The Garden Club

Muriel Resnik Jackson, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (220p) ISBN 978-0-312-08196-6
Some adjustments are in order when elegant New Yorker Merrie Lee Spencer (I am an incredibly young grandmother) and her husband Warren, needing to economize after facing financial reversals, move to her family home in the North Carolina hamlet of Davis Landing. The sharp-tongued, sophisticated heroine of this agreeably menacing mystery is soon deeply engaged in such Davis Landing pursuits as serious baking and intense gardening, as well as other less benign activities. When friend and neighbor Miss Emily, 72, dies shortly after spraining her ankle in a fall, Merrie Lee is suspicious. Then Miss Emily's half-sister quickly succumbs to a mysterious malady. Merrie Lee begins receiving threatening notes and is injured by a speeding pickup truck. More kindly old women keel over, one murdered in a particularly bizarre fashion. Genteel septuagenarians, a mute mystic and assorted white trash keep the story alive with surprising moves. Jackson, who wrote the play Any Wednesday, spins a witty, tight-knit tale as her feisty and sensual city-bred sleuth meets her match in some shrewd country cousins. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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