I’ve been reading my own reviews again. Sorry, bad habit. But this one’s a good’n:

“There’s much to enjoy in Fiona Veitch Smith’s debut adult novel, The Peace Garden, where the hopes and fears of modern South Africa disrupt the
neatly-ordered flowerbeds of suburban Newcastle. Natalie Porter, twelve years old and insatiably curious, starts to uncover the stories that have shaped the adults around her, and progresses from catching a plant thief to beginning to understand some of the complexities of life and love in a post-Apartheid society. The novel ratchets up to thriller pace and with a nice twist on the traditional ‘follow-that-car’scene as Natalie, older but not much wiser, realises she may be the only person who can thwart a potential murderer.The Peace Garden is a cleverly-plotted novel with nice comic touches, and the author’s personal background produces both a convincing setting for the Newcastle characters, and some telling insights into South African life.”

RS Downie is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ruso series of Roman mysteries.