This is an excellent read! Well written, great characterizations.
Helena inherits her great-aunt's estate. While reading her diaries, she finds out that her great-aunt Diana was once accused of murdering her first husband, George. She was acquitted, but the case was never solved. Helena is too upright a person (even though she has an illicit affair herself) to accept an inheritance which might be tainted by the spoils of a murder. So she decides, with the help of her cousin Marta, to solve a murder over sixty years old. They delve into the past and begin to understand the complex web of friendships, jealousies, courage, and cowardice that connected the group of people present when George was killed. Soon they discover that there were indeed others who had a motive for killing George.
A peek into upper-class British doings. The lady who wrote this mystery is, in fact, a lady . The wife of the British ambassador to America, so she knows where of she speaks. For me, the book has too many long, involved, prose passages and not enough dialogue.
Death in the Garden is an interesting British murder mystery. As Helena explores her Great aunt's journals she discovers a woman she did not know about, a woman who had been tried for murder of her first husband. There are many characters to keep track of and the story develops slowly but did keep my interest.
Not a formula mystery by any means; more of a psychological novel. I figured out the retro part fairly early on, but I read on, fascinated by the additional layers of character that were revealed, and the way I felt immersed in a different mindset, in long gone ways of thinking, such that the modern part of the ending came as a surprise.
If this novel has a flaw, I think that it might be that even though it was written in 1995 and partially set in that then-contemporary day, the characters seem rather old-fashioned in their cultural tastes and ways of interacting; in one scene when the author says a character is dressed in jeans and a tee shirt, I went what? she doesn't seem like the type. But it is British and they are different.
A really engrossing book, one I couldn't put down until I finished it and then I picked it up to go over some of the passages. The book blurb tells the story of a beautiful, bohemian wife of a wealthy landowner in 1925 England who is accused of the murder of her husband. Sixty years later a grand-niece discovers the story of the murder and the subsequent trial and wonders just who did kill Great Aunt Diana's husband that lovely day between the wars in the garden.