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Murder With a Green Thumb


I accuse Major Mallory, in the arboretum, with the hoe! No, no, no! It was Mrs. Phillips in the rose garden with a deadly dose of herbicide!

No matter “who done it”, there’s little question that the gardening mystery has become popular. Nearly everyone has spent some time tilling the soil, planting their annuals and cursing the weeds that attempt to take over their garden plots. Throw in the menacing plots of your fellow human beings, and a Garden becomes a prime location for deadly deeds. Whether you’re interested in historical gardening mysteries, like those solved by herbalist and medieval monk Brother Cadfael, or contemporaries, such as the stories featuring herb shop owner China Bayles or landscape designer Celia Grant, you should find something in this list to fertilize your fancy. So, plant yourself on a garden bench, and kick back with some Gardening Mysteries! Oh, and watch out for that stranger with the weed whacker!

All books in this list which are owned by Lincoln City Libraries are hotlinked to their entries in our library catalog, so that you may check on their current availability. Some titles not owned by the libraries are included in this list due to their classic nature, or their position as part of a series. If you see a title on this list that is not hotlinked to our collection, please consider ordering it through our Interlibrary Loan department.

Catherine Aird
Amendment of Life (2002)

Susan Wittig Albert
The China Bayles series (Herb shop owner)
Thyme of Death (1992)
Witches’ Bane (1993)
Hangman’s Root (1994)
Rosemary Remembered (1995)
Rueful Death (1996)
Love Lies Bleeding (1997)
Chile Death (1998)
Lavender Lies (1999)
Mistletoe Man (2000)
Bloodroot (2001)
Indigo Dying (2003)
An Unthymely Death and Other Garden Mysteries (2003)
A Dilly of a Death (2004)
Dead Man’s Bones (2005)
Bleeding Hearts (2006)
Spanish Dagger (2007)
Nightshade (2008)
Wormwood (2009)
Holly Blues (2010)
Mourning Gloria (2011)
Cat’s Claw (2012)
Widow’s Tears (2013)
Death Come Quickly (2014)
Bittersweet (2015)
Blood Orange (2016)

John Richard Lane Anderson
Death in the Greenhouse (1978)

Nancy Atherton
Aunt Dimity and the Duke (1994)

Marion Babson
Guilty Party (1988)

Richard Barth
A Ragged Plot (1981)

M.C. Beaton
Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (1994)

J.S. Borthwick
The Garden Plot (1997)

Edna Buchanan
Garden of Evil (1999)

Dorothy Cannell
Down the Garden Path (1985)

Taffy Cannon
Guns and Roses (2000)
Tangled Roots (1995)

Agatha Christie
Murder at the Vicarage (1930)
Nemesis (1971)

Jill Churchill
Mulch Ado About Nothing (2000)

Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone (1868)

Susan Conant
Ruffly Speaking (1994)

K.C. Constantine
The Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes (1982)

Alisa Craig
(a.k.a. Charlotte MacLeod)
The Grub-and-Stakers Series
The Grub-and-Stakers Move a Mountain (1981)
The Grub-and-Stakers Quilt a Bee (1985)
— The Grub-and-Stakers Pinch a Poke (1988)
— The Grub-and-Stakers Spin a Yarn (1990)
The Grub-and-Stakers House a Haunt (1993)

Marjorie Dorner
Freeze Frame (1990)

John Keith Drummond
Thy Sting, Oh Death (1985)
Tis the Season to be Dying (1988)

Carola Dunn
The Winter Garden Mystery (1995)

Anthony Eglin
The Blue Rose (2004)
The Lost Gardens (2006)
The Water Lily Cross (2007)

Kate Ellis
The Bone Garden (2003)

Kathy Lynn Emerson
Susanna Appleton series
Face Down in the Marrow-Bone Pie (1997)
Face Down Upon an Herbal (1998)
Face Down Among the Winchester Geese (1999)
Face Down Beneath the Eleanor Cross (2000)
Face Down Under the Wych Elm (2000)
Face Down Before the Rebel Hooves (2001)
Face Down Upon the Western Sea (2002)
Face Down Below the Banqueting House (2005)
Face Down Beside St. Anne’s Well (2006)
Face Down O’er the Border (2007)

E.X. Ferrars
Andrew Basnett – Professor of Botany
Root of All Evil (1984)
A Murder Too Many (1988)

Anthea Fraser
Six Proud Walkers (1988)

Mary Freeman
Deadly Nightshade (1999)
Devil’s Trumpet (1999)
Bleeding Heart (2000)
A Garden View (2002)

Frances Fyfield
Question of Guilt (1988)

Jacqueline Girdner
Murder My Deer (2000)

Rumer Godden
An Episode of Sparrows (1955)

