Lily McGuire has her plants and her work as a landscape architect in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. What she doesn’t have (a man to date or an adventure to have) is just fine with her, thank you very much. Yet her whole world turns as chaotic as the grand old mansion’s garden she’s restoring when a stranger presents her with the gardening journal of a 1940s socialite-gone-missing. Snarky and somewhat misanthropic Lily must search its pages for clues to the young beauty’s disappearance and a potentially deadly mystery despite the warning that she should tread carefully: the journal was the cause of Lily’s best friend’s death, assures the stranger. Appearances aside, the old man doesn’t seem trustworthy. But then again, Lily doesn’t trust anyone, so why should he be any different?
In Julia’s Garden is a contemporary mystery set in Winston-Salem with roots firmly planted in a historic southern garden in Columbia, South Carolina. In the first of a series, Lily McGuire pieces together clues she finds in the missing socialite’s journal to discover what happened to Julia and to find closure on the death of her best friend who ran the small landscape architectural firm where Lily works. Lily also must tend to her own past, a landscape riddled with an emotionally draining failed marriage to a two- (or is it five, now?) timer who will be at their son’s upcoming college graduation, and attractive—but pesky—coworker Jack Chapman who is definitely not her type. Maybe.
Thoughts on the cover
The first thing that drew my eye to this cover was the vibrant green color and the embellished book at its center. Whenever I see a book on a cover I instantly wonder what sorts of mysteries it will contain. The vine wrapped around the book’s cover gives it a slightly sinister feel, like maybe it won’t let its secrets go so easily, and makes me think that the book is somehow intrinsically tied to that verdant garden around it. I think it fits the story’s synopsis very well as well, which is always a plus for me.
My initial rating based on cover: 4.0/5.0
By Colleen Turner
indiebrag Interview Team Member
Be sure to check out Colleen’s website A Literary Vacation