Blog 40: Death in the Physic Garden by Karen Lowe – interesting but muddled thriller

This is a quite interesting cosy crime thriller involving new garden designer Fern (love that name!) and the unexpected murder of her first client. The plot line is gripping enough but it does get very confusing, especially towards the end when a lot of things happen very quickly indeed. The ending could do with a bit more teasing out in fact, in my view.
Fern is a strong character however and I enjoyed the juxtaposition between her love of gardening and the really quite frightening things going on around her. The descriptions of the plants are also truly lovely, and I learnt a lot about them as well, which was nice.
However, some of the writing itself is rather clumsy – for instance there are scenes with a lot of point of view changes between Fern and Ross Drummond, the policeman investigating the murder. This only serves to push the reader out of the story, as we’re not quite sure who we should be rooting (ha!) for.
Which brings me to Ross. Sorry, as I know he’s supposed to be one of those straightforward and strong-minded “salt of the earth”-type policemen, but I really disliked him, and was utterly unconvinced about his supposedly growing attraction to Fern, and her positive response. He’s really not suited for her at all, and some of his actions were just crass. Fern – bless her – can do a lot better than this!
So a pleasant read, but I could have done without the romance.
3 stars.
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