Cover Image: Wreathing Havoc

Wreathing Havoc

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Member Reviews

After reading the first three books in this series, I was looking forward to visiting with Lilly Jayne and friends in Goosebush, once again. It is autumn and the town of Goosebush is gearing up for Harvest season. There is a damper on the celebrations as Leon Tompkin, the local theater owner has died. Many of the Goosebush Theatre alumni attend his memorial service, but not all of them leave. Hollywood star, Jeremy Nolan, is murdered. Scooter McGee, a local resident and theatre volunteer is the prime suspect in his death so Lilly and the Garden Squad begin their own investigation.

I enjoy the setting of this series and the variety of characters we meet as well as the regulars. It seems there is always some sort of event or fundraising going on and this book has a library fundraiser making wreaths with book themes. I even googled it thinking I would make my own for Christmas and have come up with some ideas, but I digress. There wasn’t much gardening in this one, but that was based on the time of year in this Massachusetts town. Lilly is an excellent sleuth that knows her limitations. She is great at delegating and uses the strengths of her friends to uncover information. She is a scion of the town and everyone seems to realize her talents as a peacemaker as well as a worker bee. The mystery was well developed and had plenty of suspects. I liked that it delved into the theater world and the tangled relationships among a group of actors and friends. The mystery was a bit complex and kept me guessing. I did figure out the culprit before the reveal, but I was still invested in the story. Wreathing Havoc is a wonderful blend of mystery, friendship, and community which I love in cozy mysteries. I will continue to follow this series and spend time in Goosebush with The Garden Squad.
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Another favorite cozy mystery series that  I love and now I have to wait for the next book to read since I've read books 1-4 . so I'll be checking here on NetGalley for it to come on,love the friends ship that is in this series, the small town ,
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Wreathing Havoc  by Julia Henry is the 4th book in A Garden Squad Mystery series.  Lilly Jayne is 65 and retired. Lilly loves gardening along with her senior friends, in the Garden Squad, Goosebush, Massachusetts.  It's fall, time for harvesting, baking, and crafting. When the theater owner dies suddenly and mysteriously, Lilly and her friends  must find the truth. I enjoyed this book, but I found it slow at times. I will be reading this author again and looking forward to the next book in the series. Fall themes are one of my favorite.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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This was a fun, cute cozy mystery! I love the theme throughout, and I will definitely be continuing with the series. Julia Henry is one of my favorite cozy authors.
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This is the 4th installment in the Garden Squad mystery series.  Lilly Jayne and her friends Delia, Tamara, Roddy and Ernie are mourning their friend Leon who recently died of a heart attack and was the owner of the Stanley theater.  Leon’s son Fred asks Lilly to help with his estate and his desires for updating the Stanley.  The owner of the theater troupe Goosebush players Delores is making all sorts of claims that Leon left her loads of money and Lilly is just planning on doing what her friend wanted and needs to find his most recent wishes as he has been changing his mind over the last several weeks.  Lilly is shocked when Bash (Chief of Police) asks Lilly if she thinks Leon’s death could be suspicious.  Next when one of the famous actors who is in town and was a friend of Leon’s dies of poisoning then Lilly is convinced that Leon’s death was not a simple heart attack.  I love Lilly and all of her friends and how they stick together and are always willing to lend a helping hand to friends and to the betterment of the town of Goosebush.  This was a good mystery that kept me engaged the entire time and I love how Lilly is the heartbeat of this town.  Looking forward to the next installment.
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Wreathing Havoc is the fourth book in The Gardening Squad series by Julia Henry.

Lilly and Delia are busy preparing for Thanksgiving, and the Garden Squad will be coming over for the pot-luck dinner.  But this year’s Thanksgiving will have a somber atmosphere, as their dear friend and patron of Goosebush Theatre, Leon, recently passed away.  Leon had medical issues, but his death came as a complete surprise.  At first, it was death by natural causes, but Lilly convinced the police chief that it had to be murder.

