Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Long Buried Mystery in an English Country Village

During WWII, a German fighter plane was shot down and landed in the Greenoak garden. The owner decided to bury the plane, since it couldn't be removed, but before the burial was complete, a wounded RAF pilot was pushed into the pit and died. The body lay undiscovered until it was unearthed during a garden renovation causing a stir among the townsfolk and leading to more problems as the inept inspector conducts the murder investigation.

Pru Parke and her husband, Christopher Pearse, are Living at Greenoak for a year at the invitation of Pru's employers who are away on an archaeological expedition. Pru is trying to connect with her brother, Simon, the head gardener at Greenoak. The siblings were raised apart and Simon finds it hard to forgive Pru for knowing both their parents.

Christopher has given up his job as CID Inspector in London and is working as a special constable in the village near Greenoak. He knows that his superior is not qualified for police work, but resists taking over the murder investigation because he doesn't want to overshadow the young man.

As if things couldn't get more complicated, Orlando, Christopher's nephew arrives for an extended stay. He's a computer whiz and is being punished for hacking into someone's personal files and publishing them on the internet. Orlando is supposed to be helping in the garden, but the rebellious teenager succeeds in making more work for Pru until the body appears and catches his interest.

This is a delightful and very English mystery filled with unusual characters and wonderful descriptions of the garden and surrounding village. Pru and Christopher are sympathetic characters. They are newly weds enjoying the luxury of Greenoaks until Orlando and the body turn up. Orlando is a typical teenager, curious and always hungry.

The mystery itself is not hard to figure out in less than half the book. However, it doesn't matter. It's fun to watch the townspeople's interactions and see the struggle between Pru and Simon as they try to overcome the past.

If you enjoy a cozy English mystery, this is a good one.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.