7 Fun British Mystery Novels That Involve Allotments


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One of the fun things about British books is that they occasionally feature people and places that countries like the US simply don't have. Whether it's a Regency era story about members of the nobility or a village-based mystery set around the WI (Women's Institute), you can find entirely different worlds and experiences in British books – while still getting plenty of what's familiar.

One particularly fun setting you find in many British books and TV shows is an allotment garden. While some places in the US do have community gardens, allotments have been an important part of British culture for hundreds of years – and they're an excellent setting for mysteries. In this post, we take a look at 7 excellent mysteries (some murder, some not) that take place around allotments.

RELATED: What is an Allotment?

The Allotment Girls by Kate Thompson

The Allotment Girls

Set during World War II, The Allotment Girls combines historical fiction with a bit of mystery. As women work the allotments to support the war effort, they discover dark secrets buried in the soil. The story follows the lives of these women, their camaraderie, and their struggles, interwoven with the suspense of a hidden past coming to light.

Get it: Amazon | Bookshop.org

The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys

The Lost Garden

Set during World War II, The Lost Garden and follows a group of women who transform an abandoned estate into a productive allotment garden. Though not a traditional mystery novel, the women DO unearth a mystery related to the gardens they're working. On the whole, however, the story focuses more on topics like love, loss, wartime struggles, and the power of hope and resilience.

Get it: Amazon | Bookshop.org

Murder at the Allotment by Julie Wassmer

Murder at the Allotment

In this contemporary mystery, private investigator Pearl Nolan is drawn into a murder investigation when a body is discovered in the local allotments. “Murder at the Allotment” blends suspense with the charm of a small-town setting, as Pearl navigates the twists and turns of the case. The allotments provide a rich and atmospheric backdrop, adding depth and intrigue to the plot.

Get it: Amazon | Bookshop.org

Murder Plot by Keith McCarthy

Murder Plot

When a retired hard-man dies on his allotment, it initially seems like a simple case of “natural causes”, despite minor doubts about other possibilities. When more local residents begin dying, however, Dr. Lance Elliot's early suspicions grow into huge red flags. It's not long before he finds himself poking around in the case, ultimately uncovering all sorts of nasty secrets of the Thornton Heath Horticulture and Allotment Association.

Get it: Amazon | Bookshop.org

Crime in the Allotment by Catherine Moloney

Crime in the Allotment

Beauclair Drive Allotments seems like it would be a peaceful community of gardeners coming together to share a love of gardening – but when a gardener's body is left dead amongst the garden tools, Detective Markham finds out it's actually a hotbed of secret trysts and long-held grudges. The investigation seems to be going well, but then the primary suspect's body is found at the very same allotments, leading him to believe more deaths will follow if he doesn't close the case quickly. 

Get it: Amazon | Bookshop.org

The Allotment Affair by CA Shepherd

The Allotment Affair

This is the second book in the DI Parlour cosy-ish mystery series, and it begins when a prominent member of a senior citizens' group is poisoned with a lethal dose of a popular herbicide. DI Mark “Pizza” Parlour is tasked with determining whether suspect Salik Gani might really be the killer – and if not, finding out who really IS responsible.

Get it: Amazon | Bookshop.org

An Allotment of Time by Ripley Hayes

An Allotment of Time

This series follows Welsh officer Daniel Owen, a man who spends most of his time attending to the mundane crimes of a small town. In book 6, An Allotment of Time, he finds himself off the force and coming to terms with not being a cop. He gets a plot down at the local allotment and begins to enjoy the camaraderie – until one of his fellow plot-holders is found brutally murdered.

Facing a very personal case with no actual standing in the investigation, Owen butts heads with his replacement as he attempts to get at the truth.

Get it: Amazon | Bookshop.org

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