn't disappointed for a second.

This is very much a continuation of Ash's story. While the mystery may be self contained his overall experiences from his first two outings are referenced a plenty so under no circumstances should you start here.

As is usual with my reviews I won't go into pl
...more
Laura Thomson
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Disclaimers first - I'm already a huge fan of Stuart MacBride; I prefer Logan McRae to Ash Henderson; I got to read this book for free with The Pigeonhole.

It's been a while since we saw Ash Henderson, and I'm sure I've forgotten lots of the back story, but had enough to know what was going on. If this would be your first Ash Henderson book, I'd recommend you start with Birthdays for the Dead.

Mayhem really is a good word for this book - despite his less-than-mainstream methods, Ash is a likeabl
...more
Susan Bailey
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
At last we have the third Ash Henderson book and what a cracker it is. As expected from the brilliant Stuart MacBride it’s a fast paced, dark and gory crime tale but still a fabulous read in the main due to Stuart’s fabulous humour running all the way through it - there are some real laugh out loud moments which fit so well into the whole story and break up the seriousness with believable commentary particularly around Ash’s opinion of others. He’s still angry, damaged and doesn’t play by the ru ...more
Sandie Bishop
Jan 01, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: ng-2021-reads
As this is book 3 in the series, I really recommend reading from the start otherwise like me you will spend a fair amount of time trying to work out what's gone before. Had I had this information I would have rated this much higher, so it's my bad. Some excellent humorous lines and I like the characters, so this is a series I will be revisiting from the start. ...more
Gail Danks
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The best book I’ve read in a while, I’ve bought the 2 previous ones In the series as I enjoyed it so much. I was that engrossed that I rarely commented on the way through the staves.
I will certainly look out for more from this author
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Aka Stuart B. MacBride

The life and times of a bearded write-ist.

Stuart MacBride (that's me) was born in Dumbarton -- which is Glasgow as far as I'm concerned -- moving up to Aberdeen at the tender age of two, when fashions were questionable. Nothing much happened for years and years and years: learned to play the recorder, then forgot how when they changed from little coloured dots to proper musi
...more

Other books in the series

Ash Henderson (3 books)
  • Birthdays for the Dead (Ash Henderson, #1)
  • A Song for the Dying (Ash Henderson, #2)

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