THE CIPHER GARDEN by Martin Edwards


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Historian Daniel Kind has left the BBC, but he can’t shake loose of unsolved murders that have baffled the Cumbria Constabulary.

Years and years ago, somebody took a well-earned scythe to philandering gardener Warren Howe. Now a series of anonymous notes accuse Warren’s nearest and dearest of adultery and murder and demanding that DCI Hannah Scarlett’s Cold Case Team reopen the investigation. Was the killer Warren’s long-suffering Tina, as the notes claim, or the son or daughter who gave her an alibi? Is the equally solid alibi of publisher Roz Gleave, whose garden became a crime scene, a little too convenient? Had Gail Flint, wife of Warren’s partner Peter, decided that her fling with Warren was too demeaning to bear? As Hannah and her team patiently pursue musty leads, Daniel (The Coffin Trail, not reviewed) ponders the coincidence of Tarn Cottage’s first owners both dying a year to the day after their son, killed 100 years ago in the Boer War. The hothouse intrigue winding from past to present won’t end until everyone in Brackdale, even the police, is pulled into its web.

Edwards (Eve of Destruction, 1998, etc.) expertly scatters clues to an ugly series of surprises in the quiet manner of Peter Robinson and the early P.D. James. English village life, as they’re always saying, will never be the same.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-59058-206-3
Page count: 276pp
Publisher: Poisoned Pen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2005


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