Archive for 'Ironside, Elizabeth'
DEATH IN THE GARDEN starts off with a house party that took place in England in 1925. Diana Pollexfen has invited some of her old friends to the country house she shares with her husband, George Pollexfen, to help her celebrate her 30th birthday. The spectre of WWI looms over the house party and the old friends â€“ it wasnâ€™t that long ago that their lives were forever altered as they lost friends, lovers, family, and parts of themselves in the war. At the end of the weekend, George Pollexfen is found dead and Diana is quickly tried and acquitted of his murder.
The story then switches to modern day, when Dianaâ€™s grand-niece, Helena, inherits her house. Helena and her cousins were completely unaware of the events of their great-auntâ€™s early years and are surprised their the ancient garden-loving woman they had loved had been tried for murder. Since there is some doubt that the verdict returned in their auntâ€™s case was the true one, the cousins decide to investigate the case for themselves.
DEATH IN THE GARDEN is a mystery. But it is also very much a morality play. You can tell what kind of an end the characters will come to by observing the quality of their moral characters. And while Ironside is a little heavy handed when it comes to making the punishment fit the crime, she does a wonderful job of describing the characters and their scenes. Not necessarily making them seem like real people, because they donâ€™t really, but in describing their mindsets, foibles, and motivations. Ironsideâ€™s writing has an unusual quality to it that keeps the reader from being immersed in the story â€“ she makes the story interesting, but keeps the reader at armâ€™s length so that you are always aware you are watching a scene unfold, not playing a part in it. This is a book with a moral that you read, absorb the meaning, and then move on.
Did I guess it? Yes. Favorite character? Marta, who has enthusiasm for the project. Will I read another? Probably not. I would say this book is much more a novel than a mystery and the style of writing just isn’t my cup of tea.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007