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book cover of The Ainswick Orange

The Ainswick Orange

(The first book in the Snowdrop Mystery series)
A novel by

Maggie Eliot has a problem. The American academic is supposed to be writing a book during a sabbatical year from her position at Oxford and has come down with a bad case of writer's block.

Her friend Anne arranges for Maggie to borrow a cottage in a picturesque village in the Cotswolds, where she can write without distractions. When even this fails to do the trick, Anne decides what Maggie needs is a complete break and convinces her friend to accompany her to a snowdrop study weekend. The small white flowers have been selling at stratospheric prices and Anne wants to see what all the fuss is about. So off they go to Rochford Manor, home of Lord and Lady Ainswick and their famous snowdrop garden.

The two women encounter an odd assortment of supposed galanthophiles - as snowdrop fanciers are called - and hear the first rumours of a priceless snowdrop called "the Ainswick Orange." Then on a visit to a neighbouring snowdrop garden, Maggie meets Lord Raynham, a widower as well as the 28th Baron. However, while she is admittedly attracted to the man, in the end she decides it is all way too Jane Austen for her and that it is unlikely she will ever see him again.

Exploring the Rochford Manor gardens the next morning, Maggie and Anne discover a brutal murder. The corpse's outstretched hand holds a gardening trowel that points to a hole from which a snowdrop has been removed. Lady Ainswick confirms that the Ainswick Orange has been stolen.

When a second murder is committed and the police become fixed on Lord Raynham as a suspect, Maggie and Anne join forces with Lady Ainswick to solve the crimes on their own. They discover that several members of the group do indeed have secrets they are trying to hide. But does that make one of them a killer? And what has become of the Ainswick Orange?


Used availability for Susan Alexander's The Ainswick Orange

Paperback Editions

November 2013 : USA Paperback

Title: The Ainswick Orange (The Snowdrop Mysteries) (Volume 1)
Author(s): Susan Alexander
ISBN: 1-4937-2286-7 / 978-1-4937-2286-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

August 2013 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: The Ainswick Orange (The Snowdrop Mysteries Book 1)
Author(s): Susan Alexander
Publisher: Minerva
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA