DEATH OF A GARDEN PEST by Ann Ripley

DEATH OF A GARDEN PEST

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Ripley's upscale housewife heroine, recovering from injuries inflicted by a crazed Defense Department nominee (Mulch, 1994), returns for a second outing. This time, amateur detective and better-than-amateur organic gardener Louise Eldridge lifts up a family from low ebb--her husband the spy is facing a career crisis, her daughters are grappling with sex and social-consciousness issues--when she lands a PBS gardening-show gig. Predictably enough, the station itself is a compost heap of lust, jealousy, and sponsor pressures. Before Louise can get her soil turned and her reputation seeded, her predecessor, a discontented socialite who's been kicked upstairs to a geriatrics show, is poisoned by pesticide--a murder that occurs after an unlikely ladies' room catfight involving Louise herself. So Louise is a prime suspect, and her family and suburban D.C. neighbors, charmed by her ways with color-changing tulips, set out to save her good name--and her life--from a killer now targeting her. Ripley's domestic and professional scenes pull all the approved material from today's self-help shelves, and she's hampered by peremptory characterization, absent-minded prose (a ``sharp gulf between them''), and a leading lady who's soap- operatic in her suffering. On the up side, the gardening nonfiction--ten small and distinct chapters--is informative and fun.

Pub Date: June 10th, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-14311-7
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1996




MORE BY ANN RIPLEY

FictionSUMMER GARDEN MURDER by Ann Ripley
by Ann Ripley
FictionDEATH AT THE SPRING PLANT SALE by Ann Ripley
by Ann Ripley
FictionTHE CHRISTMAS GARDEN AFFAIR by Ann Ripley
by Ann Ripley