A BOUQUET OF THORNS by John Sherwood


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Delightful and unexpectedly poignant sixth adventure for tart, headstrong horticulturist Celia Grant, whose nursery assistant Bill is accused of heaving one-eyed drunk Simon Berridge into the mill pond after a pub brawl: Simon insisted that Bill was romancing his fat, daffy wife Joan--which is only her fantasy, it turns out. But none of the pub patrons will come to Bill's defense; Celia's neighbors, angry at Bill for clobbering their marauding goat, undercut his alibi; and then Joan disappears (her uncle hides her away). Undaunted, Celia braves the village's ire, her lawyer's doubts, Bill's incarceration and depression, a suitor's skulduggery, and foxy Insp. Ferris (her perennially mean-spirited nemesis) to uncover an 18-year cover-up that involves: the death of Colonel Templewood's son; most of the best and brightest young men in the village; and a tragic shooting, rampage that results in blinding, death, and suicide, and accounts for Simon's murder, too, as a continuation of the village hush-up. Delicious tidbits for gardening enthusiasts, much wry English irony, and an acerbic send-up of contemporary English village culture, with its nouveau snobs (the condo dwellers), its insular garden fete contingent, and its close-ranks old-timers. Miss Marple would have loved to have had Celia Grant's insights.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Scribners