by Julie, dodging raindrops in Somerville
I am THRILLED to let you all know that today is the launch for the fifth in my Garden Squad series, The Plot Thickets! The end of the book marks a year since Roddy Lyden crashed Lilly Jayne’s garden party, and the Garden Squad started guerilla gardening around Goosebush, Massachusetts. A year in book time, and almost four years since Pruning the Dead, the first in the series, was released.
This book takes place in the spring, and Lilly has had a rough winter. She fell on the ice, and her back still bothers her. She’s frustrated that she can’t do everything as easily as she once could. When she and Delia go to the town cemetery to look into a possible beautification committee project cleaning up some of the gravestones and planting flowers, she’s looking forward to wandering around. Her father used to give tours of the historic site, and Lilly knows many of the markers by heart. Or so she thought. As she wanders towards the Jayne family mausoleum (of course they have a mausoleum), she notices that some markers seem to be missing or moved. Is her memory going? Or is something afoot?
If you’ve read the series, you know never to bet against Lilly Jayne. The plot weaves around small town politics and shady business deals. As I mentioned in a Jungle Reds post recently, I did a lot of research, mulled it over, and made it all work for the book. I loved revisiting all of the characters, and moving their lives forward in different ways.
Writing this series has been a great joy. I am sorry that this is the last book Kensington will be publishing in the series. I didn’t know that it wasn’t renewed when I wrote the book, and parts of it may have changed if I had known. (If you have a book group who wants to read The Plot Thickets and invite me to visit, I’ll let you know more about that. Reach out at jhauthors at jhauthors.com). Though the last in a series is bittersweet, I am so grateful to have five books published, and to have introduced the Garden Squad to the world.
I’m also grateful to my sisters Kristen and Caroline, who took ARCs of the book on their travels and sent me pictures. And to my niece Becca, who helped me photograph the book at the Museum of Fine Arts.
Please post pictures of your copy of the book traveling around, and tag me. If you’ve enjoyed the series, let your friends know. Help me make this launch week wildly successful.
I hope you enjoy reading The Plot Thickets as much as I enjoyed writing it.
To celebrate the release of The Plot Thickets, I’ll give away three copies of the book to commenters. Tell me, do you like wandering around old cemeteries?
About the book:
The ever-quintessential New England town of Goosebush, Massachusetts truly shines in springtime, but when an underhanded undertaker digs herself an early grave, it’s up to sixty-something gardening sleuth Lilly Jayne—and her fellow Garden Squad members of course— to unearth the cryptic killer . . .
With spring’s arrival in Goosebush, Lilly and the Beautification Committee turn their eyes to new projects. A cleanup of the historic Goosebush Cemetery may be in order, after Lilly and Delia find the plots there sorely neglected and inexplicably rearranged. Lilly soon discovers that Whitney Dunne-Bradford snapped up custodianship of the graveyard once she inherited Bradford Funeral Homes. But before Lilly can get to the bottom of the tombstone tampering, she stumbles upon Whitney’s body at the Jayne family mausoleum . . .
Though at first it appears Whitney died by suicide, Lilly has doubts, and apparently, so does Chief of Police Bash Haywood, who quickly opens a murder investigation. Plenty of folks in town had bones to pick with Whitney, including her stepdaughter, Sasha, and funeral home employee, Dewey Marsh—all three recently charged with illegal business practices. But when the homicide inquiry suddenly targets an old friend, Lilly and the Garden Squad must rally to exhume the truth before the real killer buries it forever . . .
Buy the book:
The book will be available in mass market paperback, large print, e-book, and audio book. It is available at your local bookstore, through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop.org or other online retailers. You can also request it through your local library!
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