The Bone Garden by Kate Ellis

The Bone Garden by Kate Ellis
Publisher: Piatkus
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

The ancient gardens of Earlsacre Hall are being excavated by a local team of historians in preparation for plans to recreate the gardens in their former glory. But the dig is called to a halt when two bodies are discovered under a stone plinth. More than 300 years old and buried on top of one another, there is every indication that one of the corpses had been buried alive. Despite the intriguing circumstances, DS Wesley Peterson has little time to indulge in his hobby for archaeology: a man has been found brutally stabbed to death in a trailer at a popular vacation site. There are no clues to the dead man’s identity except for a newspaper cutting about the restoration of Earlsacre. Soon after, the body of local solicitor Brian Willerby is found during a game of village cricket. The postmortem reveals that his death was caused by being struck by a hard ball several times with some force. Now Wesley must decipher the connection between Earlsacre and the murders before any more victims arise.

DS Wesley Peterson is called in when a body is found buried under a three-hundred-year-old plinth. Even though it’s soon proven that the body was buried all those centuries ago, work in the gardens of Earlsacre Hall is halted when yet another body is found to be buried under that original grave. Wesley is deeply curious about who these people were – and why were they buried in the large gardens – but soon a man is stabbed in a rental caravan and Wesley is called away to investigate something more recent than the old skeletons. And when yet another body turns up, Wesley realizes there might be some deeply sinister secrets floating around after all.

I have been greatly enjoying this series and found this book to be a lovely addition. Wesley is really beginning to settle into the police team and the small township, and I was pleased that the author had what I felt was a good balance between the history/archaeology angle and the more current police procedural aspect of the current murders. Readers who enjoy both historical mysteries as well as modern British police procedural style murder mysteries should find this book – and the series as a whole – a good read.

I definitely feel the plot of this book can be read as a standalone. The characters are linked throughout the series, but this book does stan well by itself and aside from catching up on how everyone knows each other I feel readers shouldn’t worry about whether they’ve read the previous books in this series.

An interesting plot with a good balance between history/archaeology and the present times, this was a good read.

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