For decades there have been arguments between the Goosebrush Players and the Goosebrush Theatre.  And with Leon’s death, the views seem to have intensified.  Present and past members of both groups have organized a tribute and will be performing a reading of Dicken’s Christmas Carol.  Most of the local members are happy to have two members from the past who have gone on to have careers in California, Jeremy Nolan, and ex-wife Annabelle Keys.  At the end of a reading, the actors and audience gathered in the lobby for refreshments.  Jeremy picks up one of his favorite cupcakes and, after eating it, becomes very sick and soon dies.

Lilly and the Garden Squad will soon begin to investigate his death.  The investigation will prove to be a little tricky as the state police are called in, and they aren’t willing to share any information.
It’s always enjoyable to visit Goosebrush and its delightful and interesting residents.  The book is well-written and plotted and moves at a nice pace.  There were enough twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end.

Helpful gardening tips are also included in the book.  

I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
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Wreathing Havoc is the 4th book in the Garden Squad Mystery series by Julia Henry.

It is shortly before Thanksgiving when a local theater owner passes away.   Shortly after that, a Hollywood star with past ties to the theater passes away. The Garden Squad investigates to see if they died of natural causes or homicide.

This is the first book I’ve read in this series.  I thought it started off slow, but picked after the the event at the theater.  Lilly and the Garden Squad are wonderful characters who are kind and care about each other.  It was interesting how the various storylines were tied up.  

I plan on reading the earlier books and look forward to reading future books.

Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
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I started out loving this series, but this book dragged a little for me. I think it was a little too intense on the theater aspect, which just made it difficult for me to wrap my head around. After a slow start, it did pick up and I did enjoy reading it. Overall it was still a great read and I highly recommend.
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This is the fourth book in the Garden Squad series. I enjoy my visits to Goosebush, Massachusetts with Lilly and the gang. It's Thanksgiving and the town is mourning the loss of Leon, the local theater owner. Former Goosebush players come to town to present a reading of A Christmas Carol in his memory. The death of a Hollywood star brings to light things about Leon's death and leads to the suspicion of one of Lilly's friends. Lilly and the gang jump in to clear her name.

I like the setting of this series and the variety of characters. It feels like coming home when you open the book. The library fundraiser making wreaths with book themes intrigued me and now I must look into it a bit more. The townspeople seen like friends the more I read of this series.

Lilly is an excellent sleuth that knows her limitations. She is also a peacemaker which everyone in town seems to realize. The mystery is well done and kept me guessing.

Of course, I love Luna! I imagine her looking like my own kitty with the same name. She certainly acts the same when it comes to begging for food.

I missed the Garden Squad's "flash gardening" but realize that late Fall in Massachusetts is not a time for planting.

This is a fun series that I enjoy more with each book.

Thank you to NetGalley and  Kensington Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This is the perfect mystery to get you into the Fall season. Lilly Jayne and the Garden Squad are working on seasonal wreaths to raise money for the local library. Thoughts turn to festivities in the months to come but nobody was ready for a sudden death by murder to mar their plans. The townsfolk of Goosebush, Massachusetts are used to spending happy times in the former hardware store turned community theater but not as a venue for the memorial service for Leon. After the death of his wife he found his new passion - on stage and he was a natural, something his late wife, Betsy would not have approved. It isn't long before a second death occurs and Lilly Jayne and the Garden Squad and the local police are investigating. Could one of their friends be the killer?
There is so much to like about this charming small town cozy series. The best thing, in my opinion, is the main cast of characters - the Garden Squad - are senior citizens and their personalities are well developed leading the reader to have a connection to each one. The mystery is well crafted, leading the reader down some blind alleys populated by the required red herrings. If you are new to this series, no problem as each works fine as a stand alone.
My thanks to the publisher Kensington and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Wreathing Havoc is the 4th book in the Garden Squad Mysteries written by Julia Henry.

