Sunday, March 6, 2016

Harvest of Murder / Ann Ripley / 290 pages / SCCCLD Challenge Spring

Louise Eldridge hosts a weekly TV gardening show.  By chance she meets a cantankerous professor while walking Fella, a dog she is sitting for a friend.  Professor Whiting shares his love of the Amazon rainforest and his ethnobotanical research there...research that could be the much sought after Fountain of Youth.  The professor is brutally murdered while on one of his walks.  Is the perpetrator a serial killer who has killed at least once before?  Louise, who is "quite a skillful amateur detective," is determined to find out.  As her TV show, "Gardening with Nature," is on hiatus, she accepts a job in the murdered professor's lab, and is thrilled that she was a little part of an effort to preserve a threatened species.  There are plenty of suspects and sufficient plot twists to keep the reader engaged.  The preparations for a Thanksgiving dinner for fifteen and a husband who is an undercover CIA operative add extra spice.  The gardening advice at the end of the book is priceless.

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