The Magnolia Murder: A Garden Mystery
248pp (49,000 words)
Simon Jankowski’s weakness is his beloved magnolias. In order to save them, he enters into a dangerous agreement with a blackmailer. Simon has more to lose than his job and reputation. A respected scientist at the arboretum in the Polish town of Kórnik, he is smuggling rare and highly protected plants out of the country.
When a colleague finds out about his scheme and threatens to expose him as well as to destroy a rare magnolia tree in the arboretum, Simon agrees to courier a mysterious package to Frankfurt and deposit it at the old Jewish cemetery. As a pretext he uses a research assignment that involves lodging with Elinor Sander, owner of a dilapidated Frankfurt mansion, whose garden offers access to the cemetery.
Yet the mission fails: the package goes missing. When Elinor discovers it, Simon finds himself in mortal danger and Elinor becomes a hunted woman.
The Magnolia Murder is an elegantly buoyant thriller about a polite magnolia expert and a reserved gardener brought together by a crime.
»Maletzke’s writing is like a garden full of gloriously colourful flowers […]. [She] also has enough cunning to plot a genuinely thrilling and entertaining novel.«
Karola Schepp, Gießener Allgemeine