I loved this fabulous cozy mystery! Set in autumn in picturesque Goosebush, Massachusetts, sixty-odd-year-old Lilly Jayne is the main character of the story and I adore the author's masterful writing. Wreathing Havoc is a wonderful blend of mystery and friendships and many of the characters are great individuals. Lilly and her squad are making wreaths for the library fundraiser and get caught up in the community theatre world in this scintillating instalment. The author managed the pacing perfectly within the awesome and absorbing plot. With no shortage of suspects, there was a veritable gamut of clues and possibilities to satisfy even the most enthusiastic and diligent of armchair detectives. A superb read, with a strong plot and characters and rich in drama, this novel is very highly recommended and well-worth five stars. I will be watching out for the next book as well as diving into this author's back catalogue.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Lilly Jayne returns with her Garden Squad in another great murder mystery. Or should I say murders. The owner of the theatre has died and the manager of the Goosebush Players thinks she’s the new owner. Will Lilly be able to solve these murders and how many are there really?  I love this group of mature characters and their community involvement.
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“Wreathing Havoc” Earns 5/5 Curtain Calls…Clever and Engaging Fun! 

Today is a sad day for many of Goosebush, Massachusetts. Leon Tompkin had been a key figure in the theater community. Although he came to theater late in life, he fell into it well, showing talent, and loved every minute: Goosebush was home and the theater community was family. Leon didn’t publicize the fact that he actually owned the Stanley theater since he inherited it from his father-in-law, and due to serious concerns about his failing health, he was making sure the future he wanted for the theater would be realized. His death, deemed a heart attack came before final steps could be made; paperwork, wills, and contracts along with meetings and announcements he planned were all in question. Lilly learns there was coffee in Leon’s system and the police are stumped as to who, where, and how he got it. The situation becomes more complicated, entangling Lilly, when another suspicious death occurs, a struggle for control of the theater ensues, and questions about other deaths related to the theater over the decades are raised. Lilly wonders if there are connections.

Curtain Up! Light the Lights! Julia Henry has “got nothing to hit but the heights” with fourth book in her Garden Squad Mystery series. Holiday gatherings, festive events, and readings of “A Christmas Carol” create quite a buzz, but the “palace intrigue” among the theater folk may interfere with all the holiday cheer. Leon’s death becomes suspicion making everyone’s movements, connections, and motives items of interest to Lilly and her squad, and when another death occurs to complicate the drama, it became clear…I wasn’t putting this book down! There are a lot of characters that could be overwhelming for a first-time reader of Henry’s series, like me, but there was a core group on which one can focus making it easier. There was a delightful mix of generations to interest all ages of cozy fans, but I personally enjoyed Lilly Jayne as an intelligent, strong, witty woman of a mature age. Henry’s writing style is well-rounded with vivid descriptions for the various settings, the holiday projects, the food, and the people along with dialogue to illustrate the emotions and varied personalities, and the well-developed plot, steady stream of clues, motives, and suspects, and not until the final chapters, a conclusion that made me “gasp,” defines this book as a real page-turner experience. Delightful. Intriguing. Well-worth my time. Although I was curious about adding cold vodka to pie dough, Julia Henry adds a dozen Gardening Tips as a special bonus for experts and amateur gardeners alike.
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This was not a great read for me unfortunately. I love this series and the characters and again [much like the previous book] was excited to revisit them in this new book. The problem lies in that, while I know this is an ARC and all that [I know that is is uncorrected, but one expects spelling errors or grammatical errors, not a complete miss in the editing department], there was so little editing done to this story, that I spent a good chunk of the book editing it myself [which I do not enjoy and takes away from the whole flow of the book]. There were major issues with continuity and while the previous book was lacking in the fleshing out of characters and stilted conversation, this one was just full of superfluous conversation and and overabundance of unneeded detail.  

