Lethal Lily – Guest Post, Review & Giveaway!

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A World of Poisonous Plants

by Joyce Lavene

There are hundreds of poisonous plants in the world. Many people are surprised to learn that they may have some of those plants in their own backyards.

Poisonous Spring flowers that may be blooming in your area right now include:

Wisteria – Wisteria, with its beautiful white, purple, or pink flowers, can be considered a pest since it will grow on anything. But is there anything as lovely in the spring as its draping branches? Yet the plant can be deadly poisonous.

Lily of the Valley – We use lily of the valley as a deadly poison in Lethal Lily. Despite its fragile appearance, the toxin in this plant is deadly.

Hyacinth – Very few aromas can compare with that of the lovely hyacinth, but that enticing perfume can bring on a deadly asthma attack.

Azalea – Gorgeous bunches of azalea flowers can be so toxic that they can poison the bees who land there looking for pollen.

Daffodil – These merry reminders of spring’s arrival are listed as some of the most toxic plants for cats and dogs.

How to deal with poisonous plants?

If you decide to keep these deadly beauties in your house or yard, be careful. Don’t plant them where dogs, cats, or small children can easily get to them. Keep track of the poisonous plants you have in your yard. Being able to tell a doctor what poison may have been ingested can be a lifesaver!



1 Peggy Lee tote bag with print copies of A Thyme to Die (2013) and Lethal Lily

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  Lethal Lily

A Peggy Lee Gardening Mystery

Cozy Mystery

300 pages

Available on Amazon.com



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!

My Review

I truly enjoy reading a book that is educational as well.  I learned so much about flowers and plants while reading this.  I love that the authors put descriptions of the various plants at the beginnings of chapters.  I especially enjoyed learning which plants are poisonous.  Because I have a new puppy, I certainly took note. This book is full of mystery and intrigue.  I kept flipping pages trying to find out what was going on and who the killer was! It is absolutely a plus when a book is able to keep my attention and this one did.  A light and fun mystery, I would recommend this book.  Although I haven’t read the other books in this series, I didn’t feel like I was lost in the plot or confused with character histories/backgrounds.  It stood well on its own. Peggy is an enjoyable main character.  Take this one to the beach with you this summer for an entertaining read!

About The Authorsjoyce and jim

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.

Author Links







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.

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