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Death in the Garden Paperback – October 15, 2005


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Death in the Garden + A Good Death (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries) + Accomplice
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Felony & Mayhem (October 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933397179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933397177
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Superbly handled ... a masterly example of classic crime fiction" --Birmingham Post [UK]

"One of those few mystery writers you unreservedly look forward to reading" --The Spectator [UK]

From the Publisher

Originally published in Britain in 1995, Death in the Garden was first published in the United States, by Felony & Mayhem Press, in 2005. It was named one of the Best 12 Books of 2005 by National Public Radio.

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Customer Reviews

The characters are well developed and intriguing.
John D. Cofield
Every character appears in view as one personality, but as the story evolves the lives are opened and exposed for their flaws and their real character.
billy stone
I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy historical novels, especially to those interested in the post-World-War I era in England.
Jennifer Robinson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

215 of 229 people found the following review helpful By M. Frank on January 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoy British psychological fiction. Have for years. But I'd never heard of Eliz Ironside before this title. After reading Death in the Garden, I'm a huge fan of Ironside's.

This book takes place in the present and during the early adulthood of the main character's great aunt. The aunt travels among the beautiful people. At the same time she's an independent woman - something her husband and most of society at the time doesn't care for. She surrounds herself with artists and contemporary literati.

Our focal character is contemporary, hard working, interesting and unhappy.

Great combination. The current great niece explores the independent and fascinating great aunt's past, a past that includes - among the parties - murder.

I can't say much more because I want you to enjoy it as much as I did.

Read this book. I promise you'll have fun and feel like you've spent your hours among the most fascinating characters.
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146 of 154 people found the following review helpful By M. S. Butch VINE VOICE on February 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read about three mysteries each week, and this is one of the very, very best. It has history (the'20s, when the murder occurred) but also a contemporary perspective on that history (the main character (Helena) trying to reconstruct the murder). Portions of the book are written from each perspective. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of the book is the way the lives of the characters from the '20s and the lives of Helena and the other contemporary characters illuminate each other -- not so much factually as emotionally. I could not put it down, and I wished that it were at least twice as long.
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Robinson on April 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Death in the Garden by Elizabeth Ironside is an unusual blending of historical mystery and modern-day novel. It begins with a brief Part I, in which Diana Pollexfen writes of her feelings on being found not guilty of the murder of her husband, George. Part II describes the 1925 weekend the culminates in Diana's husband's death, from the shifting perspective of various house party attendees. Part III moves forward sixty years to the perspective of Helena, Diana's thirty-year-old grand-niece and heir, upon Diana's death.

As she goes through her beloved aunt's possessions, Helena finds Diana's diaries, and learns for the first time about the murder of George Pollexfen. Before she can accept her inheritance, Helena feels compelled to learn the truth about whether or not Diana murdered George. The remainder of the book details Helena's investigation, and includes various extracts from letters and diaries and people's memories, as well as events in Helena's modern-day life. The book culminates with resolution of the mystery, and of some issues in Helena's own life.

I found this book to be a cross between a post WWI British country estate novel (like the work of D. E. Stevenson) and a spare, modern-day examination of people's ordinary lives (like the work of Anita Brookner), with the tiniest hint of the supernatural thrown in. The mystery was almost incidental, paling in comparison to the examination of individual characters and motives. Both the historical and modern portions of the book have a strong and authentic British flavor.

Elizabeth Ironside is the pseudonym of Lady Catherine Manning, wife of the British Ambassador to the U.S. Death in the Garden was shortlisted for Britain's CWA Silver Dagger for Best Mystery of 1995. The U.S. edition was published in 2005.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Wickie L. Bowman on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a wonderful surprise. I had not been aware of Elizabeth Ironside (the nom de plume for Lady Catherine Manning), until I read a recommendation for this book. I took a chance and ordered it. This is one of the most literate of British mysteries. At times, the writing took my breath away. It is rare to find this kind of prose, and I ordered a second book by this author. I was not disappointed. To read Death in the Garden, is to read the finest descriptive writing available today. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I gave the book to a friend, and she called me to rave about the writing. It is that good!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kim D. Skidmore on October 6, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful British mystery novel with a surprising twist at the end. And yet it is so much more.

It is a murder mystery with a little bit of history and just a hint of the supernatural. Underlying it all is an exploration of the intricacies of human relationships over the course of a life time and between intersecting generations. Did you ever take the time to wonder what your mother, grandmother, great aunt was like before she was cast in the role of mother, grandmother, great aunt?

I loved this book and can't wait for Ms. Ironside to write another.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By E Rice on May 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
this is a beautifully written book. the prose is wonderful, the characters are vivid and distinct from one another, the plot is well worked out.

the american publisher has printed a hint on the back cover: "who's likely to like this? fans of minette walters." this is an accurate statement. this novel is more about character and psychology, memory and human interactions than forensics or procedure.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Patricia J. Williams on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book because the description promised an entertaining mystery set in post-war England. Yes, it was that, but much more! From the beginning, the reader is drawn into another world, another era, populated with richly detailed characters and intriguing hints of past events. Ultimately I was able to guess what happened, but I was successful only because the author has done an outstanding job of fleshing out the personalities of the key players. I am now in search of every book this author has produced!
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