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Gardening Mystery Series

Ann Ripley
Death of a Political Plant by Ann Ripley
The Garden Tour Affair by Ann Ripley
Mulch by Ann Ripley

Gardening Mystery Series : Titles in Order

Book 5
On location in Colorado for her syndicated television show, Gardening with Nature, filming alpine butterflies and avalanche lilies, Louise Eldridge can see why this beautiful terrain is as precious as gold. Then the pure Rocky Mountain air is fouled by the discovery of elderly rancher Jimmy Porter’s body, shot to death and draped like a coyote carcass over his own backyard fence. Louise soon discovers a staggering list of suspects, since Jimmy’s plan to sell his 13,000-acre ranch to a government preservation program left a lot of family, friends, and competitors with much to lose. Throw in a second death, a closed nuclear plant, a CIA investigation involving Louise’s husband, and a bullet hole in her cowboy hat, and Louise suddenly realizes she’s onto a killer as hardy as the native skeleton weed-and seemingly as indestructible.
Book 4
Everything’s coming up corpses….

Louise Eldridge is taking her popular television show, Gardening with Nature, on location to film a garden tour at the historic Litchfield Falls Inn. It’s a weekend in the country that promises rest, relaxation, and some of New England’s most beautiful gardens.

But the local grapevine whispers of warring lovers, botanical scams, academic scandal, and family finagling. The tension is so thick you can hardly cut it with a scythe. And then the uneasy group of assembled guests begin to meet with the most unfortunate of accidents.

Suddenly Louise suspects that someone is playing Grim Reaper in the Litchfield Falls paradise. How many more guests–including one nosy garden show host–are about to be cut down?
Book 3
Ann Ripley’s horticultural heroine, Louise Eldridge, enchanted mystery lovers of all varieties in Death of a Garden Pest and Mulch
.  Now she returns in a witty new tale of muckraking, murder, and deeply buried–and very dangerous–secrets.  

Louise’s TV show, Gardening with Nature, has made her a celebrity, sweeping her from lawn-mower commercials all the way to the president’s National Environmental Commission.  Not that Louise is about to get her hands dirty in the mudslinging campaigns of an election year.  As usual, her main concerns are right in her own backyard.

Here, in Washington’s suburban Sylvan Valley, she is subject to an unwelcome infestation of houseguests that threatens to crowd out her houseplants.  Least welcome of all are three bossy busybodies in town for the Perennial Plant Society convention, who fete Louise as official "Plant Person of the Year" but press her to slash back the sweetgums and swamp oaks that give her beloved garden its pristine air.

Her grin-and-bear-it mood is lightened, however, by the arrival of an old flame.  Twenty years ago, in the first bloom of youth, Louise fell heavily for Jay McCormick’s crooked smile and crusading charm.  Now, he’s an investigative journalist looking worriedly over his shoulder.  Jay confides that he’s come on two distinct undercover missions.  One is to ensure that his ex-wife, a high-powered political lawyer, doesn’t cheat on the rules for custody of their young daughter.  Around the other, he raises an impenetrable thicket of secrecy.

But Jay’s cover is blown when he surfaces, a nibbled corpse, in a neighbor’s ornamental fishpond.  Who put him there? And what was the mysterious story he was investigating? Only Louise can unearth the trail that leads from a missing computer to a pistol-packing intruder trampling her purple-spotted toad lilies to evidence hidden where only a hardcore gardener could find it.  Soon she’s digging up enough dirt–social, marital, and political–to uproot some of Washington’s top players…if she doesn’t get herself nipped in the bud first.

Ripening suspense, a thorny plot, and plenty of gardening tips make Death of a Political Plant a perfect bouquet of murder, mystery, and mayhem.
Book 1
Rooting out a killer can dig you a grave…

Amateur gardener and housewife Louise Eldridge has big plans for her family’s new Sylvan Valley home, situated among the flower of suburban Washington, D.C., society. Some Japanese iris here, some skunk cabbage there…and her own cozy cabin for her horticultural writings. But barely has she turned the topsoil when her organic mulching unearths the unidentifiable remains of a murder victim. Suddenly her elegant garden is a crime scene blighted by garish yellow police tape.

And Louise–cultivating the rich and restless wives of the neighborhood and their hothouse secrets–must find out who has gone missing. For only then can she root out a rare species of killer who could soon be digging her grave.

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