Sherlock Book Review - Death in The Garden of England

Posted by Steve Emecz on

David Marcum

Susan Knight entered the realm of Sherlockian pasticheurs with her Mrs. Hudson series of mysteries – both short stories and novels. Mrs. Hudson, as mentioned by name, appears in fourteen Canonical adventures, about 25% of the stories, and there are a few other Canonical tales that refer to the landlady or the puzzling Mrs. Turner. Ms. Knight’s stories, narrated by literature’s most famous and patient landlady, serve to expand greatly upon the very little we know about her from The Canon.

In her latest Mrs. Hudson tale, she’s resting after the events of her recent Continental trip, as related in “Mrs. Hudson Goes to Paris”. But like her famous lodger, from whom she has picked up a number of deductive and investigatory skills, there is no rest for the weary. Her recuperative trip to Kent immediately spirals into murder, and all the terror that goes with it. 

Ms. Knight is a wonderful writer, as she has also shown in her Watson-narrated adventures appearing in “The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories” (recently collected in “Sherlock Holmes Investigates: The Strange Case of the Pale” – but her true legacy is her Mrs. Hudson adventures. And may there be many more of them.


Reedsy - Must Read 5/5 stars

"No one owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death-William S. Burroughs. Death in the Garden of England by Susan Knight."

Mrs. Hudson has just recently returned from her adventures in Paris. After an exciting trip she is once again in residence at her home on Baker Street, along with the renowned detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes and his esteemed colleague Dr. Watson. Due to a blow to her head while in Paris (and other extenuating circumstances), Dr. Watson prescribes for Mrs. Hudson a vacation in the good, clean, country air. Thus a visit to her daughter Eleanor who resides in Bilboure, a little village in Kent, the Garden of England is in order. While vacationing with her daughter and son-in-law, the brutal murder of their neighbor Thomas Brakefield disturbs the once peaceful setting. Mrs. Hudson finds herself in hot pursuit of a killer in Death in the Garden of England: A Mrs. Hudson mystery by Susan Knight.

Thomas Brakefield has been found dead, it's a murder most foul. Apparently, some time during the night of the hop-harvest festival far more than a celebration went down. And there are no small number of suspects waiting to be investigated. There's his wife Lydia who detested him; his daughter Eve who inherits everything; his arch nemesis Squire Simister and son Freddie; an assortment of hop-pickers; and last but not least, the poor houseboy named Timothy.

Reading this latest installment of Mrs. Hudson, I was reminded of Agatha Christie's character Miss Jane Marple. Mrs. Hudson an English detective of sorts, just like Miss Marple, seemingly and effortlessly solves difficult crimes that manage to stump everyone else (including the police). Yet Mrs. Hudson is a much more modern character. She's in her 50's, travels to exciting places like Ireland and Paris, and is expecting a new grandchild.

If you enjoy cozy mysteries and quaint English towns were the inhabitants drink stewed tea, eat chocolate sponge biscuits, devour homemade short bread, oh and dabble in a little bit of murder then you're going to love Death in the Garden of England: A Mrs. Hudson mystery by Susan Knight.


Sherlock Magazine Issue 13

After recent excitements, Mrs Hudson escapes the city for some peace in a Kent village, but her hopes are shattered when she gets caught up in a murder mystery during the hop harvest.

Death in The Garden of England is available from this site and also available from:

Amazon USA      Barnes and Noble 

Amazon UK

After the excitement of her recent adventures in Paris, Mrs Hudson goes to stay with her married daughter Eleanor in Bilbourne, a little village in Kent, the Garden of England. It is September, and the hop-harvest is in full swing at the nearby plantation belonging to Thomas Brakefield.

But if Mrs Hudson was hoping for some peace and quiet away from the city, she is to be disappointed, soon caught up in dark passions that culminate in a brutal murder.

At great risk to herself, Mrs Hudson goes in pursuit of the perpetrator.

With a rich cast of characters that include the tyrannical Thomas himself, his beautiful and aloof wife Lydia and neglected daughter Eve, his arch-enemy the bluff Squire Simister and his dandified son Freddie, as well as disgruntled hop pickers and the poor work-house boy, Timothy, that Mrs Hudson takes under her wing, the stage is set for a tense and thrilling drama.

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