From Publishers Weekly
At the start of Ripley's intrigue-filled gardening mystery, the eighth entry in this popular series after Death at the Spring Plant Sale (2003), Louise Eldridge, who hosts a TV gardening show, is shocked to see at a suburban party Peter Hoffman, a murderer she helped send to a state mental prison five years earlier. Accompanied by his wife and his high-powered lawyer, Hoffman intimates that he will see Louise later. Unnerved and sure Hoffman is out for revenge, Louise and her husband and two daughters retreat to a beach house for a week's respite. Upon their return, they learn Hoffman has disappeared. And just whose body is buried in the azalea bed? Louise soon finds herself at the mercy of an antagonistic detective who suspects her of murder. A midnight prowler, nefarious business deals, another murder and other disturbing events lead to a knockdown climax. Wedding plans, horticultural tidbits and the give-and-take of a cultivated family life nicely balance the mayhem.
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Summertime, and the livin' isn't easy in Sylvan Valley, where corpses lie hidden beneath the prized azaleas and precisely planted vegetables in Louise Eldridge's garden. Upon his release from the state mental hospital where he served a four-year murder sentence, Peter Hoffman makes a brazen homecoming appearance at a neighborhood cocktail party, conspicuously confronting Louise, the woman responsible for his incarceration. When Peter is reported missing just days later, an anonymous tip leads police, shovels in hand, to the Eldridge garden, and when Peter's body is discovered, Louise becomes their prime suspect. That doesn't stop the amateur sleuth/PBS gardening guru from investigating the crime herself, and her inquiries put her visibly at odds with victim number two, smarmy lawyer Mike Cunningham. When Cunningham's body is dug up along with Louise's onions, her future seems dark. Peppering her latest caper with a slew of unsavory suspects, Ripley continues to exhibit polish and flair in this sunny addition to the cozy mystery landscape. Carol HaggasCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved