The Cipher Garden, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


'I thought you were dead - ' In the peaceful village of Old Sawrey, in the idyllic Lake District, Warren Howe is brutally slaughtered with his own scythe by a mysterious hooded figure.

The police have several suspects, but there is insufficient evidence to make an arrest.

Years later an anonymous tip-off sparks the interest of DCI Hannah Scarlett, who heads the local Cold Case Review Team.

With the help of historian Daniel Kind, Hannah digs deeper in the quest for truth and discovers that, in Old Sawrey, old sins cast long shadows.

Following the killer's trail, Hannah arrives at a shocking conclusion, one that will change lives forever.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780749081355

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I award this second book in Martin Edwards series of Lake District mysteries four stars on account of its fast paced, page-turning qualities. It has all the plausibility of an episode of Midsumer Murders, together with the sort of high-level randiness one associates with 1980s best sellers. It sets out to be no more than good entertainment and succeeds. (I wish that didn't sound like such a back-handed compliment!)

Review by

The Cipher Garden by Martin Edwards is another in his 'Lake District' mystery series. Historian-cum-amateur detective Daniel Kind is drawn into another crime from the past after trying to discover the 'secrets' of the garden at his new cottage. Coincidently this links with the unsolved murder of Warren Howe, which is being investigated by DCI Hannah Scarlett. Hannah and Daniel are attracted to each other (in a very drag-it-out, let's pretend it's not happening kind of way) and some of the back story concerns this rather irksome will-they-won't-they get it together sub-plot. <br /><br />There are quite a few characters, but nearly all of them are already connected and it took me a while to remember who was who. The central mystery doesn't turn out to be that mysterious and even allowing for a lazy former police detective, it's implausible to think that this case wouldn't have been solved first time around. Kind and Scarlett are interesting, if a bit wet, but most of the other characters are flat two dimensional stereotypes. <br /><br />I generally like Edwards's work; he's a good stylist and the sense of place and descriptions keep this book just the right side of readable. It's an undemanding read, told in a slow pace and is fairly well written. But the style on show here is fairly pedestrian and I lost interest after a while. Don't expected a gripping read. <br /><br />© Koplowitz 2012 <br /><br />

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