The Trail of the Wild Rose: An English Garden Mystery

Anthony Eglin, Author . Minotaur $24.95 (289p) ISBN 978-0-312-36547-9

A party of plant hunters who are dying off one by one is the intriguing, Agatha Christie–like scenario of Eglin’s less than satisfying fourth English garden mystery (after 2007’s The Water Lily Cross ). A colleague dispatches retired botanist Lawrence Kingston after a member of a recent horticultural expedition to China is run off the road while on his motorcycle and lies gravely injured in an Oxford hospital. The patient’s ramblings reveal that disquieting events may have occurred on the journey and raise questions about the man’s identity and the group’s objectives. After the patient’s death, Kingston interviews other members of the party and their relatives, gradually uncovering a conspiracy of greed, blackmail, fraud and murder. In the end, the awkward introduction of plot elements, a propensity to tell instead of show, stilted and unrealistic dialogue, a title that bears only a peripheral relation to the narrative and digressions about Kingston’s personal life bury a promising premise. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/16/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-5372-6
Hardcover - 453 pages - 978-1-4104-1702-2
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