Most helpful critical review
Flowers for his funeral
on 5 July 2014
I enjoyed some of the earlier books more than this one.
While we're told a murder occurs at the Chelsea Flower Show, and it does, we get almost nothing of the show setting, just hot and crowded and then they leave, so it feels like a swizz. The actual death takes place on a public street.
Meredith Mitchell and her inspector friend Markby are like an old married couple, except they've never been either married or a couple. In this book there is no spark of love at all. Perhaps that's because Meredith's school mate turns out to be Markby's ex wife. It's her new husband who is unfortunately killed.
I thought that for a police inspector Markby seems to know just about nothing, including that his ex and her Mediterranean husband were living in a large country house not far from him. Overall I did find the tale tedious and the characters all one-sided.
The author still uses exclamation marks! all the time! when most of us would use them once or twice a book. She also uses It with incredible frequency; close to the start a long paragraph consists of four sentences, three of which start with It. The passive voice is used almost all the way through - it had been raining, etc. Maybe some editor decided to prove that a book written against all best writing advice might still sell.