The Garden Club Murder
Literary caterer Letitia 'Tish' Tarragon is preparing her English Secret Garden-themed luncheon for Coleton Creek's annual garden club awards, but when she is taken on a tour of some of the top contenders with the garden club's president, Jim Ainsley, Tish is surprised at how seriously the residents take the awards - and how desperate they are to win. Wealthy, retired businessman Sloane Shackleford has won the coveted best garden category five years in a row, but he and his Bichon Frise, Biscuit, are universally despised. When Sloane's bludgeoned body is discovered in his pristine garden, Tish soon learns that he was disliked for reasons that go beyond his green fingers. Have the hotly contested awards brought out a competitive and murderous streak in one of the residents?

The Garden Club Murder Details

TitleThe Garden Club Murder
Author
ReleaseSep 3rd, 2019
PublisherSevern House Publishers
ISBN-139780727889447
Rating
GenreMystery, Cozy Mystery

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The Garden Club Murder Review

  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    The Garden Club Murder by Amy Patricia Meade is the second A Tish Tarragon Mystery. Tish Tarragon owns Cookin’ the Books Café & Catering in Virginia. She is a literary themed chef who has been hired to cater the Coleton Creek’s annual garden club awards luncheon for which she has created a Secret Garden theme. Jim Ainsley’s, the garden club president, takes Tish and Jules Davis on a tour of the top contenders for the prize. They find Sloane Shackleford on a chaise lounge bludgeoned with a ga The Garden Club Murder by Amy Patricia Meade is the second A Tish Tarragon Mystery. Tish Tarragon owns Cookin’ the Books Café & Catering in Virginia. She is a literary themed chef who has been hired to cater the Coleton Creek’s annual garden club awards luncheon for which she has created a Secret Garden theme. Jim Ainsley’s, the garden club president, takes Tish and Jules Davis on a tour of the top contenders for the prize. They find Sloane Shackleford on a chaise lounge bludgeoned with a garden spade. Tish declares she is too busy with the luncheon to investigate, but the residents keep dropping by the kitchen and open up to her while eating her delectable scones. The Garden Club Murder can be read as a standalone for those new to the series. Everything a reader needs to know is disclosed in the book. Tish owns Cookin’ the Books which is a café with a literary themed menu. Her Secret Garden theme for the garden club luncheon sounded lovely as well as the scrumptious English menu. Julian Jefferson Davis aka Jules is my favorite character in the book. He is a unique individual with a zest for life. Jules provided many humorous moments. My favorite was when Tish finds him leading an early morning water aerobics class as Coleton Creek blaring Lady Gaga music. Despite finding the body of the despised Sloane Shackleford, Tish declares she is not going to investigate. However, residents keep visiting the kitchen (or waylaying her) and Tish manages to extract information that helps Sheriff Clemson Reade with his investigation (she cannot help but ask probing questions). The whodunit is intriguing. There are multiple suspects since Sloane went out of his way to antagonize residents of the community. There are clues to help readers solve the crime before Tish. There is a red herring or two to distract us from the real culprit along with a surprising twist. I like the subplot (another mystery) which added depth to the story plus it was unique. Tish also must help her best friend, Mary Jo who was told by her husband that he wants a divorce because he has fallen in love with a younger woman. Mary Jo and her two kids (plus two of their friends) spend the weekend in Tish’s apartment above the café. In addition, Tish has Biscuit, Sloane’s dog staying with her (she is a softie). While Tish is dating attorney, Schuyler Thompson, there is another man interested in having a relationship with her. I have to admit that I prefer this man to the attorney. The Garden Club Murder is an eventful cozy mystery with scrumptious scones, a winsome weatherman, gorgeous gardens, a questionable quarry and one curious chef.
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  • Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    I just love this series from the literary cafe and its dishes, to the characters, and the mystery that is never quite what it seems.I enjoyed so many things about this book/series.  Tish is a reluctant sleuth.  She can't help it if people just open up to her and she knows what questions to ask.  At least she shares all of the information with Sheriff Reade so that he can do his job and catch the criminals.  The banter between Tish and Jules (Julian) is witty and had me chuckling throughout the b I just love this series from the literary cafe and its dishes, to the characters, and the mystery that is never quite what it seems.I enjoyed so many things about this book/series.  Tish is a reluctant sleuth.  She can't help it if people just open up to her and she knows what questions to ask.  At least she shares all of the information with Sheriff Reade so that he can do his job and catch the criminals.  The banter between Tish and Jules (Julian) is witty and had me chuckling throughout the book...especially when Jules is talking about moving into a retirement center with an older woman!  Granted he would be renting a room, but the whole situation is comical.  There is the dog of the deceased, Biscuit, who appears to be quite charming despite the rumors about some of Biscuits deeds around the community.The mystery is well written and I was surprised at some of the twists and turns before the conclusion of the story.  Who thought gardening could be murder, but once you learn more about the deceased you won't be surprised at his death.  I felt bad for some of the characters as their stories were revealed but I think it made them stronger in the end.Tish does have a love interest, but I think there is someone else that could be interested in her as well.  I can't wait to see how this turns out.Overall we give this 5 paws up!
