I’ve just finished reading Sam Llewellyn’s mystery-in-a-garden The Sea Garden, and loved it.
As I say in my Goodreads review, I’m a complete sucker for any kind of mystery involving gardens (Tom’s Midnight Garden, The Savage Garden, Thornyhold), and this was no exception.
The present-day heroine Victoria uncovers a skull in the ancient, rambling and mysterious garden she and her husband have just inherited on an island off the Cornish coast. When the skull vanishes again before she’s had a chance to examine it properly, she sets off on an investigation of who it could have belonged to and why it was buried there. And uncovers a whole furniture-store of closets full of family skeletons and secrets in the process.
The writing was every bit as good as Mary Stewart at her best and the unexpected humour reminded me of Dorothy Dunnett. Since those are two of my favourite authors it’s hardly surprising I liked this.
The ending was perhaps a little too melodramatic for my liking, but it fitted well with the ‘gothic’ feel of the book, and with the historical elements, and it tied everything up very neatly.
I’m hoping Mr Llewellyn will write more books in a similar vein, that I can look out for and devour.