Pruning the Dead by Julia Henry

Posted August 10, 2019 by Elle in Book Review / 0 Comments


Pruning the Dead by Julia HenryPruning the Dead by Julia Henry
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Series: The Garden Squad Mystery Series #1
Published by Kensington Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 346
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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My Rating : five-stars

Post-retirement aches and pains can't prevent sixty-five-year-old Lilly Jayne from keeping the most manicured garden in Goosebush, Massachusetts. But as a murder mystery blooms in the sleepy New England town, can a green thumb weed out a killer?

With hundreds flocking to her inaugural garden party, meticulous Lilly Jayne hasn't left a single petal out of place. But the picture-perfect gathering turns unruly upon the arrival of Merilee Frank, Lily's ex-husband's catty third wife. Merilee lives for trouble, so no one is surprised after she drinks too much, shoves a guest into the koi pond, and gets escorted off the property. The real surprise comes days later--when Merilee is found dead in a pile of mulch . . .

Lilly wishes she could stick to pruning roses and forget about Merilee's murder--until her best friend and ex become suspects in an overgrown homicide case. Now, aided by the Garden Squad, an unlikely group of amateur crime solvers with a knack for planting, Lilly knows she has limited time to identify the true culprit and restore order to Goosebush. Because if the murderer's plot isn't nipped in the bud, another victim could be pushing up daisies!

Pruning the Dead is the first book in the Garden Squad Mystery series and it has become a top favorite of mine! This is the first cozy I have come across in a long time that felt more serious. I also think I learned quite a bit about gardening (my green thumb is horrible), so I may use some of the advise given at the end of the book and try my hand at it again. That being said, I really loved this book! Julia Henry not only brings her characters to life but she makes them feel relatable. Even though I am a good 30 years younger than the heroine in this one I still felt a strong kinship towards her. This right here is GOOD writing on the authors part! 

Lilly Jayne is the MC of Pruning the Dead. She is a 65 year old EX recluse and enjoys tending to her gorgeous gardens and helping out the people in Goosebush who need it. However, she gets much more than she bargained for when her ex husbands wife is found dead at a community park. Lilly Jayne of course does what any other sleuth would do and sets out to solve the murder even though she didn’t care for Merilee in the slightest. Not only that, Lilly Jayne and her posse (the garden squad) begin to uncover some things going on with the town finances. Do the two go together? Or are they separate misdeeds? You’ll have to read to find out!

Pruning the Dead is the PERFECT start to a brand new cozy mystery series and I am excited to dive into the next book which releases at the end of August. I recommend this one to those who enjoy cozy mysteries and those who love gardening!

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