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  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    I was delighted when I open this book, the name given me imply about garden, I was disappointed when I started to read the to learn, it and book a food which there are many of cooking books in several different mediums. This a new author and the second book in this series., I will read this author again. I have downloaded the first book one Marge McClellan series.I found a well-written book that move fast with the background different gardens. Letitia ‘Tish’ Tarragon caters parties and runs a ca I was delighted when I open this book, the name given me imply about garden, I was disappointed when I started to read the to learn, it and book a food which there are many of cooking books in several different mediums. This a new author and the second book in this series., I will read this author again. I have downloaded the first book one Marge McClellan series.I found a well-written book that move fast with the background different gardens. Letitia ‘Tish’ Tarragon caters parties and runs a cafe. She agreed to catered the Garden Club competition for garden. It has a secret Garden-theme food. Sloane Shackleford has won this contest for several years and is expect to win agreed. Shackleford and his Bichon Frise, Biscuit are thoroughly dislike by the community. After he is found MURDERED the tale turns and leads away from the contest. The food mention sounds delicious. Tish needs answers for the luncheon in order to have a good 4th of July. I highly recommend this book.Disclosure: Thanks to Severn House for a copy through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.
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  • K.A. Davis
    January 1, 1970
    THE GARDEN CLUB MURDER by Amy Patricia Meade, is the second book in the Tish Tarragon mystery series. The senior citizens preparing for their annual garden club competition and luncheon are a varied lot and not exactly who I would expect to toil in the sun and soil to create beautiful works of nature. There’s the cosmetic queen, the wealthy yet abusive businessman, the grief-stricken mother and wife, the confirmed bachelor, and the live life to the fullest woman. There is plenty of strife betwee THE GARDEN CLUB MURDER by Amy Patricia Meade, is the second book in the Tish Tarragon mystery series. The senior citizens preparing for their annual garden club competition and luncheon are a varied lot and not exactly who I would expect to toil in the sun and soil to create beautiful works of nature. There’s the cosmetic queen, the wealthy yet abusive businessman, the grief-stricken mother and wife, the confirmed bachelor, and the live life to the fullest woman. There is plenty of strife between the contestants, each vying to capture the coveted award from businessman Sloan Shackleford. It wasn’t much of a surprise when Sloan is found murdered in his prize-winning garden. Ms. Reade does an admirable job portraying and developing the characters, especially the protagonist, caterer Tish Tarragon, who is also owner of Cookin’ the Books Café. While she doesn’t want to investigate, the senior citizens like to gossip with her and as a result, gets involved. I like that Tish is quick to turn the information imparted to her, over to Sherriff Reade.Assisting Tish with both the “non-investigation” and catering, is her adorable sidekick Jules (Julian) Jefferson Davis, the Channel 10 weatherman. They have a close friendship and a snappy repartee. This adds to a gentle humor that lightens the murder mystery. While I thought the pace started out slow, once the murder took place, the author’s writing tightened and the story captured my attention. There were subplot mysteries that added to the overall appeal and ramped up the emotional level. The twist at the reveal left me speechless, since I didn’t see it coming yet it added another layer of satisfaction to an entertaining read.I was provided an advance copy via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • The Cozy Review
    January 1, 1970
    Series: A Tish Tarragon Mystery - Book 2Author: Amy Patricia Meade Genre: Cozy Mystery\Culinary\GardenPublisher: Severn House Publishers Page Count: 208The Garden Club Murder is the latest addition to the “A Tish Tarragon Mystery” series published by Severn House. This is a wonderful cozy book filled with delightful characters, beautiful descriptions of gardens anyone would want to spend time in, and a surprise ending readers will not see coming.Tish is an unusual hero in a cozy book. She is a r Series: A Tish Tarragon Mystery - Book 2Author: Amy Patricia Meade Genre: Cozy Mystery\Culinary\GardenPublisher: Severn House Publishers Page Count: 208The Garden Club Murder is the latest addition to the “A Tish Tarragon Mystery” series published by Severn House. This is a wonderful cozy book filled with delightful characters, beautiful descriptions of gardens anyone would want to spend time in, and a surprise ending readers will not see coming.Tish is an unusual hero in a cozy book. She is a reluctant sleuth or so she tries to make everyone, including herself, believe. But the truth is, Tish can’t help getting involved when there is a murder to solve. Working alongside her friend, Jules, Tish finds more problems than solutions at times but also laughter and smiles. Jules is a great character who will have readers clapping in happiness and frowning at the same time.The murder of Sloane Shackleford is not a surprise. From the very beginning of the book, readers know who the victim will be. Even though the culprit must be found, no one will mourn the loss of Sloane. He is a villain through and through. However, the killer will come as a surprise and the twist ending will leave readers emotionally distraught. The conclusion brought tears to my eyes and that isn’t easy to accomplish in a cozy book.I enjoyed The Garden Club Murder immensely and highly recommend it to readers everywhere. It has everything readers want in a cozy book, fantastic characters, delightful settings, and twist and turns that will keep you guessing to the very last page. This book and series keep getting better and will entertain readers for years to come.
