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by Janet Gleeson


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Serpent in the Garden. Among the earliest gardens where pineapples were successfully grown was Matthew Decker’s at Richmond in the early eighteenth century

Serpent in the Garden. Among the earliest gardens where pineapples were successfully grown was Matthew Decker’s at Richmond in the early eighteenth century. Pineapples were widely grown in Britain by the middle of the century. The gardens at Heligan, Cornwall, include an eighteenth-century pineapple pit that, since the restorations, is once again in production. By the middle of the century extravagant pineries containing a hundred plants or more were not unusual.

Gleeson, on the other hand, is one of a very few history-mystery writers who bring an era to life by utilizing their own . Unlike the first novel "The Grenadillo Box", "The Serpent in the Garden" is narrated in third person by a painter named Joshua Pope.

Gleeson, on the other hand, is one of a very few history-mystery writers who bring an era to life by utilizing their own deep knowledge of a period's actual artifacts. In her debut mystery, The Grenadillo Box (2003), she centered the story on an apprentice to Thomas Chippendale.

Start by marking The Serpent in the Garden as Want to Read . With a sure understanding of period detail and character, Janet Gleeson creates a richly nuanced tale of greed and revenge that plays out in the refined landscapes and dark streets of eighteenth-century London.

Start by marking The Serpent in the Garden as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

Janet Gleeson embraces the possibilities of historical detective fiction in The Serpent in the Garden. Setting a work in the past opens up another vista. Too much, forsooth, says Sarah A Smith. Readers can learn a little about the 17th-century tulip trade, 19th-century women's prisons or the life of medieval travelling players. The Serpent in the Garden embraces the possibilities of historical detective fiction with enthusiasm.

бесплатно, без регистрации и без смс. Summer, 1765. The renowned portrait painter Joshua Pope is eager to escape London and his unhappy past and accepts a commission to paint a wedding portrait for Herbert Bentnick and his bride-to-be, Sabine Mercier. Joshua learns that the couple are avid horticulturalists. Bentnick's country house, Astley, in Richmond, is famous for its verdant gardens, designed by the master landscape artist Capability Brown.

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The author of The Serpent in the Garden was trained in art, and has worked at Sotheby's in London-so it should come as no surprise that the protagonist of this book is an artist who pays attention to the small details. Although Janet Gleeson does indeed pay attention to detail, she tends to skimp on the plot, especially the mystery itself. However, this is a highly original book, and it was fun to read. Joshua Pope is a fictional artist living in 18th- century London.

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Gleeson’s proto-cop on the upper-crust crime scene, then, is successful artist Joshua Pope. Pope is in residence at Astley, the suburban London estate of Herbert Bentnick, when a vomit-stained corpse is discovered among the pineapple plants in the hothouse. The audibly horrified discoverer of the death is Sabine Mercier, also in residence at Astley. Sabine is the Barbadian double widow who snagged Mr. Bentnick when he traveled to the Indies to inspect the family plantations. There was also a Mrs. Bentnick on the voyage, but she took ill shortly after meeting Sabine, who nursed her unto death.

Joshua Pope, Esquire, a painter of portraits of certain reknown is interrupted late one night by an unexpected visitor. She has a challenge for him, but not an artistic one. He was once a witness to a series of events - beginning and ending in murder - the mystery of which has never been solved. His enigmatic visitor believes that, unbeknownst to him, Joshua holds the key that will finally unlock the truth. Twenty years previously, he had painted a wedding portrait, that of the widowed landowner Herbert Bentnick and his new bride, Elinor Mercier. Soon after his first wife's death Bentnick met Miss Mercier in the West Indies. His impressive manor house and gardens, Astley House in Richmond, were testament to his abiding enthusiasm for all matters horticultural, and it was for this reason that he was now in the Indies. Indeed it was matters horticultural that had brought the two lovers together. Miss Mercier was expert in the cultivation of pineapples. These curious fruits had just begun to appear in Georgian England and the country has gone wild for this new extravagant delicacy. Pineapples were the height of fashion, served at only the most refined dinner parties and providing inspiration for painters and architects across the country. To bring back some palms and grow them successfully in England would be the greatest coup. Their shared love of gardening quickly becomes something more and plans were made for their return to England As preparations for their wedding and for the pinery to house their new collection of palms progressed, everything seemed to be running perfectly. That is until one day a rude intrusion shatters their happiness. A body is discovered in the pinery. The murdered corpse is the first link in a chain of events that will uproot their comfortable lives and dredge up secrets thought safely buried in the past. Can Joshua Pope solve this dormant mystery? And more pressingly, as his investigation progresses, can he stay alive long enough to finally reveal the truth?

Comments: (7)

Blueshaper
Months ago I discovered a new found passion for historical mysteries. The (I'll call them the Craftsman novels) if Janet Gleeson fit the bill perfectly. Of the two of three I have read so far they are complicated mysteries being dealt with by a craftsman (in the first book a cabinet maker, in this a painter) who is un-used to being a sleuth. Add in a dash of mystery and you have a supposed perfect mix for an engaging mystery novel. Or at least you did with the first book.

