Book Reviews

Book Review: Albert’s Garden

By JJ Grafton

Published October 2021

253 pages

There is a new sleuth joining the ranks of cozy mystery heroines:  Binky Earle, a proper, somewhat waspish septuagenarian who also happens to be the president of her village’s knitting circle.  But of course, what else would one expect from a leading resident of the quaint village of Lesser Puddlestone, a town so small it only acquired a full-time police officer in the past year?

But it may be a good thing there is a police presence in the town, since harmless vandalism has given way to murder.  When the body of another leading resident is found on the village green wishing well, evidence points to a member of the knitting circle being the murderer.  Never believing for a moment that one of her friends could be guilty, Binky marshals her considerable wit, intelligence and resources to prove that the charge is unfounded.  But the murderer could be closer to home than she realizes.

This was a charming novel and a departure from Grafton’s previous books, which focused on the grittier side of society.  Not so in Albert’s garden, where rural village life came alive in Lesser Puddlestone.  I found it reminiscent of the villages portrayed in the Flavia de Luce and Aunt Dimity Mystery Series (two of my favorites).  There was also quite a collection of memorable characters, with Binky leading the way.  She was lovely and at times quite humorous, harkening back to an era where people were much more innocent.  But she’s no pushover, doggedly going about her way regardless of whose feathers she ruffles in the process.  

Grafton wove in well-placed clues and red herrings throughout the novel, and brought to life the residents of this small town, displaying all their quirks and foibles.  This will be a series that I look forward to, with each installment being a chance to pay another visit to the town and new friends I’ve found there.  

Very well done and immensely enjoyable.  I rated this novel four stars.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

What’s your favorite cozy mystery series?  Drop a note below!

Until next time, thank you for visiting.

My rating system:

5 stars – Wow, I could not stop thinking about this book and/or I wish I’d writtn it.

4 stars – This was an awesome novel, I’d recommend it to friends.

3 stars – This was a good novel, I will look for more by this author.

2 stars – An okay novel, but I probably won’t look for anything else by the author.


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