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  • Patricia Romero
    January 1, 1970
    A Tish Tarragon Mystery Book TwoTish and friends are back at Cookin' The Books Cafe' and Catering. This time Tish has been hired to cater an awards luncheon with an English Secret Garden theme at the annual garden club awards ceremony.Jules is helping out and wishing he could live in the Coleton Creeks over sixty community with all of its amenities and lovely ladies fawning all over him. But it's all business this time. As Tish tours the gardens for a bit of inspiration she instead finds a dead A Tish Tarragon Mystery Book TwoTish and friends are back at Cookin' The Books Cafe' and Catering. This time Tish has been hired to cater an awards luncheon with an English Secret Garden theme at the annual garden club awards ceremony.Jules is helping out and wishing he could live in the Coleton Creeks over sixty community with all of its amenities and lovely ladies fawning all over him. But it's all business this time. As Tish tours the gardens for a bit of inspiration she instead finds a dead body. The body of a retired insurance salesman who has been the winner of the last five best garden awards. Add to that his womanizing, his harassment of women and downright hatefulness and you have a lot of motives.Tish isn't getting involved. Right. But this time her other bestie, Mary Jo, is going through her own crisis and isn't much help in the sleuthing department. Tish doesn't even really have to work that hard at this one. People are coming out of the woodwork at this community with gossip, motives and a What??? at the end. My, my the things that go on in the retirement community. Who knew life after 60 could be so interesting!? I love this new series. The characters are so well done and so likeable that you can't help but fall in love with them. This is a smart, well written new series that I can not wait to see more of!NetGalley Reviews/ September 1st 2019 by Severn House Publishers
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  • Jerri Cachero
    January 1, 1970
    The Garden Club Murder was an entertaining read. When Tish Tarragon and one of her best friends_- Jules - work a catering job at Coleton Creek SixtyPlus Community, a senior living neighborhood, the last thing they expect is to become involved in solving a murder.Catering the luncheon/awards ceremony for the best garden at Coleton Creek, is a great opportunity for Tish to expand her literary catering business. With dishes named after famous literary characters and books, combined with lovely gard The Garden Club Murder was an entertaining read. When Tish Tarragon and one of her best friends_- Jules - work a catering job at Coleton Creek SixtyPlus Community, a senior living neighborhood, the last thing they expect is to become involved in solving a murder.Catering the luncheon/awards ceremony for the best garden at Coleton Creek, is a great opportunity for Tish to expand her literary catering business. With dishes named after famous literary characters and books, combined with lovely gardens, things are looking up. However, when the "bad boy" , (Sloane Shackleford) of the community turns up dead, the little community begins to look a lot like Peyton Place - with illicit romances and secrets everywhere! There's the bad boy, the seductress, the cosmetics queen, the grieving wife and mother and the grumpy guy! All have reasons to want Sloane planted in the ground.I loved all the characters in the book. They were well-written and each added to the mystery. I have to admit, that I teared up at the end of the book - for two reasons. The book has a complex and enjoyable mystery, humor, friendship and tugs at your heart.Wonder what Tish will be "Cookin' up" next!I received an ARC, from NetGalley, for a fair and honest review of this book.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Caterer/café owner Tish is trying to prepare a luncheon for the garden club awards at the plush retirement center, but things go awry when she and one of her best friends, Julian Davis, find the body of an unpopular, but successful, gardener. She's also coping with her other best friend's marriage imploding, leaving MJ and her two children camping out in Tish's small apartment. As she struggles with plans for the lunch and people wanting to talk about the case, she gradually develops a theory th Caterer/café owner Tish is trying to prepare a luncheon for the garden club awards at the plush retirement center, but things go awry when she and one of her best friends, Julian Davis, find the body of an unpopular, but successful, gardener. She's also coping with her other best friend's marriage imploding, leaving MJ and her two children camping out in Tish's small apartment. As she struggles with plans for the lunch and people wanting to talk about the case, she gradually develops a theory that would explain the murder. I would have liked this a lot better, but I don't care for the writer's prose style, which I'd describe as accurate but stilted.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    Part of the appeal of the Tish Tarragon series is the amazing feasts that Tish creates for her clients. I love the idea of a literary caterer and the concept of doing a luncheon with a Secret Garden theme to celebrate garden club awards is so whimsical and fun. Plus – sausage rolls, scones with real clotted cream and jam and mini Yorkshire puddings *drool*! It’s always a treat to see what menus Amy Patricia Meade dreams up for her stories!Honestly, I was daydreaming about the food while I kind o Part of the appeal of the Tish Tarragon series is the amazing feasts that Tish creates for her clients. I love the idea of a literary caterer and the concept of doing a luncheon with a Secret Garden theme to celebrate garden club awards is so whimsical and fun. Plus – sausage rolls, scones with real clotted cream and jam and mini Yorkshire puddings *drool*! It’s always a treat to see what menus Amy Patricia Meade dreams up for her stories!Honestly, I was daydreaming about the food while I kind of