Book info

The Cipher Garden (2015)

The Cipher Garden (2015)
Rating
3.64 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
074908135X (ISBN13: 9780749081355)
languge
English
publisher
allison & bus
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The Cipher Garden (2015)
The Cipher Garden (2015)

About book: Book 2. from the Lake District series, where we again meet DCI Hannah Scarlett who heads up a team investigating cold cases and Daniel Kind, a historian who has given up his job in Oxford University, to live a quite, idyllic life in an area of the Lake District where his father lived and worked as a policeman and was Hannah's boss and mentor. Daniel is anxious to find out all he can from Hannah about his father, who is now deceased, as he left his family for another work when Daniel and his sister, Louise, were young. Hannah's team receive an anonymous letter in connection with an old murder case, that of Warren Howe, a landscape gardener, who was killed with his own scythe and thrown into a trench he had just dug. Now, someone is suggesting his wife, Tina, was responsible for his murder. Hannah takes some tentative steps towards re-opening the case, and soon realises there are a number of obvious suspects and a lot of motives for the murder of Warren Howe. Daniel, meanwhile, is pondering the mystery of his rather unusual garden and researching the previous owners of his cottage. He and Hannah, who are obviously attracted to each other, find their paths crossing once again, when Daniel comes upon some information pertaining to the cold case. There are a number of illicit affairs, everyone seems to have been sleeping with the others husband or wife and Howe was a serial womanizer, who at the time of his death, had just had an affair with his business partner's wife. There are plenty of twists and turns in the story, I thought I knew who the killer was, pretty early on, but I was very wrong. It was a great police procedural story and also a developing story of Hannah and Daniel's personal lives. Can't wait to read the next one.

Dull, plodding book with two-dimensional characters and a couple of flimsy mysteries. The question of the cypher garden is settled in about 4 pages, and then completely forgotten. The murder mystery itself, when it finally gets resolved, is pedestrian. The two investigators spend forever playing the "will they, won't they" dance, while bemoaning their respective partners. Most of the book is taken up with this wishy-washy half-romance. If you want to read a romance novel, I'm sure there's better out there. If you want to read a detective novel, there's definitely better out there. Finally, for a book set in some of the most magnificent scenery in the UK, there's almost no description of that scenery- that would at least have lightened some of the tedium.
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Reviews
Ant Harrison
The Cipher Garden by Martin Edwards is another in his 'Lake District' mystery series. Historian-cum-amateur detective Daniel Kind is drawn into another crime from the past after trying to discover the 'secrets' of the garden at his new cottage. Coincidently this links with the unsolved murder of Warren Howe, which is being investigated by DCI Hannah Scarlett. Hannah and Daniel are attracted to each other (in a very drag-it-out, let's pretend it's not happening kind of way) and some of the back story concerns this rather irksome will-they-won't-they get it together sub-plot. There are quite a few characters, but nearly all of them are already connected and it took me a while to remember who was who. The central mystery doesn't turn out to be that mysterious and even allowing for a lazy former police detective, it's implausible to think that this case wouldn't have been solved first time around. Kind and Scarlett are interesting, if a bit wet, but most of the other characters are flat two dimensional stereotypes. I generally like Edwards's work; he's a good stylist and the sense of place and descriptions keep this book just the right side of readable. It's an undemanding read, told in a slow pace and is fairly well written. But the style on show here is fairly pedestrian and I lost interest after a while. Don't expected a gripping read. © Koplowitz 2012
Monica
This is only the second book in Martin Edwards series that takes place in the Lake District of England...and it grabbed me as much as the first one did. Edwards is a wonderful descriptive author...I feel like I’m walking through this beautiful region of the Lake District. This is the perfect book if you enjoy mysteries that take place in small English villages...where gossip is a way of life and everyone knows everyone else. Amazing that a murder can go unsolved for so long...that is until DCI Hannah Scarlett and historian Daniel Kind are on the cold case.
Sarah
This is the second in the series that I have read and I feel that as a series it is starting to pick up pace. For some reason I found it hard to remember the connections between some of the characters in this story- they all seem to be ex partners of each other.DCI Hannah Scarlett has reopened the case of Warren Howe who was murdered folowing a a tip off. Daniel Kind is uncertain as to why his garden is laid out the way it is and his investigating into this ends up tying in with Hannah's investigations into Howe's death
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