Read The Garden Tour Affair: A Gardening Mystery Online

Authors: Ann Ripley

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The Garden Tour Affair: A Gardening Mystery

BOOK: The Garden Tour Affair: A Gardening Mystery
12.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Green Thumbs Way Up for
the Gardening Mysteries of Ann Ripley

DEATH OF A POLITICAL PLANT

“[A] WELL-PACED TALE … PEOPLED WITH FULLY DIMENSIONAL CHARACTERS … HER GARDENING TIPS ARE BOTH INTELLIGENT AND RELEVANT TO THE STORY.”


Publishers Weekly

DEATH OF A GARDEN PEST

“A HYBRID OF A TRADITIONAL WHODUNIT AND AN UP-TO-THE-MINUTE GARDENING GUIDE.” —


The Denver Post

“GARDENING AND MURDER MAKE A FASCINATING COMBINATION IN
DEATH OF A GARDEN PEST
. GARDENER-SLEUTH LOUISE ELDRIDGE OFFERS AN ENCHANTING VIEW OF GARDENS WHILE FACING DOWN DAUNTINGLY EVIL OPPONENTS.”

—Carolyn G. Hart

MULCH

“ANN RIPLEY PLANTS CLUES IN UNEXPECTED PLACES, DEVELOPS A PLOT WITH INTERESTING DIRT, AND SEEDS HER STORY WITH COLORFUL CHARACTERS, INCLUDING A CAPTIVATING, NOXIOUS VILLAIN.
MULCH
IS NOT YOUR GARDEN-VARIETY MYSTERY.”


New York Times
bestselling author Diane Mott Davidson


MULCH
IS ONE OF THOSE LITTLE GEMS.”


Mystery Lovers Bookshop News

Also by Ann Ripley

DEATH OF A POLITICAL PLANT

DEATH OF A GARDEN PEST

MULCH

Coming Soon from Bantam Books:

THE PERENNIAL KILLER

TO TONY

Contents

Cover

Other Books By This Author

Title Page

Dedication

Acknowledgments

Gardening Essays by Ann Ripley

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

The Joys and Sorrows of Garden Tours:

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Bells, Burbles, and Rustles; The Sound a Garden Makes:

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Make Yourself a Romantic Garden But Think Twice About Planting “Love-Lies-Bleeding”:

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

The Sci-Fi Future of Gardening: Genetic Engineering and Tissue Culture:

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Reconstructing the Garden: Don’t Deconstruct Yourself While You’re At It:

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

How Do You Relate to Your Planet? The Garden As Therapy:

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

The Sexual Lives of Plants and the Disappearing Honeybee:

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Intricate Design and Easy Culture: The Wonderful Iris:

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Jungle: The New Look in Gardens:

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Vegetables: From Utilitarian to Aesthetic:

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

About the Author

Copyright

Acknowledgments

I was inspired to write
The Garden Tour Affair
after reading Penelope Fitzgerald’s book,
The Blue Flower
. I thank her for the use of excerpts from her beautiful translation of German Romantic poet Novalis’
Henry von Ofterdingen
.

Thanks also to the many people who assisted me with this book: Stephanie Kip, my editor at Bantam Books; Jane Jordan Browne, my agent; Trux Simmons, KRMA-TV, Denver; Jon W. Galloway; Enid Schantz; Jim and Jessie Lew Mahoney; Irene Sinclair; Margaret Coel; Sybil and Man-court Downing; Karen Gilleland; Nancy Styler; my husband Tony and my patient daughters. For generously sharing their botanical expertise, I’m grateful to Catherine Long Gates, Long’s Gardens, Boulder, CO; Panayoti Kelaidis and James E. Henrich, The Denver Botanic Garden; Biology Professor Gloria M. Coruzzi, New York University; John W. Pohly, former county agent for Boulder County, CO; Professors Harrison Hughes and Whitney Cranshaw, of Colorado State University; and Ramon Jordan, the U.S. National Arboretum. Other valuable background came from Dr. Sarah Conn, of Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, MA; former horticulturalist for White Flower Farm, David J. A. Smith; Rick Ernst, Cooley Gardens, Silverton, OR; bee expert Thomas Theobald; Randy Burr, B & B Laboratories, Oregon; Lynn Lewis, resident trooper, Litchfield, CT; Gerald Present, New York University; Karl Lauby, The New York Botanical Garden; Andy Ocif, former Connecticut state trooper; Cathy Field, Litchfield Historical Society; and Allan Williams, Acting Director, Natural Resources Center, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

I have no craving to be rich, but I long to see the blue flower. It lies incessantly at my heart, and I can imagine and think about nothing else. Never did I feel like this before. It is as if until now I had been dreaming, or as if sleep had carried me into another world. For in the world I used to live in, who would have troubled himself about flowers? Such a wild passion for a flower was never heard of there
.

—HENRY VON OFTERDINGEN—
by the poet Novalis, 1772-1801

Prologue

T
HE TWO CLIMBERS WERE CROUCHED
not five feet apart on the mountain summit—a disorderly heap of boulders thrown together in Paleozoic times and made slippery today by a fine mist of summer rain.

“Ah, here we are at the top,” said the first.

The other didn’t answer, only stared.

“Is something wrong? Why are you looking at me so strangely?”

“I want you to recall some pretty silly things you’ve said. These are your words, your exact words—do you remember?
’It takes so very little, just jour hand warm against mine and our fingers entwined, and I feel as if I’m connecting with jour very soul!
You
said
that.”

Silence for a long moment. “I
see
… now I understand. I
did
say that once, I admit it. I’m not ashamed.” His green eyes held a kind of pagan innocence.

“And you said,
’You are my very heart’s heart!

“I said it, yes. They’re quotations from a poet, but they expressed how I felt. Why are you going into this now, for God’s sake? Let’s discuss that at another time, in another place …”

“It’s all down in writing, you know.”

“I—didn’t know that.”

“But I’m going to
destroy
it. That it happened at all is bad enough. I know it will get out. And if it does, it will be the biggest disgrace of my life.” The second climber lunged at the other, like a rattlesnake striking. But also skillfully, with one booted foot wedged in a crevice between the rocks.

The totally unexpected push easily unbalanced the other climber. In the man’s green eyes there was horrified surprise, as he fell far, far down to the rocks below.

Chapter 1
BOOK: The Garden Tour Affair: A Gardening Mystery
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