zoned out from the garden descriptions. Don’t get me wrong – the gardens sound lovely, but since I am the farthest thing from a green thumb (seriously people, plants hate me), I have almost no idea what any of the plants mentioned in the book look like so I couldn’t build a picture in my head of these (I’m assuming) stunning gardens. I could easily believe, however, that these gardeners would be ultra-competitive with each other. Ok, maybe not to the point of killing each other, but definitely competitive.But not to worry – the gardens (kind of) take second stage once the murder (and murder-solving) starts up. After Sloane turns up murdered, there is no shortage of suspects – he was a womanizing bully who may have had some professional help with his garden. So, there were current and past girlfriends, fellow competitors, retirement community staff and ex-clients who had a motive to do away with Sloane.Tish gets roped into the investigation, albeit unwillingly, as many of the suspects seem to be willing to open up to her. In fact, even Sheriff Clemson Reade, seems willing to share case info with her in the hopes of catching the killer.A side story (well, three side stories) that are happening while the murder investigation is going on is the personal lives of our trio – Tish, Jules and MJ. I really loved this trio in the first book so it was nice to get a bit more into their lives (although it wasn’t really happy rainbows for everyone). The personal drama of the main characters did not detract from the main story at all but added to the dynamic of the storylines. P.S. Jules is by far my favourite character!Tish, who is still refusing to acknowledge that gorgeous attorney Schuyler Thompson is the perfect man and may possibly be her ‘official boyfriend’, starts taking some serious steps in the romance department.Jules, on the other hand, is feeling a bit lonely and starts to behave… shall we say, oddly? He starts hanging around the retirement home and even starts making plans to move in with one of the residents!Meanwhile, poor MJ’s homelife is unraveling. Her husband of 20 years reveals that he’s been having an affair (with a MUCH younger woman) and wants a divorce. He seems like a jerk, basically ignoring his two kids as soon as the announcement is made and heading out of town with his girlfriend, leaving MJ to pick up the pieces.It’s interesting that the three friends all have to deal with relationship issues, but all from VERY different standpoints. It was an emotional rollercoaster – I was happy for Tish, wanted to rage at MJ’s stupid husband and wanted to shake some sense into Jules!Oh right, back to the mystery. Without giving anything away (I hope), let me just say that the ending was… surprising. I honestly didn’t really see this one coming (maybe I was more distracted by the trio’s personal issues than I thought!). There were tears, dear reader, TEARS. I have never, in my life, cried while reading a cozy mystery, so this was a first for me! Am I getting emotional in my old age? Perhaps, but I prefer to think it was some brilliant heart-string-tugging writing by Meade. I didn’t expect the emotions but hey, I’m glad that cozy mysteries can still surprise me like this!Here’s hoping that there’s much more to come in The Tish Tarragon Mystery series because this is one series I’d love to read for many years to come!*** Thank you to the author, Amy Patricia Meade, and the publisher, Severn House Publishers, for providing me with an advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
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  • Stanley McShane
    January 1, 1970
    The author may be having a little fun with us, naming the protagonist Tish Tarragon, it's not the first of the humorous little zingers you'll encounter. She caters and has help with bakery type chores, while her good buddy and old friend, the local weatherman, Julian (Jules) Jefferson Davis loves to help with bartending type duties. Tish has been hired by a local senior community to cater their luncheon for the annual garden club awards. She is met by the club's president, Jim Ainsley, and on a The author may be having a little fun with us, naming the protagonist Tish Tarragon, it's not the first of the humorous little zingers you'll encounter. She caters and has help with bakery type chores, while her good buddy and old friend, the local weatherman, Julian (Jules) Jefferson Davis loves to help with bartending type duties. Tish has been hired by a local senior community to cater their luncheon for the annual garden club awards. She is met by the club's president, Jim Ainsley, and on a tour of the facilities and the gardens discovers the body of Sloane Shackleford bludgeoned to death in his award-winning garden. Shackleford owns a Bichon Frise named Biscuit, which is, of course, the reason I was attracted by the cover. In southern style cozy fashion, we are introduced to the many residents and their support roles and it doesn't take long before they are clamoring for her to investigate. Tish is wrestling with her English Secret Garden theme menu, decorating the center patio, coordinating with Sheriff Clemson Reade, fostering the Bichon, taking in her devastated best friend Mary Jo and her two children, and balancing her relationship with lawyer Schuyler Thompson.There were some humorous observations and comments, including a number of punny analogies, "Doesn't he realize he's about as welcome as a porcupine in a nudist colony?"I couldn't really get into the character of Tish, but did enjoy the mystery, admitting I couldn't figure out the perp, then got gob-smacked with the confession and the big reveal. While there was virtually no one who liked the man and many who might have done the deed, I definitely could not pick out the one who did, although I was a little sad at the turn it presented.I was given this digital download by the publisher through NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for those who enjoy a cozy in which you can't guess whodunnit. 3.5/5 starsSee my full review at https://rosepointpublishing.com/2019/...
