Marta McDowell: Gardening Can Be Murder

Thursday, September 14, 2023 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

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Join us as we welcome author Marta McDowell to speak with us about her upcoming book Gardening Can Be Murder: How Poisonous Poppies, Sinister Shovels, and Grim Gardens Have Inspired Mystery Writers (on sale Sept 5th) on Thursday, September 14th at 6:30pm at Titcomb's Bookshop. 

Books will be for sale at the event, the author will be signing books after the talk. Can't make it to the event but want a signed copy? Order below (write "signed" in the order comments section) and we will notify you when it's available for pickup after the event!

Attendees will be entered to win a free plant arrangement by local gardening center Scenic Roots! The arrangement will include some of the plants featured in the book! 

ABOUT THE BOOK

"What could be more intriguing than a murder in the garden? In her newest book, Marta McDowell takes us on a delightfully diabolical romp through the role of horticulture in crime fiction. From deadly seeds, to menacing pruning shears, to suspicious groundskeepers, the garden has always provided both the motive and means to commit the perfect crime. Gardening Can Be Murder belongs on the shelf of every Agatha Christie fan--and every gardener who enjoys a little mischief and mayhem."-- Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Plants

This fun, engrossing book takes a look at the surprising influence that gardens and gardening have had on mystery novels and their authors.

With their deadly plants, razor-sharp shears, shady corners, and ready-made burial sites, gardens make an ideal scene for the perfect murder. But the outsize influence that gardens and gardening have had on the mystery genre has been underappreciated. Now, Marta McDowell, a writer and gardener with a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the genre, illuminates the many ways in which our greatest mystery writers, from Edgar Allen Poe to authors on today’s bestseller lists, have found inspiration in the sinister side of gardens.

From the cozy to the hardboiled, the literary to the pulp, and the classic to the contemporary, Gardening Can Be Murder is the first book to explore the mystery genre’s many surprising horticultural connections. Meet plant-obsessed detectives and spooky groundskeeper suspects, witness toxic teas served in foul play, and tour the gardens—both real and imagined—that have been the settings for fiction’s ghastliest misdeeds. A New York Times bestselling author herself, McDowell also introduces us to some of today’s top writers who consider gardening integral to their craft, assuring that horticultural themes will remain a staple of the genre for countless twisting plots to come.  

“This book is dangerous. A veritable cornucopia of crime fiction and gardening lore, it faces the reader with multiple temptations—books to seek out, plants to obtain, garden tours to book.” —Vicki Lane, author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marta McDowell lives, gardens, and writes in Chatham, New Jersey. She consults for public gardens and private clients, writes and lectures on gardening topics, and teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden, where she studied landscape design. Her particular interest is in authors and their gardens, the connection between the pen and the trowel.

Event address: 
Titcomb's Bookshop
432 Route 6A
East Sandwich, MA 02537
Books: 
Gardening Can Be Murder: How Poisonous Poppies, Sinister Shovels, and Grim Gardens Have Inspired Mystery Writers By Marta McDowell Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781643261126
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Timber Press - September 5th, 2023

Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life: The Plants and Places That Inspired the Classic Children's Tales By Marta McDowell Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781604693638
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Timber Press - November 5th, 2013

Emily Dickinson's Gardening Life: The Plants and Places That Inspired the Iconic Poet By Marta McDowell Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781604698220
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Timber Press - October 1st, 2019

Unearthing The Secret Garden: The Plants and Places That Inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett By Marta McDowell Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781604699906
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Timber Press - October 12th, 2021

A Curious Herbal: Elizabeth Blackwell's Pioneering Masterpiece of Botanical Art By Marta McDowell (Editor), Janet Stiles Tyson Cover Image
$75.00
ISBN: 9780789214539
Availability: In stock at our warehouse - Ships in 5-12 business days
Published: Abbeville Press - May 16th, 2023