Review: Fronds and Enemies by H.Y. Hanna

Posted June 2, 2021 by Lola in Mystery, Review / 2 Comments

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Fronds and EnemiesFronds and Enemies (The English Cottage Garden Mysteries #5)
by H.Y. Hanna

My Rating: 2 stars

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF

Spring has come at last with cheerful daffodils and plump crocus blooms, and Poppy is hoping that the new season will magically resurrect the cottage garden nursery she’s inherited. But with her stock failing to grow and a mysterious “peeping Tom” stalking the village, she’s got her gardening gloves full… and that’s even before her visit to the local doctor ends with her stumbling on a dead body! Then her friend and neighbour – crime author Nick Forrest – suddenly finds himself the top suspect, and a missing garden gnome is the only lead in the case. Determined to find the real killer, Poppy sets out to do some horticultural sleuthing – helped by eccentric old inventor Bertie and a posse of nosy villagers. All she finds, however, are more questions. Was the murder simply a “crime of passion” or was it something more sinister? Is there a link to the recent spate of creepy lingerie thefts in the village? And could the naughty ginger tomcat Oren be the key to solving the mystery?

As she grapples with spindly seedlings and cryptic clues, Poppy discovers that even a sleepy English village can be a hotbed of deceit and death…

My Review

I received a free copy form the author and voluntarily reviewed it.

I’ve been enjoying this garden themed cozy mystery series so far, but this book just didn’t quite work for me unfortunately. This is partly because of my reading mood probably. This series has a bit of that frivolous and a funny if slightly ridiculous vibe, which in the right mood can make for a funny and lighthearted read, but in my current mood it just fell flat.

In Fronds and Enemies main character Poppy decides to pay the local doctor a visit when a nasty scratch on her arm won’t go away, while there she sees some interesting characters and events. The next morning she realizes she lost her locket and returns to see if it’s at the doctor’s office, instead she stumbles upon the dead body of the practice manager. And she gets involved into another mystery.

For some reason this mystery just didn’t grab my attention. With the doctor who was hurt because he lost his practice manager, his wife who didn’t like the practice manager and then there are other suspicious character who might’ve wanted her death. Then the way Poppy gets involved which was just so full of coincidences. Almost every clue she finds by accident, the body she finds by an unfortunate coincidence, she solves the mystery by happenstance. Poppy wasn’t very proactive in solving this mystery and she wasn’t really invested till later on. Then there is this slightly weird side plotline with bras going missing. This book just lacked the charm of the previous books for me.

I like the garden theme and was sad there wasn’t as much gardening going on. Poppy tries to sell plants at her garden nursery and I was excited to see her really start her business now that it’s spring. There are a few fun scenes involving her plants and selling them, but most of the book didn’t really focus on it. Then Poppy is having some trouble growing her plants and I was annoying when she made a not so smart decision regarding them and the solution to her troubles turned out to be basically a magical solution. Which doesn’t make sense as there is no magic in this book.

To summarize: Unfortunately this book didn’t work for me. With my current mood instead of a funny and lighthearted mystery this book just fell flat. The mystery didn’t grab me and I was disappointed how Poppy finds most of the clues by accident or coincidence. That’s also how she solves the mystery, not because she figured it out, but due a happenstance. I would’ve liked to see more of the gardening theme, there are some fun garden related scenes, but there are very few. And I would’ve liked she solved her troubles due to her own smarts, not by some sort of magic solution. I hope I’ll enjoy the next book in the series more.


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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2 responses to “Review: Fronds and Enemies by H.Y. Hanna

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