Caroline Graham
The Killings at Badger’s Drift (1987)
Murder at Madingley Grange (1991)

Ann Granger
Flowers for His Funeral (1994)
Say it With Poison (1991)

Annie Griffin
Love and the Single Corpse (2000)

Joan Hadley
(a.k.a. Joan Hess)
Night-Blooming Cereus (1986)
The Deadly Ackee (1988)

Jean Hager
Blooming Murder (1994)

Karen Harper
The Poyson Garden (1999)
The Thorne Maze (2003)

Janis Harrison
The Bretta Solomon series
Roots of Murder (1999)
Murder Sets Seed (2000)
Lilies That Fester (2001)
A Deadly Bouquet (2002)
Reap a Wicked Harvest (2004)
Bindweed (2005)

Reginald Hill
Deadheads (1983)

Muriel Resnik Jackson
The Garden Club (1992)

Susan Kenney
Garden of Malice (1983)

Graham Landrum
The Garden Club Mystery (1998)

Emma Lathen
Green Grow the Dollars (1982)

Elizabeth Lemarchand
Suddenly While Gardening (1978)
Change for the Worse (1980)

Charlotte MacLeod
Peter Shandy series – Agricultural Professor
Rest You Merry (1978)
The Curse of the Giant Hogweed (1985)
Something in the Water (1994)

David Manuel
A Matter of Roses (1999)

Ngaio Marsh
Grave Mistake (1978)

Sujata Massey
The Flower Master (1998)

Stefanie Matteson
Murder at Teatime (1991)

Mary McMullen
Grave Without Flowers (1983)

Barbara Michaels
The Dancing Floor (1997)

Gladys Mitchell
The Death-Cap Dancers (1981)
Spotted Hemlock (1985)

Skye Kathleen Moody
Blue Poppy (1997)

B.J. Morison
Champagne and a Gardener (1982)

Marcia Muller
There’s Something in a Sunday (1989)

Donna Huston Murray
Final Arrangements (1996)

Beverley Nichols
The Moonflower (1955)
No Man’s Street (1954)

Ellis Peters
The Brother Cadfael series – Medieval herbalist monk
A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977)
One Corpse Too Many (1980)
Monk’s Hood (1981)
Saint Peter’s Fair (1981)
The Leper of Saint Giles (1982)
The Virgin in the Ice (1983)
The Sanctuary Sparrow (1983)
Devil’s Novice (1984)
Dead Man’s Ransom (1985)
The Pilgrim of Hate (1985)
An Excellent Mystery (1985)
The Raven in the Foregate (1986)
The Rose Rent (1986)
The Hermit of Eyton Forest (1988)
The Confession of Brother Haluin (1988)
A Rare Benedictine (1990)
The Heretic’s Apprentice (1990)
The Potter’s Field (1990)
Summer of the Danes (1991)
Holy Thief (1993)
Brother Cadfael’s Penance (1994)

Ralph Peters
The Devil’s Garden (1998)

Ian Rankin
The Hanging Garden (1998)

Cynthia Riggs
Deadly Nightshade (1999)

Ann Ripley
The Gardening Mystery series
Mulch (1994)
Death of a Garden Pest (1996)
Death of a Political Plant (1998)
Garden Tour Affair (1999)
The Perennial Killer (2000)
Harvest of Murder (2001)
The Christmas Garden Affair (2002)
Death at the Spring Plant Sale (2003)
Summer Garden Murder (2005)
Death in the Orchid Garden (2006)

Lora Roberts
Murder Crops Up (1998)

Elliot Roosevelt
Murder in the Rose Garden (1989)

Rebecca Rothenberg
The Bulrush Murders (1991)
The Dandelion Murders (1994)
The Shy Tulip Murders (1996)
Tumbleweed Murders (2001)

Betty Rowlands
A Little Gentle Sleuthing (1990)

Beth Saulnier
Bad Seed (2002)

Dorothy Sayers
Busman’s Honeymoon (1937)

John Sherwood
The Celia Grant series – Landscape Designer
Green Trigger Fingers (1984)
A Botanist at Bay (1985)
The Mantrap Garden (1986)
Flowers of Evil (1987)
Menacing Groves (1988)
A Bouquet of Thorns (1989)
The Sunflower Plot (1990)
The Hanging Garden (1992)
Creeping Jenny (1993)
Bones Gather No Moss (1994)

Sheila Simonson
Larkspur (1990)

Rex Stout
Black Orchids (1942)

Heather Webber
Hoe Lot of Trouble (2004)
Trouble in Spaces (2005)

Stuart Woods
Orchid Beach (1998)

Deborah Woodworth
Sins of a Shaker Summer (1999)

Nancy Means Wright
Stolen Honey (2002)

Compiled June 2007 sdc / last updated October 2016 sdc