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  • S.J. Higbee
    January 1, 1970
    This one started promisingly enough – Meade took us straight into the story and effectively introduced us to the main character. The setting was convincingly portrayed, I liked the supporting cast, the murder was committed with plenty of drama and a satisfying number of suspects with strong motives were introduced.However I found Tish increasingly annoying – the woman was a veritable saint in all but name. Everyone immediately liked and trusted her, so tended to confide in her no matter how nose This one started promisingly enough – Meade took us straight into the story and effectively introduced us to the main character. The setting was convincingly portrayed, I liked the supporting cast, the murder was committed with plenty of drama and a satisfying number of suspects with strong motives were introduced.However I found Tish increasingly annoying – the woman was a veritable saint in all but name. Everyone immediately liked and trusted her, so tended to confide in her no matter how nosey and intrusive her questions became… the sheriff was suitably awestruck at her ability to winkle out telling details to the extent that he took her into his confidence… her gorgeous and implausibly nice lawyer boyfriend would have crawled to the Moon and back on his knees to please her… despite gadding off to sniff out said telling details, she still managed to whip up a delicious meal with her long-suffering staff without breaking a sweat. By the end, I was fed up to the back teeth with her.Another detail that also jarred – Meade has evidently been told not to use the word said in speech tags, so we had all sorts of odd expressions. He deemed was the worst example, but there were plenty of other clunky phrases that marred the dialogue scenes. However, I probably could have overlooked these details if it wasn’t for the really odd way this story was wrapped up. I was very uncomfortable with the way the victim had taunted the perpetrator, so Meade ensured that no one could possibly feel any sympathy for him, and at the same time, neither was I entirely sure that the justice system would have played out in that way. And cosy mysteries aren’t supposed to leave those kinds of issues dangling in the wind. Though, given I am not a US citizen, there might be something going on here that I’m missing, therefore I haven’t taken off another point, which I otherwise would have done.The ebook arc copy of The Garden Club Murder was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest opinion of the book.7/10
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    I'm no gardener, I can only grow weeds but I do enjoy gardening mysteries - the addition of a corpse found pushing up daisies during a garden competition tour shakes things up. Tish Tarragon is doing a secret garden luncheon for the local over 60 retirement community and the event will include the awarding of the coveted best garden over an extended period, not just one season. So not just a prize rose bush but how good your lawn looks in all seasons, how your plants bloom, etc. The emotions run I'm no gardener, I can only grow weeds but I do enjoy gardening mysteries - the addition of a corpse found pushing up daisies during a garden competition tour shakes things up. Tish Tarragon is doing a secret garden luncheon for the local over 60 retirement community and the event will include the awarding of the coveted best garden over an extended period, not just one season. So not just a prize rose bush but how good your lawn looks in all seasons, how your plants bloom, etc. The emotions run high and it ends with the murder of Sloane Shackleford, a multi winner and very much disliked man. So, who cared enough about a garden award to kill the previous winner? Tish has no interest whatsoever in getting involved in another murder investigation. She is only involved as a witness to finding the corpse. That may be her desire and she does try to keep her distance but she seems to be a magnet for information. People like to share gossip and facts about the case with her. That's okay, she will happily pass it all on to the police. That's their job, not hers. Easier said than done. The volume and depth of the secrets lurking in this community make for a long list of suspects and motives for murder.Helping Tish with catering the event is one of her best friends, Jules, local tv weatherman and her bartender. The easy banter between the two is a delight. All of the characters come alive on the page and the setting of Richmond, Virginia was perfect. The mystery was solid with enough twists and red herrings to make me say that I didn't see that coming at the finish. I'm ready to add the next mystery in this series to my list of must reads.My thanks to the publisher, Severn House and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • FMSWarrior
    January 1, 1970
    Tish Tarragon is catering a Secret Garden themed lunch at the Coleton Creek as they announce the winners of the annual Garden Club awards. Competition is stiff and so is the most disliked man in the community and winner five years running when Tish and Jules find him dead in his garden as they are being a tour of the top gardens.While Tish has a knack for speaking with people and finding clues, she insists she is only there to cater the lunch. That’s it. No sleuthing. But a girl can’t help it if Tish Tarragon is catering a Secret Garden themed lunch at the Coleton Creek as they announce the winners of the annual Garden Club awards. Competition is stiff and so is the most disliked man in the community and winner five years running when Tish and Jules find him dead in his garden as they are being a tour of the top gardens.While Tish has a knack for speaking with people and finding clues, she insists she is only there to cater the lunch. That’s it. No sleuthing. But a girl can’t help it if everyone seems to come to her and divulge their secrets. And since Tish isn’t on the case, she passes any relevant details on along to the sheriff so he and his team can deal with it.As Tish gets to know the residents of Coleton Creek she meets Zadie Morris, the former queen of cosmetics that she, her mother and grandmother all revered. She also learns that many residents have just enough of history with the dead man to be suspects, but who would kill over a garden competition? That’s exactly what Tish is hoping Sheriff Reade finds out quickly.Set in Richmond, Virginia, where I have some history myself, I can hear the accents, smell the food, and envision the scenery. As owner of Cooking the Books, Tish has a menu that takes on a literary flair with names that nod to some of the classics. It’s a cute concept and truly intriguing. The one thing I was surprised about was given all the cooking, there weren’t any recipes, which one comes to expect in a culinary cozy. But it is an enjoyable read and has enough red herrings and suspects to keep you turning the pages and trying to guess whodunit and why.
