What do gardening and solving crime have in common? Nothing unless there are bones buried under your cabbage crops. In Garden Club Detective Squad, a group of students soon learn that their afterschool gardening club is hiding a few morbid secrets and it is up to them to find out whose bones they discover. Also, is the killer someone they know and trust?
Created by 52chu, the web series mixes mystery and even a little comedy as Yeon tries to find the right club for her academic resume. She’s a little overconfident and day one at a new school tries to take over as student body president. When club after club tells her no thanks, she ends up joining the garden club. Unfortunately, there aren’t many members and it is in danger of shutting down. But then there are bones and a hidden notebook with clues to a 15-year-old murder on campus. Everyone is a suspect, including teachers and the principal, who all seem determined to keep the crime a secret.
The art moves from bright and clean when Yeon is being her extra self in the garden to dark and moody when the apparent killer is lurking around the kids. The narrative sets up an interesting mystery to solve, but the lightheartedness of the students, even as they solve a cold case, stops it from getting too intense in every panel. In some ways, this light/dark mix makes the heavier parts of the story even creepier.
To begin reading Garden Club Detective Squad, head to Webtoons. The series updates every Wednesday.