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Mulch (Gardening Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – January 5, 1998

3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
Book 1 of 10 in the Gardening Mysteries Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Coincidence and intuition figure prominently in the two-pronged plot of this slender, predictable first novel set in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. Foreign-service wife Louise Eldridge is settling her family into their new northern Virginia home, in the same neighborhood where Peter Hoffman, a possible candidate for undersecretary of defense, lives. Louise, an organic gardener, begins to collect bags of leaves from her neighbors' curbsides to fill in a low spot in the back yard. Concurrently, Peter realizes he must jettison his mistress, another neighbor, in order to stay in the running for the government post. Louise and her family are shocked to discover parts of a severed body in some of the lawn bags. When Louise's husband agrees to vet Peter, the Eldridges throw a dinner party, at which a slightly tipsy Louise leads the smarmy Peter to suspect she connects him to the murder. Their subsequent meeting, when Louise bravely fends off Peter's attempt to kill her, will not surprise those readers who have stuck with the story.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Gamely establishing still another garden after her husband, Bill, an ill-concealed State Department spook, moves her back to suburban DC, Louise Eldridge gathers two dozen bags of leaves from her Sylvan Valley neighbors' trash to use as organic mulch. Maybe a little too organic, since when she and her daughter Janie spread the contents of those plastic bags, they discover the chainsawed arms, legs, and torso of a woman the police can't identify. But we can: We know it's neighbor Peter Hoffman's too-clinging mistress Kristina Weeren, whom Peter strangled when her existence threatened his confirmation as undersecretary of Defense. Now, if only Louise could remember the telltale detail about the night she collected those leaves.... A first novel whose slender plot leaves its smart, appealing heroine all dressed up with no place to go. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Gardening Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crimeline; Revised edition (January 5, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553577344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553577341
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.6 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,003,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am always impressed when authors make their characters become real. And, that is just what Ann Ripley has done! Louise Eldridge seems to have a real husband who nearly falls into the lust garden for the neighbor and real kids who fall in love with the neighbor boy or have "pricey" college expenses.
Here's the garden scoop, Louise becomes a local celebrity when she lands her own public television gardening show in the Washington, D.C. area. However, this is her first real job. So, she's a little naive when it comes to professional competition. When a murder occurs in this setting and context, she becomes a big time suspect. Her technical skill about plants along with her humor and character parlay against her fears.
Though I am always anxious to find new mystery series authors, I find Ann Ripley's character, Louise Eldridge, great fun and educational. Read this book if you love plants . . .or if you love new types of mysteries! I bet you will be just like me and want to read "Mulch" (which I wish I had read first) and "Death of a Political Plant."
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoy mysteries with sleuths who are realistic. I am always scavenging leaves for my compost pile so I really relate to Louise Eldridge's leaf-collecting methods. This book is obviously written by a true gardener. I thought the plot was good and I enjoyed reading the book. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 mainly because details don't always fit together and that is an irritation. For example, Louise painstakingly monitors every word she says to neighbors so noone will know her husband is a CIA spook. But she feels it is OK to get publicly drunk and be hypnotized which would both be situations where secrets slip. If a few inconsistencies in the characters don't bother you, especially if you are a gardener or composter, read the book.
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By A Customer on May 7, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This really only kept my interest to a point and then I skimmed through just to find out how it ended. I have no desire to try any of her other books. You have to like the main characters and care about them enough to keep reading . The main character was too whiny for my tastes.
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