That said, there WAS quite a bit of this book I really liked. First, I still love the characters and their love for their town and for each other. I love how they strive to pick people up and support them [even the ones they don't really like] and how they try and work WITH the police to solve the crimes. I love the town itself and its love of tradition and family and keeping the small-town vibe alive. I wish more small towns were like that [coming from someone who lives in a "dead" town]. I also loved that I didn't know the killer and was also surprised by a second reveal, though that one was slowly done through the whole book. The author leads you down one path only to show you  how wrong you were to travel that with her. ;-) 

So it was a mixed bag read for me. I love these characters enough to keep reading and can only hope we get back to the caliber of books the first two in this series were. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Julia Henry, and Kensington Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The Garden Squad is back with another action packed adventure. Headed by Lilly Jayne who always seems to be in the middle of things . Long time friend Leon Tompkins dies unexpected and some of his ole acting buddies and buddyettes gather to say good bye.. Leon had issues but no one expected him to go this quickly. When new evidence points to a not so natural death Lilly knows she needs to start digging and when a second member dies she knows something is a foul.. But how are the two deaths related? Or are they? The more Lilly and her friends dig the more they uncover and the more they put themselves in the pathway of danger. Can they solve the mystery and still come out alive??
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I thoroughly enjoy characters of a certain age who are still sharp, kind, and open to possible romance while solving difficult mysteries.  Such is the case with Lilly James and her housemates, neighbors and friends. Former members of the Goosebush Players gather for the memorial services of Leon Tompkin, local theatre owner.  The mystery of the deaths over decades is fascinating and Lilly and the crew are dogged in their efforts to unravel the clues with great peril to themselves and others.  It is wonderful to be exposed to characters who are at their core kind and thoughtful people, and that makes a visit to Goosebush, Massachusetts enjoyable. I look forward to going there again soon. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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This is the 4th installment of the Garden Squad Mystery series by cozy author Julia Henry. I adore this series and was pleased to received this next in series for review. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley. My review opinions are my own. I appreciate that the author is featuring seniors as smart, savvy and capable where most cozy series do not feature seniors at all. Each charcter is done to perfection and readers appreciate the author featuring seniors in this series. 

It is Thanksgiving time and the  Garden Club members are making wreaths for the library fund raising.   A friend of their was recently murdered and they are all grieving. He was a local theater actor and a popular addition to the town theater missed by all.  When another murder occurs connected to the same theater Lilly and her crew are investigating along with the local police to solve their friends murder and find the true suspect. Clues and red herrings abound and soon Lilly and friends are on the right path of the killer or killers. 

This was a fun addition to the series and a well crafted mystery to conclusion. I love the supporting charcters and gardening theme of this series. Very well done to the author.
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Lilly is fairly new to Goosebush but she was fond of Leon, who owned the local theater.  She didn't know Jeremy when he lived in Goosebush before becoming a star so she's learning a lot when she,. along with her friends from the Garden Squad take on the investigation after he's murdered.   Scooter, who had been considered the main suspect didn't do it, so who did?  This group of, ahem, mature sleuths are a delight and while this installment of the series has them making wreaths rather than gardening, that didn't matter much to me.   Lilly and her younger friend Delia have great give and take.  I'm a fan of the series and think this will be fine as a standalone, especially for fans of the genre.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  It's a classic cozy with enough red herrings to keep you guessing.
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This series is so enjoyable, and I'm always excited when I discover a new installment from author Julia Henry!  It's late November, and the residents of Goosebush, Massachusetts are shocked when after longtime theater patron Leon dies suddenly (seemingly from a heart attack), visiting celebrity Jeremy Nolan is poisoned!   Never fear, Lily and her Garden Squad are on the case - and still manage to enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving meal!!!  Ms. Henry always keeps me guessing, and always keeps me up past my bedtime turning pages as fast as I can!  5 stars and A+++ to Wreathing Havoc, the 4th Garden Squad Mystery!
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This is the fourth book in the series and Lily Jayne and her garden squad are back. 

Their friend Leon, a theater owner, dies after being ill, so it’s not suspicious at first, but what comes next is what has Lilly  sleuthing. Jeremy, a Hollywood actor who’s from Goosebush and comes back for Leon’s memorial ends up being murdered as well and now Lilly and her friends have a mystery to solve. 

The mystery was gods with a red herring or two thrown in. But, for me, the best part of these books is the characters. They’ve been nicely developed over the previous books and it almost makes you feel like you’re catching up with friends. Add in the fact that you can picture Julia Henry’s Goosebush nicely and you have a wonderful cozy read. 

I’m looking forward to more books in the series!
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