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    TILLING THE TRUTH by Julia Henry

    TILLING THE TRUTH by Julia Henry is the second book in the A Garden Squad Mystery series. It’s the story of Lilly Jayne, highly respected senior citizen and somewhat of an amateur sleuth - the fabulous Garden Squad -and solving the murder of Gladys Preston, Squad member but also the town grouch. It’s delightfully set in the little quaint town of Goosebush, Massachusetts. The story opens after the death of Lilly’s dear friend, Harmon Dane. Lilly is the executor of his will which means she is dealing with his cousin, Miranda, and nephew, Braden, who seem more interest in money and their own wants than in honoring their Uncle’s wishes. She’s brought in Dawn Simmons, Professor of Ornithology, to help in the research for establishing The Dane Bird Sanctuary, which was near and dear to Harmon’s heart and to which he bequeathed a large part of his estate to. Tamara, owner of O’Connor Real Estate, has the listing to sell the Dane estate so that terms of the will can be filled. However, someone seems determined to undermine her open houses by the use everything from o rotting fish to the release of mice thereby delaying the eventual sale of the house. She also has very public heated words with Gladys the night before her death making her the number one suspect especially when she was the one found over the body. On top of all that, Tamara is having to deal with nasty competition in the form of Regan Holland, new realtor in town. Regan not only doesn’t understand small town ways, but she seems to rub everyone wrong with her big town ways and her snipe remarks with a smile on her face. Bash Haygood, Chief of Police, is a good friend of Lilly’s and has known her all his life. He respects her as a person and for her opinion so he keeps her in the loop during the investigation and she in turn tells him of any facts she learns. The Garden Squad with members like Ernie Johnson - owner of the Triple B’s as it’s fondly called, Stan Freeman – owner of the Star Café, and Delia – who worked for Lilly’s husband and has lived with her since his death becoming a dear friend and who helps them keep on track of the “true” facts, are all workiing together to figure out the who, when, how and why was Gladys murdered. In their investigation, they start finding clues that maybe, just maybe there are connections between Harmon’s death, the open house fiascos, vandalism on the bird sanctuary and Gladys’ death. Why was Lenny changing from small renovations jobs to new big construction with no money or crews to work with? How does that connect with his getting caught coming out of Gladys’ house after her death? Was Harmon’s death connected to Gladys’? Does the covenant on the three houses where Harmon lived play into the deaths? Was someone doing all the pranks at the open houses to try to frame Tamara? Are they trying to stop the bird sanctuary for the money or the land? Will Delia accept the new teaching job in Boston and leave Lilly alone at Windward? What kind of wool is Regan trying to pull over everyone’s eyes and will she get the folks to accept big town ways? Julia Henry did an excellent job of bringing the whole town of Goosebush to life in TILLING THE TRUTH. Loved Lilly from page one. Love when they show that seniors can have spunk and brains. It was fun to keep up with the twists and turns of this mystery absorbing the hints along with the Garden Squad with a little wine to wash it down with. Definitely recommend this book, this series and this author! If you love a clean, well-written cozy mystery that will entertain you and keep you turning the pages, then you will love it as much as I did.
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    Fun gardening cozy mystery

    Tilling the Truth was so much fun to read. I am not a gardener, but I can appreciate the work that goes into having beautiful gardens. Lilly and her friends go around town at night and do work on gardens that have been neglected for one reason or another. I get such a kick out of the cozies featuring senior citizens. They are always such characters. I loved how Lilly and her friends get together for dinners and make a board with all the clues. I haven't read the first book in the series, but I didn't feel lost. I will be reading it and also cannot wait for the next in the series! Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington for the copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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    Lilly Jayne and the Garden Squad are back and making Goosebush, Massachusetts a better place to live. When a local woman is murdered, the Garden Squad steps up to find out who did it and why, especially since one of their own was set up to take the fall. As the group of friends begin digging, they find quite a few trails that lead back to a group of locals and find that one of Lilly’s dear friends may have been murdered after everyone thought he had died of a heart attack. But trails need proof and the gang needs to find it before they can clear up not just one, but two murders. This has to be one of my favorite newer series. The first book gripped me and I was waiting for the second book with bated breath. While the main character is older, the Garden Squad members range in age on down to a newly minted college instructor. There is something for everyone in this series and the mysteries are well thought out and give clues that help you discover the murdered and determine why if you piece them all together. Let the count down to book three begin!

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