Poppy Harmon and the Hung Jury by Lee Hollis

I have just two words “times” three to describe Poppy Harmon and the Hung Jury:  LOVE IT!  LOVE IT!  LOVE IT!

Sixty plus Poppy Harmon finds herself in a new career.  As a TV series actress in her younger years, she played faithful secretary to handsome Jack Colt, PI.  But this time, she’s no longer a loyal sidekick, but the boss lady of her new detective agency, Desert Flowers.

She’s enlisted Iris and Violet as her full-time sleuths, but she quickly finds out that folks just don’t believe three feisty sixty-plus year-old women can do the job.  With business in the dumper, she shamelessly pilfers an idea from the old 80’s TV series, Remington Steele.

Poppy smartly hires a handsome, struggling actor, Matt Cameron, to become the official face (and boss) of her agency.  He becomes Matt Flowers – and viola, thanks to his charisma and superb acting ability, he pulls it off!

Slowly they start getting clients – including Rod Harper, Poppy’s ex-boss aka, Matt Colt, PI.  Seems he’s got a rogue daughter, Lara, who has, once again, gone missing.  She’s a young, spoiled rotten wannabe singer and manages to always get her way, no matter who gets hurt.  As if that isn’t bad enough, they soon discover – she’s not wrapped too tight.  In fact, she’s not wrapped at all!

Meantime, Poppy is nailed for jury duty.  Infamous crooner, Tony Molina, isn’t happy with his steak at a local restaurant and whacks Chef Cicci over the head with a frying pan!  What seems like an open and shut case of assault, turns into a tedious and long drawn out debacle.  Poppy begins to suspect there’s some serious jury tampering going on – and when one of the jurors is founded murdered, that certainly seals the deal.

I love the storyline and the lively, entertaining characters.   Sidekicks Violet and Iris are a hoot, and Matt Flowers deserves an Academy Award for his role as the fake boss of Desert Flowers Detective Agency.

Poppy’s also got a current romantic interest and things are going well.  But while she and Matt are working on the case to locate Rod’s daughter, Rod is trying his best to get upfront and personal with his former co-star.

Then mix in Poppy’s own daughter, Heather, who is just getting out of the big-house and coming home to roost.  She and Matt were an “item” before her incarceration, but now that she’s out, things between them are not going too smoothly.

There’s a lot going on in this 2nd installment of the new Desert Flowers Mystery series, and it makes for a fun and exhilarating ride.  Plus there’s enough romantic interests to rival an 80’s episode of Chuck Woolery’s Love Connection.  The missing daughter drama and the dead juror become woven together into one big tangled mess.  It’s up to Poppy, Matt and the ladies of detective agency to sort it all out.  You’ll be chuckling at their antics while you try to figure out how everything ties together – and who is actually the killer.

What a treat from Lee Hollis. This new series hits the ground running – and you’ll be running for the next installment of this Desert Flowers Mystery series after you finish Poppy Harmon and the Hung Jury!

A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

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