Title: Poppy Harmon Investigates
Author: Lee Hollis
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Page Count: 320
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
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.
Poppy Harman is a sixty something retired actress who thought she was going to be living out the rest of her life comfortably with her husband. However, after Poppy’s husband passes away quite suddenly she finds out that her rather comfortable life was all a lie and that her husband had gambled away their last cent.
When Poppy sits down with her two best friends, Iris and Violet, trying to brainstorm ideas to earn money with no real experience other than acting the trio come up with the idea that Poppy has rather remarkable investigative skills so why not become a detective? With a bit of effort the Desert Flowers Detective Agency is opened with Iris and Violet coming in to assist.
Things aren’t going so well with the new business however when it seems no one wants to hire three “older” ladies so Poppy gets a new plan to use her daughter’s boyfriend, an actor, to be the face of the firm. This gets the Desert Flowers Detective Agency their first case which turns out to be a lot more than the ladies originally bargained for.
Poppy Harmon Investigates by Lee Hollis is the first book of the new cozy A Desert Flowers Mystery series. This opener showed a lot of potential to become a new favorite cozy series for me with the likable older characters and a few laughs along the way. It took a little while to get the mystery moving but that’s understandable for the opener I suppose and while the antics were not always realistic this is fiction and for me in this genre fun usually trumps reality so I’m really looking forward to seeing what the Desert Flowers get involved in next.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
LEE HOLLIS is the pen name for Rick Copp, a veteran Hollywood screenwriter who has written for numerous television series, including The Golden Girls, Wings, Scooby-Doo, Teen Titans and Barbershop. He is the co‑writer of The Brady Bunch Movie and has written a number of novels under his own name. He also produces, writes, and stars in the hit web series Where the Bears Are. With his sister Holly Simason, he co‑authors the Hayley Powell Food & Cocktail Mysteries book series using the Lee Hollis name. He lives in Palm Springs, California.