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Pretty Poison by Joyce Lavene
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Peggy Lee is a 52 year old widow of a police officer. Somehow between running her garden shop, teaching some college courses and running a garden club, not to mention developing new strains of plants manages to adopt a dog, start a romance and solve the murder of a well known man whom she find dead in her shop.

I suspected the killer long before Peggy did but It's a good, quick read. ( )
  laby | Mar 9, 2011 |
Pretty Poison - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

'The man was face down in one of her attractive wicker baskets filled with anemone bulbs. It was part of the autumn scene she'd created, complete with scarecrow and pumpkins. He'd obviously fallen forward, dragging the scarecrow from its perch on the oak rocking chair. The straw figure looked forlorn, lying half under the man's weight like some bizarre teddy bear.'

Peggy Lee is the owner of the Potting Shed and when she walks into her shop to find a man face down in one of her arrangements she's beyond words. Part of her wanted to turn around and run, screaming for help. But after being a cop's wife for years as well as a researcher, she pushes her emotions aside and does the right thing. She calls the police.

To Peggy's relief, the Detective that took the call was her deceased husband's partner, Al McDonald. He had been her husband's partner for twenty years and there wasn't a man alive she trusted more. But his questions, as well as hers, was who is this man with his face hidden in the plant, how did he get in a shop that was locked up and what happened to him. It definitely wasn't an accident. There was blood on the shovel that he had been hit over the head with.

One question was answered as soon as the body was turned over. It was Mark Warner, one of the wealthiest men in Charlotte. Peggy had seen him around the shop lately with a woman and the woman wasn't his wife. Could she have killed him in a rage of jealousy? Maybe he decided to break up with his new girlfriend and she struck out in rage. Some speculated that it might be the homeless man who hung around the shop. There were as many reasons for his murder as there were suspects and Peggy was determined to find the killer.

I became hooked with the Peggy Lee series after reading A Corpus for Yew. There are a total of five books in this series and I intend to read them all, starting next with Fruit of the Poisoned Tree. The Peggy Lee series has to be one of the most light hearted murder mysteries I've ever read. The situations Peggy finds herself in will make you laugh as well as keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to solve the mystery. Joyce and Jim Lavene, I really hope you will continue the Peggy series. And please don't forget to write in Shakespeare the Great Dane rescued by Peggy. ( )
  marthacheves | Nov 28, 2009 |
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Lavene, Joyceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lavene, Jimmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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It was too late for Peggy Lee to stop when she saw the car.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425202992, Mass Market Paperback)

It's another busy fall day for Peggy. A quick café lecture on African violets is followed by a minor bike accident involving a good-looking Saturn driver. Upon returning to her shop, Peggy discovers one of the wealthiest men in town--and one of the biggest philanderers--sprawled face down across one of her seasonal displays, apparently beaten to death with a garden shovel.

When the cops pin the murder on a local homeless man, Peggy must rake through evidence and dig up secrets to root out the real killer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:32 -0400)

Meet Peggy Lee: botanist, detective's widow, and owner of The Potting Shed, an urban gardener's paradise in downtown Charlotte. Mild winters keep the store thriving all year round, but at least one person in the city has colder intentions.

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