Author Marta McDowell: "Gardening Can Be Murder"

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Darien Library welcomes celebrated author Marta McDowell whose newest book explores the uncanny literary relationship between gardening and murder! 

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 influence that gardens and gardening have had on the mystery genre has been underappreciated. In her new book, Gardening Can Be Murder: How Poisonous Poppies, Sinister Shovels, and Grim Gardens Have Inspired Mystery Writers, McDowell 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. She explores these mystery genre’s many surprising gardening connections, using her vast horticultural background and near encyclopedic knowledge of the genre. Meet plant-obsessed detectives and spooky groundskeeper suspects, witness toxic teas served in foul play, and tour gardens—both real and imagined—that have been the settings for fiction’s ghastliest misdeeds.  McDowell will also introduce us to some of today’s top writers who consider gardening integral to their craft. 

Lovers of murder mysteries and gardens galore, this program is for you!

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 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. Other published works by Marta include Emily Dickinson's Gardening Life, Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life, Unearthing The Secret Garden, and The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, to name a few. 

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