Death of a Garden Pest

Ann Ripley, Author St. Martin's Press $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-14311-4
While recovering from wounds she suffered in Mulch, Louise Eldridge, gardener and wife of a CIA agent, is asked by the Northern Virginia public television station to help host an organic gardening show. Once she accepts, she discovers herself in a behind-the-media-scenes world of backbiting and jealousy. Despite the wholehearted support of the show's producer, Louise is upstaged by her cohost, John Batchelder, who keeps giving himself extra lines, while Madeleine Doering, whose place in the series Louise has taken, proves a vocal, ungracious competitor. When Madeleine dies from an injection of pesticide recently discussed on the show, Louise becomes prime suspect. As her family pitches in to help prove her innocence, they gradually realize that many--from the shallow co-host to the encouraging producer--had reason to want Madeleine dead. Ripley tells her gripping tale in engaging, down-to-earth prose, interjecting bits of gardening advice, as scripts for the show, throughout. In the end, Louise uses her horticultural knowledge to finger the killer and earns the respect of many, even that of the president. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1996
Release date: 06/01/1996
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-553-57730-3
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