When I was first getting started with farming and gardening someone gave me a couple of handfuls of dry beans. They were speckled in the earth tone palette of Navajo rug colors. I know now I had possession, if only for a short time, of something rare, valuable and precious. I did not have a name for the variety and cannot tell you who gave them to me. I haven’t found those exact same beans again since. All of that and more went into my absorption with Adam Alexander’s splendid ‘mystery’ and ‘travel’ book researching the origins of vegetable seeds, The Seed Detective. The author, a film maker by trade, is an avid gardener and seed collector who chronicles his travels in search of the beginnings and heritage of vegetable varieties. The travels and the history uncovered are worth the price of this gem of a book.