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  • Jordan Stivers
    January 1, 1970
    I love this cozy series! Within the first few pages I was already smiling to see all the great characters set up in book one going about their lives and I enjoyed how the action of it all started right from the get-go. Tish continues to be a great leading protagonist in this complex web of characters. Her repeated insistence that she wasn't involved in the investigation cracked me up and, again, her nose for the truth in people doesn't disappoint. Unlike so many cozies, this one makes it easy to I love this cozy series! Within the first few pages I was already smiling to see all the great characters set up in book one going about their lives and I enjoyed how the action of it all started right from the get-go. Tish continues to be a great leading protagonist in this complex web of characters. Her repeated insistence that she wasn't involved in the investigation cracked me up and, again, her nose for the truth in people doesn't disappoint. Unlike so many cozies, this one makes it easy to remember which character is which in this new cast without overshadowing the usual group surrounding Tish. Both Mary Jo and Jules have great development in book two and I really hope Biscuit becomes a fixture of the group going forward. Tish's romantic life also evolves, not just progressing forward with one guy but also showing there's another man in the wings. Also, I just loved Zadie. I want to be her when I grow up!This story has such a great flow to it. The descriptions of people, places, and FOOD are stunning and very immersive. It's not jumpy like so many cozies are with an overabundance of cliffhangers and unnecessary tension. It shows how masterful the author is at keeping a good pace without resorting to those aspects. The ending is perfection; there's always a little something more, a little surprise, that only Tish can see and it's so satisfying. I already can't wait for book three!Note: I received a free Kindle edition of this book via NetGalley in exchange for the honest review above. I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher Severn House, and the author Amy Patricia Meade for the opportunity to do so.
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  • Missi Martin (Stockwell)
    January 1, 1970
    Oh Amy what have you done ?? The Garden Club Murder is the second book in her Tish Tarragon Mystery series and the way she ends the story, the reader is left longing for the next book !! That is exactly what the reader wants out of the author and Amy Patricia Mead does NOT disappoint !!!!In The Garden Club Murder Tish and crew are preparing for a luncheon at Coleton Creek. Coleton Creek is a retirement community that is holding their annual garden club competition and Tish has been hired to serv Oh Amy what have you done ?? The Garden Club Murder is the second book in her Tish Tarragon Mystery series and the way she ends the story, the reader is left longing for the next book !! That is exactly what the reader wants out of the author and Amy Patricia Mead does NOT disappoint !!!!In The Garden Club Murder Tish and crew are preparing for a luncheon at Coleton Creek. Coleton Creek is a retirement community that is holding their annual garden club competition and Tish has been hired to serve the food for the awards luncheon. In the middle of being introduced to the contestants and viewing their gardens, Tish and her hosts come across one of the residents dead in his garden. And to make matters worse, he is the resident that has won the competition the past 5 years.....and there is a long list of people who wouldn't be upset if he lost....but his life ??The Garden Club Murder captures the readers attention immediately and holds its grip until the last sentence and that sentence will tighten its hold having the reader longing for the next book in the series. I, for one, did not need that last sentence to know that I will be back to visit Tish and her crew but that last sentence does make me want the next book to hurry up and get published !! Meade knows exactly how to keep fans on their toes !!!
