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Garden Girls Christian Cozy Mystery Books In Order

Publication Order of Garden Girls Books

Who Murdered Mr. Malone?(2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Grandkids Gone Wild(2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Smoky Mountain Mystery(2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death by Dumplings(2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Eye Spy(2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Magnolia Mansion Mysteries(2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Missing Milt(2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bully in the Burbs(2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fall Girl(2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Home for the Holidays(2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sun, Sand, and Suspects(2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Look Into My Ice(2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Forget Me Knot(2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nightmare in Nantucket(2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Greed with Envy(2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dying for Dollars(2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Stranger Among Us(2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dash For Cash(2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Arsonist and Lace(2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Court of Corruption(2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Framed in Florida(2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder on Summer Lane(2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Alien Allure(2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Garden Girls Christian Cozy Mystery Series is a series of Christian mystery fiction by Hope Callaghan an American author from Florida. Callaghan was born and grew up in small-town West Michigan though she currently lives in sunny Florida where she does not have to shovel snow anymore. She always loved reading and thinks she got it from her mother who was a lover of books. However, it was not until she was in her forties that her husband convinced her that she could write a good story having listened to some of her shorts. She also loved trying new recipes that she often tweaked and tried to make her own and this meant that the cozy genre was something that was a natural fit. Hope loved reading cozy mysteries but she thought something was missing in them given that none had any elderly characters as the leads. She thought it would be fine to have someone as the lead character of a cozy that had more in common with her. She published her first novel “Who Murdered Mr. Malone” in 2014 and was surprised when it became a bestselling title. When she is not writing her novels, she loves to try out new recipes, read uplifting and funny books and travels on cruise ships.

The “Garden Girls” series of novels is set in the small town of Belhaven, Michigan where Gloria Rutherford and her other bored senior citizens live. Since she has nothing to do, Gloria marshals her friends to form the “Garden Girls Club” that is intended to bring them together in pursuit of common interests, particularly gardening. The lead is an older woman with a penchant for wanting to know everything that goes on in her small neck of the woods. She shares an amazing friendship with her peers as they are all endearing seniors who get into interesting adventures and situations. The author combines humor, faith, intrigue, and mystery into the stories. Since they feature seniors, they do not have gruesome details, explicit sex or language. The inoffensive stories are more like tea visits without too much preachiness, though the faith of the lead character Gloria is clearly important. Rutherford’s faith is acknowledged through her values of sharing rewards, doing good deeds, and making donations to the less privileged in her community. There is also reference to statements of gratitude and faith that hark to both the New and Old Testament. Nonetheless, these are mysteries though they are more of a lite version of the Nancy Drew stories. Still, they assert that getting old does not necessarily mean that one does not enjoy life experience or is idle as evidenced by the adventures of Gloria and her senior friends.

“Who Murdered Mr. Malone” the debut novel of the “Garden Girls” series is set in Belhaven, a small town in Michigan where nothing ever happens. But then the police find a body in the woods just outside town and the tranquil city is thrown into turmoil. Gloria Rutherford was driving by the local school behind which the body had been found when she saw the police moving the body. She is intrigued but does not think much of it beyond telling her friends of a few facts about the case. Since they are bored, Gloria suggests to her four friends that they should start a gardening club named the Garden Girls. They will then share the vegetables and fruits from their gardens with shuts ins on Sunday afternoons. But Gloria also comes up with the suggestion of investigating the dead body discovered behind the elementary school. Together with Lucy her best friend, they visit the scene to collect evidence. The police are not happy with their visit and ask them to stay away or else there will be severe consequences. But on the scene, Gloria meets a police officer named Paul Kennedy that she thinks is very interesting.

“Grandkids Gone Wild” the second novel of the “Garden Girls” series opens to Gloria having to deal with her energetic and mischievous grandsons that came over for the weekend. Tyler the eldest is ten while Ryan is eight years and hence, she has to watch them all the time. Her friend Andrea had recently been told of a house that was put up for sale and has asked Gloria to come along when she goes to look over the house. Since she cannot leave her grandsons alone, she takes them along and while they are looking at the house, they find a dead body in the barn behind the house. Her investigative muscle is awakened as she wants to know who the person is and why they chose the home. Detective Pete Kennedy is in charge of the case and Gloria is determined to help him solve the case and in doing so she also hopes to get closer to him. What they do not know is that they are going to get into a lot of trouble investigating this murder. She still has her hands full with her grandchildren who have not stopped their mischievous ways, even as she follows the trail of a murderer, and juggles a budding romance. Their tranquil lives and that of Belhaven are about to be turned on their head.

“Smoky Mountain Mystery” the third novel of the “Garden Girls” series is set in the Spring where Gloria Rutherford is enjoying a long period of no murder mysteries in town. But just when she is getting used to the good times, she gets a disturbing phone call from Liz her sister. She thinks there is something wrong and is even more convinced of it when Liz does not call back and her phone goes unanswered. She will soon learn that her sister’s unresponsiveness is the last of her worries once she goes on a trip across the country with her Garden Girls friends. She was thinking that this was just Liz being the drama queen she always as. She had always upset the apple cart and seemed never to like it when Gloria was in a good place. Between getting the mysterious discovery of the key to her sister’s house and getting the train tickets for their cross-country journey, Gloria is convinced that there must be something very wrong. She believes that she needs to find Liz as she may be in great danger. Combining adventure with sleuthing, the two amateur sleuths have a great adventure.

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