Gardening Can Be Murder: How Poisonous Poppies, Sinister Shovels, and Grim Gardens Have Inspired Mystery Writers


Product Details

$29.00  $26.97
Timber Press (OR)
Publish Date
6.8 X 8.1 X 0.9 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Marta McDowell lives, gardens, and writes in Chatham, New Jersey. She consults for public gardens and private clients, writes and lectures on gardening topics, and teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden, where she studied landscape design. Her particular interest is in authors and their gardens, the connection between the pen and the trowel.


"What could be more intriguing than a murder in the garden? In her newest book, Marta McDowell takes us on a delightfully diabolical romp through the role of horticulture in crime fiction. From deadly seeds, to menacing pruning shears, to suspicious groundskeepers, the garden has always provided both the motive and means to commit the perfect crime. Gardening Can Be Murder belongs on the shelf of every Agatha Christie fan--and every gardener who enjoys a little mischief and mayhem."--Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Plants
"I qualify my endorsement because I lost an entire morning of gardening to this most fascinating book with its interweaving of plant information with mystery books in which gardening figures. I am now torn - do I rush out to the garden to prune the hop vine, or shall I retrieve one of my Brother Cadfael mysteries from the upstairs bookcase? Interesting, well organized, original, captivating reading for gardeners and mystery fans."--Cynthia Riggs, author of the Martha's Vineyard Mysteries
"This book is dangerous. A veritable cornucopia of crime fiction and gardening lore, it faces the reader with multiple temptations--books to seek out, plants to obtain, garden tours to book. It's a delightful wander through the mystery genre from Poe to Penny and its surprisingly numerous ties to gardening. Presented in McDowell's elegant and accessible prose, it's completely captivating."--Vicki Lane, author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries
"Gardeners and mystery lovers alike will delight in Marta McDowell's charming bouquet of gardening mysteries--a botanical encyclopedia of horticultural crime. Both a handy, informative guide to a fast-growing genre and just-plain-fun reading, Gardening Can Be Murder belongs on your bookshelf. And what a lovely gift for your favorite gardener!"--Susan Wittig Albert, author of Hemlock
"Wonderful mash-ups of literature and gardening lore."--Vicki Lane Mysteries
"Marta McDowell digs up the dirt on an unsuspecting source of inspiration for the mystery genre: gardens. Gardening Can Be Murder marries McDowell's encyclopedic knowledge of plants and the murder-mystery genre. She documents every shady gardener and poisoned tea, consulting literary giants both classic and current along the way."--Reader's Digest
"Delves into the many ways in which mystery writers have found inspiration from poisonous plants and the more sinister side of gardens."--Gardens Illustrated