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  • Cozy Cat Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    THE GARDEN CLUB MURDER by Amy Patricia Meade, is the second book in the Tish Tarragon mystery series. I have read the first in series and highly recommend the series. Thank you to Net Galley and to the publisher for your gift of the ARC. My opinion is my own,.Tish is successful with her " Cookin' The Books Cafe' and Catering" business. When she is offered the chance to cater a awards lunch with a garden theme she accepts. As she tours the garden at the event she finds the dead body of the previo THE GARDEN CLUB MURDER by Amy Patricia Meade, is the second book in the Tish Tarragon mystery series. I have read the first in series and highly recommend the series. Thank you to Net Galley and to the publisher for your gift of the ARC. My opinion is my own,.Tish is successful with her " Cookin' The Books Cafe' and Catering" business. When she is offered the chance to cater a awards lunch with a garden theme she accepts. As she tours the garden at the event she finds the dead body of the previous popular winner. She knows the competition is fierce and begins to investigate with help from her friends. Soon Tish and her friends are finding that the gossip and innuendo are leading them in many directions. The retirement community hated the victim and everyone had their own reasons to want him dead. This is a wonderful well crafted sleuth with a pleasing conclusion. I loved the cast of charcters and all were likable and added to the plot. I look forward to the next in series. I appreciate that the author features seniors in this next in series as fun active vital part of the story.
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  • Grace Koshida
    January 1, 1970
    Cookin' the Books Cafe's Tish Tarragon has been hired to cater a Secret Garden-themed luncheon for Coleton Creek retirement community's annual garden club awards. The garden club's president Jim Ainsley takes Tish and her friend Jules on a tour of some of the gardens that are competing for awards and they are impressed. But retired insurance company owner Sloane Shackleford has won the coveted best garden category five years in a row. Ainsley, Tish and Jules are shocked when they find Sloane's b Cookin' the Books Cafe's Tish Tarragon has been hired to cater a Secret Garden-themed luncheon for Coleton Creek retirement community's annual garden club awards. The garden club's president Jim Ainsley takes Tish and her friend Jules on a tour of some of the gardens that are competing for awards and they are impressed. But retired insurance company owner Sloane Shackleford has won the coveted best garden category five years in a row. Ainsley, Tish and Jules are shocked when they find Sloane's bludgeoned body in his garden. Despite trying to avoid getting involved in the murder investigation, Tish hears about how nasty a man Sloane was. Did someone's desire to win this year's garden club award lead them to commit murder? Or did a former lover decide to end the lecherous man's despicable antics? This was a quick, fun read and the identity of the murderer was a surprise.I received an eARC from Netgalley and Severn House with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    When a womanizing senior is found dead in his garden shortly before a highly competitive garden design contest, the motive for his murder is unclear. Did it have to do with the contest or his manipulative ways or his cheating heart? Could it have been done by a woman done wrong or a man offended by his woman being stolen or even someone upset about the victim's dog sabotaging other gardens? How about the owners of the development who have their own motives for the dissolution of the popular gard When a womanizing senior is found dead in his garden shortly before a highly competitive garden design contest, the motive for his murder is unclear. Did it have to do with the contest or his manipulative ways or his cheating heart? Could it have been done by a woman done wrong or a man offended by his woman being stolen or even someone upset about the victim's dog sabotaging other gardens? How about the owners of the development who have their own motives for the dissolution of the popular gardening club and competition?This can be read as a stand alone but the characters are so well written that I want to know more about them and spend time with them again.Anyone who enjoys their mystery with a humorous edge (amidst tragedy) and appreciates Southern ways (as well as BBC America) will find plenty to sink their teeth into in this series.Friendships are strong, romance doesn't always run smoothly, and good advice are all themes in this enticing novel. While this mystery is brought to a satisfying conclusion, the ending leaves us hungering for more.
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  • Diane Hernandez
    January 1, 1970
    Tish and Jules are catering the Coleton Creek Garden Club’s annual award dinner when they become embroiled in a Garden Club Murder.Sloane had won the Best Garden award for the past five years. He is also a playa in the senior housing development. When he is killed on the eve of the award’s dinner, was it because of his amorous wanderings or his gardening title? Tish and Jules decide to find out.There are suspects aplenty in the Garden Club Murder. It is always fun to try to uncover the killer be Tish and Jules are catering the Coleton Creek Garden Club’s annual award dinner when they become embroiled in a Garden Club Murder.Sloane had won the Best Garden award for the past five years. He is also a playa in the senior housing development. When he is killed on the eve of the award’s dinner, was it because of his amorous wanderings or his gardening title? Tish and Jules decide to find out.There are suspects aplenty in the Garden Club Murder. It is always fun to try to uncover the killer before the amateur detectives. Unfortunately, I was completely surprised by the murderer’s reveal and motive. However, looking back, there were several clues in plain sight that I missed. I enjoyed the easy camaraderie between friends Tish, Jules, and MJ. MJ has a personal subplot in this series entry that makes me like her even more. Overall, this is an enjoyable cozy mystery with relatable characters. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. 4 stars!Thanks to Severn House and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    Turns out lots of people disliked Sloane for more reasons than that he won the garden club award five years running! Tish, who has a catering business, is touring gardens to help her decide the menu for Coleton Creek's annual garden club awards, is the one who finds his body. Well, in classic cozy fashioned, she investigates and discovers there was more to him - and to others in the community - than met the eye. Not all senior citizens are nice, for one thing. Good characters, a sufficiently twi Turns out lots of people disliked Sloane for more reasons than that he won the garden club award five years running! Tish, who has a catering business, is touring gardens to help her decide the menu for Coleton Creek's annual garden club awards, is the one who finds his body. Well, in classic cozy fashioned, she investigates and discovers there was more to him - and to others in the community - than met the eye. Not all senior citizens are nice, for one thing. Good characters, a sufficiently twisty plot, and a surprise villain made this a good read. My quibble with the last book was the punning and it's been toned down here. Note that despite the fact that Tish is a caterer, there are no recipes. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. For cozy fans.
