(A Peggy Lee Garden Mystery)
Part-time garden shop owner/part-time forensic botanist, Peggy Lee is trying to discover if the death of Ann Fletcher 20 years ago was an accident – or foul play. In return, she hopes to receive more information about her first husband’s death. She knows John Lee was murdered, but questions have arisen as to why he was killed. She is working with a private detective who stumbles across his own feet, but her Internet friend, Nightflyer, says that Harry Fletcher has the answers. When Harry is murdered by convallatoxin, from the lily of the valley plant, Peggy begins to understand her role in everything. Now she has to stay alive long enough to prove her theories – and keep her son, Paul out of trouble too!
About The Authors
Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.
A Book Excerpt
It was after midnight. Peggy Lee had been waiting in the dark parking lot of the Tri-State Mini Storage for more than an hour.
Since she was trying to keep a low profile, she hadn’t looked at her phone or listened to music. There was still a light in the mini storage office. She knew someone was working.
A sign flapped in the warm breeze that had blown up from a tropical storm churning at the Atlantic coast. She glanced at her watch again for the third time in as many minutes.
Where was Harry?
Peggy had only met Harry Fletcher a few days ago. They’d both received emails from her online friend, Nightflyer, suggesting they should work together.
A friend of mine is investigating an old murder in Charlotte, and might call on you for help. I sent him to you because he knows part of the puzzle surrounding John’s death. I’ll speak with you when I can. ~ Nightflyer
The note had caught her attention—and held it. It had only been a few months since she’d learned that her former husband, John Lee, may have been deliberately murdered. She still wasn’t sure it was true, but she decided it couldn’t hurt to check into it.
John had been a Charlotte, North Carolina police detective when he’d been killed more than a decade ago. He’d been called out on a domestic abuse situation that he shouldn’t even have responded to. But it was on his way home, and he’d gone willingly because he was needed.
The call went bad when the man, who’d been shooting at his wife’s boyfriend, decided to shoot at the police. He’d escaped in the gunfight that had ensued, but John had been killed. The shooter was never found. John’s partner had been at Peggy’s door a few minutes later with the news.
Peggy pushed the thoughts of that night out of her head. It was a long time ago, but it still haunted her. She couldn’t let herself get trapped in the past if she wanted to know what really happened to John.
Her phone rang—startling her. She almost dropped it. “Yes?”
“I found the storage unit,” Harry Fletcher whispered. “I forgot the bolt cutters on the floor of the car. Can you bring them? I’m at Unit 34.”
She agreed to do it, and sighed. The man was terminally careless. Just in the short time she’d known him, he was always dropping something, or forgetting something. She wondered how he’d managed to stay alive while he was working as a private detective.
Harry said he’d been working as an informant for the FBI when John was killed. They’d talked about it over tea in a sunlit atrium high above downtown Charlotte, with exotic lilies perfuming the air, and fleet-footed waiters continually checking their cups.
She hadn’t wanted to bring him to her house—it was better if she was the only one who knew about it. If her son, Paul, knew she was involved in anything like this, he’d be furious. Worse, it could ruin his life. His peace had been hard won after John’s death. He’d struggled with the knowledge that no one had been arrested in the case, eventually becoming a police officer himself.
Paul had always said there was something wrong about John’s shooting. It looked as though he might be right.
I really liked Lethal Lily. I loved all the information about the different plants. Peggy Lee was hoping to find some answers on what happened to her husband 20 years ago, and was hoping Harry Fletcher could be of help. He was a private-eye who was very scattered but he had been working for the FBI when John her husband was killed. Harry ended up be killed by convallatoxin, from the lily of the valley plant. Peggy must find out what happened to save herself and her son. You will love this book as much as I did.
I received a Copy of this book from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for the review, and the review is honest and my responsibility.