Louise Eldridge (The Christmas Garden Affair, 2002, etc.), gardening expert par excellence, with a TV series to prove it, attends an annual do where somebody gets done in.
Having accepted an invitation from longtime friend Emily Holley to do a program on the Old Georgetown Garden Club annual plant show and sale in Bethesda, Louise is staying with Emily and her rather aloof husband Alex. She meets club members, visits their stalls, and soon picks up some of their competitive rancor. After meeting club president Catherine Freeman, married to government economic bigwig Walter, Louise is shocked and mystified when Catherine is shot to death through the open window of the car driven by Walter. Emily joins Louise in exploring means and motives—among them the real relationship between Walter and his sexy aide Reese Janning, as well as (of course) the long-seething jealousy of some club members over Catherine’s prizewinning azaleas. Louise’s reports to the police are sourly dismissed as so many garden weeds until the wildly unlikely denouement.
Stiff dialogue, colorless people, and an unconvincing story: one of Ripley’s lesser efforts, even for gardening fans.