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The Lost Gardens (2005)

by Anthony Eglin

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1165184,525 (3.44)2
Hidden within the derelict gardens of abandoned Wickersham Priory, a deadly secret is waiting. But when an unsuspecting young Californian named Jamie Gibson finds herself the new owner of the estate, through a surprise bequest from a total stranger---the secret begins to stir. Jamie, fired with enthusiasm to restore the gardens to their 1930s glory, seeks the help of Lawrence Kingston, a retired professor of botany, eccentric bon viveur, and amateur sleuth. Lawrence soon unearths an old chapel, which leads to an ancient Healing Well, which in turn yields a human skeleton. And as the police pursue their inquiries, Kingston begins his own investigation---following a baffling trail of clues that wind down through the centuries, from the battlegrounds of World War II to the depths of the Middle Ages. It is a trail marked by misadventure, revenge, compassion, and murder when finally Kingston unlocks the secret of Wickersham Priory, he and Jamie must confront a reckoning that neither of them could have ever imagined. As with the highly acclaimed "The Blue Rose, " Eglin brings his botanical and literary skill to this new mystery.… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
Although I liked the mystery itself and I found bits of garden information interesting...

The gardening information as a whole was TMI, in fact WTMI! There was so much exacting detail that I had to skip a goodly amount of the writing.

I did like the referrals to actual famous gardens in both the U.S. & England, and I looked those up on Google Images....that was a treat.

But, unless you are an active horticulturist this might be a bit heavy reading.

PLOT: Jamie (an American vintner) inherits a large old English estate complete with garden turned jungle from a man she never met nor is related to. The inheritance was once a 16th century monastery over which the estate was eventually built. Jamie hires esteemed horticulturist Kingston to oversee the restoration of the gardens. Upon clearing brambles and ivy, Kingston comes upon a chapel with an ancient healing well. At the bottom of the well are the bones of a human...near the well he finds 3 coins dated 1963 & 1959 (which means that there has to be a secret passage into the chapel). Then there are the questions of the mysterious benefactor (whom nobody seems to know anything about) and the missing paintings that the unsettling Mr. Fox comes seeking. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Elgin's second garden mystery does not disappoint. And once again we get to follow Lawrence Kingston on another garden adventure! I believe I might even like this one better than the first - love the bit of history and architecture thrown in!

Kingston is hired to help Jamie Gibson restore the gardens on the estate she has just inherited. Gibson comes from California and has no idea why she was left the estate over in England. But she does not hesitate to pack up and relocate and even undertakes bringing it back to it's former glory.

As they begin to clear away all the overgrowth, a priory is discovered with a body in the well. Of course Kingston can't help but begin to look into things to discover who and why the body is there.

Such a great read. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book! ( )
  Brandie | May 11, 2010 |
better than expected. Were I not so interested in the subject matter, it would be slow going. ( )
  GingerV | Apr 15, 2010 |
The Lost Gardens is a lovely mystery. Good plot and character development. I read this one before the first book in The English Garden Mystery Series, The Blue Rose, which was good but this one was much better. I'm looking forward to the next in the series, The Water Lily Cross. ( )
  ilovewoods | Jun 8, 2007 |
You will find more about botany and garden restoration than mystery. I found it fairly dull over all. ( )
  calynn2 | Jan 31, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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In the dawn of a September morning, the sergeant hunched on a filthy mattress amid the rubble of what, seven days earlier, had been a handsome three-storey Dutch house.
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The clang of metal on metal resounded off the walls of the old stone house, echoing across the lawns to be lost in the dense forest beyond.
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Hidden within the derelict gardens of abandoned Wickersham Priory, a deadly secret is waiting. But when an unsuspecting young Californian named Jamie Gibson finds herself the new owner of the estate, through a surprise bequest from a total stranger---the secret begins to stir. Jamie, fired with enthusiasm to restore the gardens to their 1930s glory, seeks the help of Lawrence Kingston, a retired professor of botany, eccentric bon viveur, and amateur sleuth. Lawrence soon unearths an old chapel, which leads to an ancient Healing Well, which in turn yields a human skeleton. And as the police pursue their inquiries, Kingston begins his own investigation---following a baffling trail of clues that wind down through the centuries, from the battlegrounds of World War II to the depths of the Middle Ages. It is a trail marked by misadventure, revenge, compassion, and murder when finally Kingston unlocks the secret of Wickersham Priory, he and Jamie must confront a reckoning that neither of them could have ever imagined. As with the highly acclaimed "The Blue Rose, " Eglin brings his botanical and literary skill to this new mystery.

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