A garden designer with hope. A property developer with secrets. Will the restoration of an old walled garden dig up more than they can handle?


The Neglected Garden is a page-turner seeded with mystery, romance and suspense

“I stayed up half the night to finish this book!” (Reviewer)

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Ireland, 2010. Gilly Townsend’s beloved landscaping business doesn’t survive the financial crash. Just when she thinks she’ll have to move back home, a profitable project to restore an inspirational walled garden lands in her lap. But she never expected her wealthy boss from London to inspire her as well.

Marc Fletcher just wants an escape for him and his four-year-old son. As he tries to forget a dark past, Gilly’s skills in the garden bring light back into his life. As he and his landscaper grow closer, a family shadow threatens everything he holds dear.

Amidst increasingly angry blackmail, Marc and Gilly’s love starts to blossom. But when threats transform into criminal action, will the developer’s poisonous past bury Gilly six-feet-under?

The Neglected Garden is a page-turner seeded with mystery, romance and suspense. If you like gutsy heroines, enigmatic heroes, and twists you won't see coming, then you’ll love Suzanne Winterly’s captivating garden thriller.

(382 pages)

Buy The Neglected Garden to untangle a romantic mystery thriller today!

Available as a paperback and e-book

What readers say:

I sat up half the night to finish this book! I’m a keen gardener but I think even if you’re not you would like the way the story twists and turns. The characters are human and came alive for me. A great read! I would read more by this author.” (H. Dunne - Ireland)

What a debut! Intriguing mystery/suspense/gentle romance story line with a variety of good characters. I read this book far into the night and only exhaustion stopped me finishing in one sitting. I loved the twists and turns of the story interspersed with the restoration and further development of a neglected garden. Highly recommended.” (NetGalley reviewer, UK)

Very good novel! This one is refreshing all around--not a typical mystery. I enjoyed the depth of characters, their relationships and actions, but most of all, the twists in the plot! Though Gilly talks too much and has lost some gardening design jobs, she was lovable and kind. On the other hand Marc, more serious and dependable, was burdened with terrible secrets. The adventures of these two individuals made for a very pleasant read--while a couple of the surprises nearly caused anxiety because the book was so well written! I will gladly read from this author again.” (Mrs. B. - NetGalley reviewer, USA)

I’m a slow reader but right from the start I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I loved the garden imagery and description and the depth of the characters. The ending was a surprise but satisfying.” (J. Dowling - Ireland)

I recommend The Neglected Garden. It has the right amount of mystery, suspense and romance and I read it over a weekend.” (R. Manton - UK)

Involving past secrets overshadowing the present, a complicated case of revenge, abduction and over riding it all beautiful garden talk makes this book very readable! Romance with shades of suspense and mystery all evolve very nicely together.” (Mystica - NetGalley reviewer, Sri Lanka)

I had to go to work early next day but I sat up until 1.30 a.m. to finish this. Loved it! A really refreshing read.” (T.B.- London)

The writing is very good and the author certainly knows how to craft a tale. I loved all the twists and I never guessed who the real villain turned out to be. A fun read!” (N.J. - Australia)

After not liking the main character, Ginny, in the first chapter, I started to like her more and more as the story progressed. It's atmospheric, set in Ireland, with the hint of a ghost, an attractive and mysterious man with a cute little son as well as the restoration of an old walled garden...what's not to like?” (Hannelore - NetGalley reviewer, USA)

The novel is set in Ireland in 2010. Gilly Townsend is an unemployed garden designer. The economic downturn has been disastrous for her business, and If it weren’t for her soon to be married older sister she would be homeless. Providentially a dream job is offered. Gilly is to restore a derelict walled garden on a grand estate. The estate, Glanesfort, is owned by Marc Fletcher, a property developer based in London. Marc is a young widower with a four year old son, Samuel. Gilly is intrigued by Marc, but she is equally interested in Fergus Browne, the charming estate manager. As Gilly spends time at Glanesfort, she becomes very attached to the grounds, to Samuel, and to Marc. As they get to know one another Gilly learns Marc has a secret in his past that he is not willing to share. Someone has been blackmailing him for more than six months and then Samuel is kidnapped. A clever crime and I was surprised by the perpetrator.
The characters are well developed and the setting plays an important role. If you’re a fan of Mary Stewart and Phylis Whitney you will enjoy this book. A good mix of romance and suspense with likable characters. Would recommend
.” (Marianne - NetGalley reviewer, UK)

A nice refreshing story that I really enjoyed! Just the right amount of mystery and romance! Loved the garden description.” (Annette - NetGalley reviewer, USA)

A welcome break from tough crime novels! This was fun and interesting and I loved the writing and the characters. They were really well drawn. I never suspected the ending so that was a real bonus! Would definitely read another book by this author.” (B. Ryan - Dublin)

Gilly is under a lot of stress in the beginning. Her garden design business is suffering because of the financial crisis in Ireland and if it wasn’t for her perfect sister Vanessa, she would have nowhere to live. Now Vanessa is getting married so Gilly has a dilemma. Luckily she lands a job designing an old walled garden in Co. Kildare to keep her bank manager happy. However, things don’t turn out as planned because her attractive and wealthy boss from London is harbouring a dangerous secret. Blackmail and revenge. I loved it.” (Mary J. - Somerset)

The imagery is quite marvellous. Lovely writing, good descriptions, and the restoration of an abandoned garden make this a fun and worthwhile read.” (GinK - NetGalley reviewer, USA)

If you like stories about old country houses and hints of ghosts, you’ll love this. It was a little Gothic at times and I liked that. The main characters were believable and I even learnt some new plant names.” D.H. (Ireland)