Review: Pruning the Dead

Pruning the Dead (Lilly Jayne Mysteries #1)






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!

Rating: 4-stars


Pruning the Dead by Julie Henry is a garden full of mystery, suspense, and drama. This story reminded me very much of Murder She Wrote. The main character, Lilly is an older woman who acts as though she is a young Nancy Drew. She has a way with drawing people to her and helping others. I liked her warm personality and quick knack for solving the mystery. There was a lot of town history inside this plot. The people of Goosebush like their town just the way it is. Hidden from the world. Too bad it wasn’t hidden from crimes like murder. Gardening is huge for the characters, in fact, there is a club that both gardens and solves murder. And they’re about to get a new member to their team. I enjoyed the humor filled pages. Mystery was definitely hanging in the air as a member was killed and the murderer right in plain sight. Overall, I would recommend this book to all. Themes of friendship, kindness, and environmental issues were found here.


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