An English Garden Murder (Book 1 of Julia Bird series) – ARC Book Review

Title:- An English Garden Murder

Author:- Katie Gayle

Date published:- will be published on May 5th 2022

Publisher:- Bookouture

No. of pages:- 262 pages

Genre:- Cozy Mystery


Julia Bird’s picturesque Cotswolds cottage has everything she could want. Rustic charm, cosy fireplaces and, it turns out, a dead body in the garden…

Recently divorced and reluctantly retired, Julia Bird has fled London to enjoy idyllic rural life in the Cotswolds. Determined to have the perfect English garden, her first job is to tear down the old shed, where she unearths much more than she’d bargained for… A body, apparently buried for decades. But who could it be, and who killed them? The police draw a blank, and even the gossip-fest that is the local bookclub can’t remember anyone going missing in the village.

Unable to get on with her garden until the mystery is resolved, Julia decides to conduct her own clandestine investigations. So, together with her wayward chocolate Labrador puppy Jake, Julia begins a whirlwind tour of the local residents. And everyone, it seems, has something to hide in this village. As she gets closer to the truth, Julia uncovers something even more shocking… Another body, this time of someone she actually knows.

Determined to unmask the killer and find out what connects the two dead bodies, Julia – newly nicknamed the Grim Reaper – ups the stakes and hones in on the most likely suspect. But if she hasn’t deduced correctly, then there is someone else in the village who has killed twice already. Will they be prepared to make it third time lucky to keep their secret safe?

The first book of the Julia Bird series! This is a cozy mystery novel but I actually enjoyed reading it.

Julia Bird moves to a small town into a cottage after her divorce to her husband, leaving behind the city life. While trying to get used to the countryside living, she wanted to make a chicken coop by the garden shed near her cottage. But when they start digging, they find skeletal remains of woman dated nearly twenty years ago. And so begins the mystery.

I just loved the title of the book and thought I will try out the first book of the cozy mystery series. And to my surprise, I actually enjoyed reading this one. It was really entertaining and I really got into the story. The author(S) did a good job of making the reader feel like they are a part of the story and I actually really enjoyed this book that I simply couldn’t put the book down. There were some funny parts in the book as well and the descriptions of those countrysides and Julia’s life in the countryside with her newly adopted dog Jake was too enjoyable to read. So as much as I enjoyed this novel, I cannot wait to read for Julia Bird’s next adventure!

So if you like a cozy mystery series set in an English countryside, then this book is one for you–worth five stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

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