The Savage Garden

The Savage Garden

Book - 2007
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Penguin Putnam
From the author of the acclaimed national bestseller Amagansett comes an even more remarkable novel set in the Tuscan hills: the story of two murders, four hundred years apart-and the ties that bind them together.

Adam Banting, a somewhat aimless young scholar at Cambridge University, is called to his professor's office one afternoon and assigned a special summer project: to write a scholarly monograph about a famous garden built in the 1500s. Dedicated to the memory of Signor Docci's dead wife, the garden is a mysterious world of statues, grottoes, meandering rills, and classical inscriptions. But during his three-week sojourn at the villa, Adam comes to suspect that clues to a murder are buried in the strange iconography of the garden: the long-dead Signor Docci most likely killed his wife and filled her memorial garden with pointers as to both the method and the motive of his crime.

As the mystery of the garden unfolds, Adam finds himself drawn into a parallel intrigue. Through his evolving relationship with the lady of the house-the ailing, seventy-something Signora Docci-he finds clues to yet another possible murder, this one much more recent. The signora's eldest son was shot by Nazi officers on the third floor of the villa, and her husband, now dead, insisted that the area be sealed and preserved forever. Like the garden, the third-floor rooms are frozen in time. Delving into his subject, Adam begins to suspect that his summer project might be a setup. Is he really just the na?ve student, stumbling upon clues, or is Signora Docci using him to discover for herself the true meaning of the villa's murderous past?

Baker & Taylor
Assigned to write a monograph about a famous sixteenth-century garden, aimless young Cambridge scholar Adam Banting visits the enigmatic garden only to discover clues that the woman to whom the garden was dedicated may have been murdered, a finding that points to a related and more recent killing. By the author of Amagansett. 75,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Adam Strickland, a somewhat aimless young scholar at Cambridge University, is called to his professor's office one afternoon and assigned a special summer project: to write a scholarly monograph about the famous Docci garden in Tuscany. Dedicated to the memory of a fifteenth-century nobleman's young wife, the garden is a mysterious world of statues, grottoes, meandering rills, and classical inscriptions. But Adam comes to suspect that something sinister lies buried in the garden's strange iconography. What if Lord Docci's wife was murdered, and her memorial garden is filled with pointers to both the method and the motive of the crime?
As the odd history unfolds, Adam finds himself drawn into a parallel intrigue. Through his evolving relationship with the lady of the house - the ailing, seventy-something Signora Docci - he hears stories of yet another violent death in the family, this one much more recent. The Signora's eldest son was shot by Nazi officers on the third floor of the villa, and her husband, now dead, insisted that the area be sealed and preserved forever. Like the garden, the third-floor rooms are frozen in time.
As Adam delves into his subject, he begins to suspect that his seemingly innocent history project might be a setup. Is he really just the naive student, stumbling upon clues, or is he being used to discover the true meaning of the villa's murderous past?

Baker
& Taylor

Assigned to write about a famous sixteenth-century garden, Cambridge scholar Adam Strickland visits the garden only to discover that the woman to whom the garden was dedicated may have been murdered, a finding that points to a more recent killing.

Publisher: New York : Puntnam, c2007
ISBN: 9780399153532
Characteristics: 324 p ; cm

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ChristchurchLib Apr 21, 2014

"In 1958, young Cambridge scholar Adam Strickland is spending his summer in Tuscany researching a famous 16th-century memorial garden. But the more Adam learns about its elaborate landscapes, the more he believes that it hides secrets -- such as the truth behind the death of the woman it memorialises, and possibly clues to a more recent murder. While the family that owns the garden is intrigued by the former theory, Adam's interest in the latter is not met warmly. For a similarly atmospheric tale in which gardens hold the answers to old mysteries, try Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden." Fiction A to Z April 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/dfef437d-ef88-41c9-a7e1-229a907a8f88?postId=8ed16493-2fe1-4059-b706-6d0ff80212e7

JCLGreggW Aug 01, 2013

A literary mystery set in Italy in the 1950s, Mills' second novel features a bright but aimless British college student who is sent to a manor in Tuscany to study the Renaissance art and architecture of the property. While he falls for the beautiful Italian countryside, he suspects that the villa's garden is more than what it seems - the builder dedicated the garden to his late wife, and crafted clues to her death within the sculptures and layout. He also gets drawn into investigation of a more recent murder, that of the family's oldest son during the Nazi occupation of the villa in World War II. Mills divides the chase between the ancient murder and more recent one, keeping the reader engrossed with both. THE SAVAGE GARDEN will please fans of the historical mystery genre as well as the casual reader looking for something a bit meatier in their whodunits.

saskflax Nov 13, 2011

Not nearly as good as his first novel Amagansett and his 3rd novel The Information Officer but still a good read.

s
Spacewoman
Apr 13, 2010

A fun mystery story about ah historic garden in italy with a mythological theme that has clues to an old murder.

2
21221012271000
Mar 16, 2010

Good read. Though somewhat off-beat topic, it is very well written.

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