Eglin, Anthony

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Eglin, Anthony

PERSONAL:

Born in England; married; wife's name Suzie. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, clarinet.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Sonoma, CA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Gardener and writer. Worked in advertising and marketing; founder, Larkspur Company (gardening videotape producer).

MEMBER:

American Rose Society.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Gold Trowel Award for Best Rose Garden, Garden Design magazine, 1995.

WRITINGS:

The Blue Rose (novel), Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2004.

The Lost Gardens: An English Garden Mystery, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2006.

The Water Lily Cross: An English Garden Mystery, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Anthony Eglin has a passion for and expertise in gardening. He wrote his first mystery novel based on the real-life elusive goal of developing a truly blue rose. In The Blue Rose Eglin tells the story of Alex and Kate Sheppard, who buy a parsonage in a rural English village. The building was formerly owned by a gardener who specialized in hybrid roses. While cleaning up the unruly garden, the Sheppards discover a sapphire blue rose and immediately contact a horticulturist who is an expert on roses. When news of their discovery spreads despite the Sheppards' efforts to keep it a secret, the couple find themselves caught up in an intrigue involving rose aficionados who are willing to kill for the rare prize, as well as for the rose pollination record that has been written in a secret code. Eventually, Kate is kidnapped and the rose is demanded as ransom, with murder and mayhem the result.

Reviewing The Blue Rose, a Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that Elkins "can probably count on a warm welcome by the faithful, if not by others." GraceAnne A. DeCandido, writing in Booklist, commented that the novel is "melodramatic … but the rosarian detail is irresistible." Library Journal reviewer Rex E. Klett wrote that the book "has a cozy, nicely plotted feel until the international crazies get involved, but the unique premise saves the day," while a Publishers Weekly contributor dubbed The Blue Rose an "excellent debut," noting that "Eglin combines just the right amount of horticultural detail with well-drawn characters and an absorbing plot."

The Lost Gardens: An English Garden Mystery tells the story of the gardens at Wickersham Priory, which California winemaker Jamie Gibson has recently inherited and asked Dr. Lawrence Kingston to prune to their original glory. Kingston and his team of gardeners set out to restore the garden and in the process uncover a chapel, a well, and a grim collection of bones and modern-day coins. Upon further investigation, Kingston learns of a rumor that there is a labyrinth below the grounds attached to the old priory. When a series of mishaps begins to undermine Kingston's progress, he becomes more sure than ever that there is a mystery to solve. A contributor for Kirkus Reviews noted the book for "a clever plot spiced with gardening information and historical detail." In a review for Publishers Weekly, one writer praised the action but remarked that "it's the plethora of gardening detail that makes this a memorable read."

In The Water Lily Cross: An English Garden Mystery, Lawrence Kingston is determined to find his missing friend, Stewart Halliday. The undertaking turns out to be more difficult, and dangerous, than Kingston initially was prepared for, as he undergoes a series of mishaps that include being shot down while riding in a helicopter and receiving a blow to his head. However, Kingston has promised Halliday's wife, and so he persists in his investigation. A botanist, Halliday had recently been conducting research regarding a new crossbreed of water lily that could lead to a financial boon, so Kingston works under the assumption that this work led to his disappearance. His investigation leads him to a number of curious characters, including a wealthy investor who might have been interested in backing Halliday's work, a mysterious woman, and a Russian crook. A contributor for Kirkus Reviews found the mystery did not hold up compared to Eglin's previous Kingston mysteries, but remarked that "aficionados will love the descriptions of famous plant grounds." Michele Leber, writing for Booklist, declared: "Overlook the occasional dangling participle, and enjoy seeing justice prevail in the English manner." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly commented that "fans of the brave and erudite Kingston will savor his latest breakneck botanical adventure."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, December 1, 2004, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of The Blue Rose, p. 639; May 1, 2007, Michele Leber, review of The Water Lily Cross: An English Garden Mystery, p. 23.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2004, review of The Blue Rose, p. 941; January 15, 2006, review of The Lost Gardens: An English Garden Mystery, p. 63; March 1, 2007, review of The Water Lily Cross, p. 196.

Library Journal, November 1, 2004, Rex E. Klett, review of The Blue Rose, p. 60.

Publishers Weekly, November 1, 2004, review of The Blue Rose, 47; January 30, 2006, review of The Lost Gardens, p. 43; March 12, 2007, review of The Water Lily Cross, p. 41.

ONLINE

AllReaders.com,http://www.allreaders.com/ (March 24, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of The Blue Rose.

Berkeley Horticulture Nursery Web site,http://www.berkeleyhort.com/ (March 24, 2005), review of The Blue Rose.