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  • Krystal
    January 1, 1970
    At first I wasn't entirely sure what I thought of this book. There's a little to much emphasis on Tish having a past investigating, but saying that she won't be investigating this murder. Then everyone confides in her. The answers seem to be coming a little too easy with no real investigation required.As the book progresses more drama and mystery are created and the story transitions from ok to good. The ending of the book also has a bit of a tagged on bit about Tish's relationship, that I didn' At first I wasn't entirely sure what I thought of this book. There's a little to much emphasis on Tish having a past investigating, but saying that she won't be investigating this murder. Then everyone confides in her. The answers seem to be coming a little too easy with no real investigation required.As the book progresses more drama and mystery are created and the story transitions from ok to good. The ending of the book also has a bit of a tagged on bit about Tish's relationship, that I didn't love. But overall the story kept me engaged and I would read the next book in the series.
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  • Annarella
    January 1, 1970
    A very good cozy mystery.I read it as fast as I could as the plot is gripping and kept me guessing till the end.It's well written, there a lot of character development and the plot is full of twists and turns.I loved the fleshed out cast of characters, the setting and humor.I appreciated both the plot and the subplots as they both feature interesting themes and there's a lot of empathy for the characters involved.I look forward to reading the next instalment in this series.Highly recommended!Man A very good cozy mystery.I read it as fast as I could as the plot is gripping and kept me guessing till the end.It's well written, there a lot of character development and the plot is full of twists and turns.I loved the fleshed out cast of characters, the setting and humor.I appreciated both the plot and the subplots as they both feature interesting themes and there's a lot of empathy for the characters involved.I look forward to reading the next instalment in this series.Highly recommended!Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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  • Ann
    January 1, 1970
    This is book 2 in the Tish Tarragon series. Tish is a caterer and is happy to be cooking for the Coleton Creek Garden Club Award luncheon. The theme is the secret garden and as Tish sets up at the club house the body of 5 time winner Sloan is found murdered. There are a lot of suspects since he was hated by all. She works along with Sheriff Reade finally deciphers the clues. This book can be read as a stand alone. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Barbara Tobey
    January 1, 1970
    Senior citizens have many secrets. A comfy cozy mystery with a few surprises. I did shed a tear or two near the end. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy via NetGalley.
  • Karen's World
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very clear, easy read that did keep you guessing about who committed the crime. I enjoyed 5nisvas it wasn’t too heavy and with a small amount of characters so I didn’t get confused. Very well writt3n.
  • Jeanie Jackson
    January 1, 1970
    The Garden Club Murder, book 2 in the Tish Tarragon series by Amy Patricia Meade, is an excellent mystery that got even better the further I read. Ms. Meade slowly reveals a peek into the depths of each of the new characters, and for those of us who are new to the series, she provides adequate background blended into the story so that we can become part of that core group of friends. While I can not relate to the intensity the community feels about their gardens, Ms. Meade pulled me into their s The Garden Club Murder, book 2 in the Tish Tarragon series by Amy Patricia Meade, is an excellent mystery that got even better the further I read. Ms. Meade slowly reveals a peek into the depths of each of the new characters, and for those of us who are new to the series, she provides adequate background blended into the story so that we can become part of that core group of friends. While I can not relate to the intensity the community feels about their gardens, Ms. Meade pulled me into their stories so that I could understand how important the work and the competition is to them, important enough to possibly justify murder. On the same note, I could have sworn that I had actually visited these gardens, yet the description is not excessive. I loved that Tish was pulled into the investigation instead of tracking down each of the suspects. I always question how easily people answer questions from an outsider in amateur detective mysteries, but it is perfectly clear why each person feels the need to share with her. Her personal support community is awesome! Well before the end of the book, I felt as if I made new friends. Thanks to NetGalley and Severn House for allowing me to read an ARC of The Garden Club Murder, now I need to go back and read Cookin' the Books, the first book in the Tish Tarragon series.#NetGalley #TheGardenClubMurder
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