Unlike the first novel "The Grenadillo Box", "The Serpent in the Garden" is narrated in third person by a painter named Joshua Pope. Pope, suffering depression from the recent loss of his wife and son is down at the Richmond estate of Herbert Bentick to paint a wedding portrait of the man and his fiancé Sabine Mercer when an unknown man turns up dead in the greenhouse dedicated to growing pineapples (the Pinery.) Pope is initially perturbed that no one is willing to seek any investigation into the man's death and so when he is asked by Mrs. Mercer to investigate, he does so.

Pope learns of rivalries between the soon to be married pair and their grown children, romantic entanglements that grow three ways, and a gambling debt that could ruin the future of a close friend of the family. But the real trouble begins when Mrs. Mercer's most treasured necklace, a gold and emerald snake eating its own tail, goes missing and Pope is blamed. He is thus given one more task-find the necklace, or be thrown in jail. Also finish the wedding picture.

First of all its completely ridiculous that a well to do country Gentry family in the late 18th century wouldn't call the law in when their was a strange death on their lands-and its even weirder that they wouldn't do it when one of their own had been obviously murdered. Tasking a portrait painter to solve a crime is equally strange (as is the likelihood that he would accept such a job without any promise of payment.)

In "The Grenadillo Box" our rather rakish and charming hero was drawn in by his involvement to the murder victim-his best friend and the circumstances in his daily life began to lead him to an answer to the mystery at hand. In the case of this book the investigation a rather plodding Pope leads seems forced, as do most of the clues, any of the confessions and the crimes themselves. All in all the mystery just wasn't believable in any way.

But Ms. Gleeson's writing style holds up during the change from first to third person and as I did enjoy her first mystery, I have every intention of seeking out her third, entitled "the Thief Taker."

1.5 stars. Mostly for the writing.
Fohuginn
I'm not terribly knowledgeable as far as historical accuracy goes, but it seems - from my amateur view - like Gleeson did a good job. Even her style felt vintage, though she easily avoided the monotonous droning that Victorian novels tend towards.

I was enthralled with the mystery and the people themselves the whole time. Gleeson writes a dynamic plot. I did guess the culprit, but it was more like "huh, I wonder if it's them" before I thought it might be someone else. I'm not one to actively guess the mystery anyway; I like to be surprised.

One thing that didn't affect me as much as I think Gleeson intended was the identity of the mystery woman in the beginning. I actually forgot the whole scene happened, tell you the truth. So when they revealed her name I simply thought, "Ok cool, that's her." Everything else was very nicely wrapped together and tied up with a pretty closure bow.

Essentially I was entertained. It wasn't mind-blowing or shocking, but it was well-written and fun. And I love the pineapple aspect because I FOUND THE PINEAPPLE! (Psych reference, for you sad people who don't know its awesomeness.) And history. History is good.
Mightsinger
In 1766, Herbert Bentnick, a widower of under a year, is betrothed to two time Barbados widow Sabine Mercier. Herbert commissions renowned portrait artist Joshua Pope to paint their wedding picture at his Astley estate. However, Sabine, a horticulturist working with her fiancé's pineapple plants, finds a corpse in the hothouse.

While the engaged couple and his family seem unconcerned that someone was murdered on their estate, a shocked Joshua takes it upon himself to investigate. He assumes the deceased is Barbados attorney John Cobb based on documents the dead man was carrying. Joshua also learns that Herbert's wife was still alive and with him when he met Sabine, but died shortly afterward. Finally, he realizes how knowledgeable Sabine is when it comes to plants. Joshua's sleuthing efforts prove fruitless and he now must prove he did not steal Sabine's valuable emerald necklace while the family points their accusing fingers at him.

As with THE GRENADILLO BOX (different artisan detective - cabinetmaker Nathanial Hopson, but similar theme and era), THE SERPENT IN THE GARDEN is an intriguing Georgian who-done-it with the emphasis on the 1760s England. The story line is loaded with historical detail providing the audience a close look at the upper class mostly through the eyes of the moralistic artist. Joshua is a fine protagonist; however the two antagonists will fascinate readers. Is Herbert a besotted fool or a clever killer and even more intriguing is Sabine as Joshua's circumstantial evidence implicates her as the culprit in at least two deaths.

Harriet Klausner
lucky kitten
I really enjoyed this book and have recommended it to friends. It is beautifully written with well-drawn characters. The plot got somewhat convoluted which is why I didn't give it a five-star. I also learned a great deal about growing pineapples in greenhouses as a bonus.
The Serpent In The Garden download epub
Genre Fiction
Author: Janet Gleeson
ISBN: 0593050908
Category: Literature & Fiction
Subcategory: Genre Fiction
Language: English
Publisher: Bantam Press; 1st edition (September 29, 2009)
Pages: 439 pages