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The Body in the Garden by Katharine Schellman

I’m back again!

After almost 2 months (I think?), I’m writing on my blog again!

These past few weeks have been so stressful that the thought of updating my blog was on the bottom of my priority list. But now, my exams are almost almost finished and I can start reading and writing again!

And now, welcome to my review for The Body in the Garden by Katharine Schellman!

The non-spoiler review:

In this book, we follow Lily Adler, a widow who has come to London after two years of mourning her husband. She reconciles with all her old friends and the invitations to parties come rolling in.

On one particular night at her best friend Selena’s party, Lily wanders outside to get some fresh air and hears a gunshot. Returning to the place where she had heard the shot with help, she and Captain Jack Hartley find the dead body of an unknown individual.

Lily, who has lots and lots of time on her hands, realizes that no one is prepared to go through the effort to find out who the mystery victim was and, most importantly, who the killer was.

Not showing is not the same as not feeling.

Lily Adler

It’s up to her, Captain Jack Hartley, and Miss Ophelia Oswald to solve this mystery in London (in the 1800s, I think).

This was such an enjoyable and pleasant read, to be honest! It was easy to read, there weren’t any sections where the author seemed to drag the story out, and I couldn’t for the life of me guess who the murderer was in the end.

This is a light, pleasant read that doesn’t get too serious but also doesn’t make light of everything. Lily Adler is a fantastic character, sort of like a female Sherlock but an entire character on her own, and her observations are interesting to follow.

I’m very pleased with the ending and couldn’t have asked for better!

The Review With Spoilers:

You’ve been warned.

Good Underlying Messages/Themes:

  • You don’t have to be what society wants you to be.
  • Your own happiness is more important than what others think of you.
  • Violence is never the answer.
  • Respect will always be valued.

There were a lot of issues addressed in this story, and I’m glad of it. I loved how Lily knew that society thought that the only point of her was to get married again, and she continued to defy them. She was comfortable on her own and with her friends, and she had no intention of changing that. She also knew exactly how to ward off unwanted suitors so I applaud her for that!

A whole star for this category!

Interesting Story:

As I mentioned before, I had no idea who the murderer was, and to be honest that’s quite rare for me. I usually guess who the murderer is, not always from the get-go, but this book had me stumped!

I liked the end, however. There was enough motivation and evidence for me to think to myself at the end Why didn’t I see it coming?

A whole star for this category!

Realistic Characters and Growth:

Yes! I’m so happy about this one!

Lily lost her husband, Freddy, two years ago and has been grieving since, which is understandable. I appreciated that the author didn’t bring her grieving up at every waking moment but wrote about it when necessary. I just wished that we could know some more about Lily and Freddy – they sound like an amazing pair. I would love to read a sequel about them!

Just because you can do something does not mean you should.

Lily Adler

Captain Jack Hartley is an absolute gentleman but is sometimes too over-protective. I’m happy that by the end of the book, he realized that Lily was quite capable on her own!

Ophelia Oswald was a peculiar character. I didn’t immediately take to her but as the story went one, I found myself starting to respect her. She was quietly brave and I admired that.

A whole star for this category!

Writing Style was Beautiful/ Easy To Read:

I mentioned before that the book was easy to read but I only wished that the author would throw in some more of her quotes. Wise words, coming from Lily, always provided a good moment in a chapter!

I struggled to find quotes for this review, and those that I found were quite short. Half a star for this category.

Fantastic World Building:

I think that there is only so much world building an author can do in a murder-mystery fiction novel but this author went to the extreme! There’s a special author’s note in the book which explains how much effort and research went into this book and I think it’s well done.

I always appreciate it when an author gives 100%.

A whole star for this category!

That’s it!

4.5 stars out of 5!

A clever mind likes an audience.

Miss Isobel Harper

Have you read The Body in the Garden? What did you think?

*I received this arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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