Poppy Harmon Investigates (A Desert Flowers Mystery)
Brand New Series
Setting – California
Kensington (July 31, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Kindle – ASIN: B0776HP2CZ
Lee Hollis begins a delightful new series in which Poppy Harmon and her friends find that life after retirement can be much busier—and deadlier—than any of them ever anticipated . . .
When Poppy goes from complacent retiree to penniless widow in a matter of weeks, the idea of spending her golden years as the biggest charity case in Palm Springs renders her speechless. With no real skills and nothing left to lose, Poppy uses her obsession with true crime shows to start a career as a private eye . . .
But after opening the Desert Flowers Detective Agency with help from her two best friends, Violet and Iris, Poppy realizes that age brings wisdom, not business—until she convinces her daughter’s handsome boyfriend, Matt, to pose as the face of the agency. It’s not long before Matt’s irresistible act snags a client desperate to retrieve priceless jewelry burglarized from an aging actress at the Palm Leaf Retirement Village. Or before Poppy stumbles upon the bloodied body of the victim’s arch rival . . .
In a flash, Poppy’s innocent detective gig is upstaged by a dangerous murder investigation riddled with slimy suspects and unspeakable scandal. As she and her team uncover the truth, Poppy must confront the secrets about her late husband’s past and swiftly catch a killer lurking around the retirement community—even if it means turning her world upside down all over again.
This series is off to an incredible start!
When life deals her lemons, retired actress Poppy Harmon makes a fantastic batch of lemonade by contacted an old friend to give her the credentials she needs to become a private investigator. Together with her friends Iris and Violet the Desert Flowers Detective Agency is born. The only problem no one wants to hire a bunch of senior ladies comfortable with a man for their investigation. Poppy does a little fast footwork and lines up her daughter’s boyfriend Matt, also an actor to be the face of the business. People are more comfortable with a man as the head sleuth, and they get a client. There has been a rash of burglaries at the Palm Leaf Retirement Village and a wealthy elderly actress has lost her jewelry valued at more than all the other thefts put together. Poppy is on the case but then she discovers a Palm Leaf resident dead and she happens to be a bitter enemy of Poppy’s client. Hang on tight because as she investigates Poppy finds a tie to the husband that left her penniless in the first place.
I absolutely loved everything about this book. Poppy Harmon, a socialite has her life turned upside down when her 4th husband dies after spending their fortune. She was completely in the dark. Their home was mortgaged to the hilt and she has no way to make the huge payments. In her time of need, her friends Iris and Violet come to her rescue offering a place to live and money to tide her over. She has always liked solving mysteries, she even played a secretary to a P.I. on a television show. Her friends think it is an excellent idea and Violet even brings in her grandson to set up their website and social media accounts. After a little snafu with the website, they know they need to bring in a man, Matt. He is excited about the role he is to play, but his girlfriend thinks all 5 of them have lost their minds. These characters are fun and very engaging and their presence just leaps off the page. I want to know all of them better.
After introducing the characters, Hollis doesn’t just give us one mystery, but two. The jewelry thefts and the murder. Filled with more twists than I ever imagined possible I couldn’t put this book down. Up reading late, the final twist blew me totally away. In fact, I had to go back and read it again to be sure my tired brain wasn’t playing tricks on me.
Lee Hollis gave me everything I look for in a cozy mystery and made is super easy to escape right into the story. A gifted storyteller mixing outstanding characters and a marvelous mystery. The exact right amount of humor was added too. The real bonus is that Poppy, Violet, and Iris are vibrant active women in their 60’s. Gives me hope as I am quickly approaching that age. If I could I would shout about this book from the rooftops! It will without question make my Best Reads of 2018 List.
About the Author
Lee Hollis is the pen name for a brother and sister writing team. Rick Copp is a veteran Hollywood writer/producer and also the author of three other mystery novel series under his own name and Lee Hollis. He lives in Palm Springs, CA. Holly Simason is an award-winning food and cocktails columnist who lives in North Carolina. You can follow them on Facebook (Lee Hollis), Twitter (@leehollisbooks) and Instagram (leehollisbooks).
Also by Lee Hollis
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”