Book Review: Summer Garden Murder by Ann Ripley

Life has been getting in the way of my reading so I haven’t been doing as much as I‘d like. And I’m a slow reader – always have been. But since I’m making an effort to find time I thought I’d start reviewing some of the ones I’m reading.


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What can I say about this one? Dreadful.

Although this is the 9th in the series, it was the first Ann Ripley book I’ve read. And the last.

The writing itself is riddled with mistakes of grammar and syntax, but the most galling thing for me was the discrepancies in the timeline. From the very beginning, sections were given dates. The first was a party on 4th August. The next date was 18th August. But in between was reference to that same party “3 weeks ago”. You don’t have to be a prize winning mathematician to work out that’s wrong.

So I was off-side almost from the beginning.

Then there was the murder itself. The whole plot relied on you having read a previous book. I hadn’t. Although I’d have liked to start at the beginning of the series, our small library won’t necessarily have them all so sometimes we have to settle for what we can get. Recurring characters are one thing, but relying on information not available to a first time reader is unacceptable. Each book should stand alone.

Despite this, I easily worked out who the murderer was. I couldn’t figure out the motive … because I didn’t know the history.

I soon got bored with the bumbling attempts of the amateurs to solve the mystery and flicked to the end to check if I was right and find the “why”.

My assessment: Tedious and poorly written. Don’t bother.





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