"The Herb Gardener" by Maris Morton

The Herb Gardener

Still hurting after a painful divorce, Joanna leaves the city, moving with her six-year-old daughter Mia to a country town. She’s looking for a better, happier life, and when she meets farmer Chris Youngman, she discovers the possibility of a future as a farmer’s wife.

Joanna is at first dismayed by the unexpected isolation of the farm, but Chris’s affection helps her to adjust. Then the unexplained death of a young farm worker brings complications she could never have imagined, and Joanna has to fight for her happiness, her family, and even her own life

In "The Herb Gardener" by Maris Morton, after a painful divorce, Joanna is leaving the city with her daughter, Mia to spend some time cooking at a farm for her new love interest. It seems a sort of trial run to see how things go, and if they do well, perhaps she will become a farmer's wife and start a new life. The reader is introduced to new characters beginning as soon as she arrives at the farm. As she is struggling to adjust to the setting, a murder is discovered and the road to uncovering the perpetrator's identity reveals the truth about many of the people living in Joanna's new world.

"The Herb Gardener" became an interesting mystery and look into a different place. Maris Morton's descriptions were vivid and detailed. The story branched out into enough directions to be puzzling. The characters were diverse, and engaging. Mickey, who worked for Chris doing some renovations, was such a unique individual. My female favorite was Allie, from the neighboring farm. Her bold and intense characteristics stand out in my memory above most others. Joanna's handling of her attempts to become friends rivaled the efforts to discover who the murderer was as most entertaining. Another of the best parts of the book was learning about how things work on a farm in Australia. As the story wound down, and mysteries were solved, the ultimate in justice served or maybe karma gave a final added enjoyable twist that left me smiling.

Originally reviewed for Readers' Favorite Book Review and Awards