On the eve of the Second World War, the last surviving specimen of a camellia plant known as the Middlebury Pink lies secreted away on an English country estate. Read more...
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On the eve of the Second World War, the last surviving specimen of a camellia plant known as the Middlebury Pink lies secreted away on an English country estate. Flora, an amateur American botanist, is contracted by an international ring of flower thieves to infiltrate the household and acquire the coveted bloom. Her search is at once brightened by new love and threatened by her discovery of a series of ghastly crimes.
More than half a century later, garden designer Addison takes up residence at the manor, now owned by the family of her husband, Rex. The couple s shared passion for mysteries is fueled by the enchanting camellia orchard and an old gardener s notebook. Yet its pages hint at dark acts ingeniously concealed. If the danger that Flora once faced remains very much alive, will Addison share her fate?
Fans of Downton Abbey should rush to pick up this novel."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-04-29
- Reviewer: Staff
In her fourth novel, Jio (The Violets of Summer) relies on her tried-and-true, and generally successful, formula of basing the novel on a present-day protagonist unraveling mysteries from the life of a woman in the early decades of the 20th century. In 2000, landscape designer Addison flees her New York City home (and secret past) with her English husband, Rex, for Livingston Manor, his parents' new country estate outside London. But she soon finds that Livingston Manor has secrets of its own that relate to a woman who, 60 years before, underwent the same journey. In 1940 amateur botanist Flora, at the behest of an international flower thief, leaves New York behind to work as a nanny for the estate's owners, a wealthy family who may have been harboring a rare camellia species on their property. She discovers, however, something far more sinister going on, involving women who have been disappearing from a nearby town. In 2000, Addison gradually realizes that the same danger Flora once faced may be closing in on her as well. Jio, who has proven herself a solid crafter of suspense and intrigue, stumbles a bit in her latest effort but not enough to deter her many fans. Agent: Elisabeth Weed, Weed Literary. (May)