Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pretty Poison (A Peggy Lee Garden Mystery, #1)” as Want to Read:
Pretty Poison (A Peggy Lee Garden Mystery, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pretty Poison

(Peggy Lee Garden Mystery #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  504 ratings  ·  86 reviews
It's another busy fall day for Peggy. A quick café lecture on African violets is followed by a minor bike accident involving a good-looking Saturn driver. Upon returning to her shop, Peggy discovers one of the wealthiest men in town--and one of the biggest philanderers--sprawled face down across one of her seasonal displays, apparently beaten to death with a garden shovel. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 267 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by Berkley Prime Crime (first published 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pretty Poison, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pretty Poison

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  504 ratings  ·  86 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had started this book at the beginning of the month then real life took over and since I dubbed today as a reading treat day, I was able to finish it. It was the book for discussion over a week ago at an online book club.

I had read one other book by the Lavenes and really enjoyed it so I knew when the club picked this book that I would like it as well. Peggy is a great character and I loved her friendship with her deceased detective-husband's old partner, Al. Al was very protective of her as
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a new series and author for me and at first I just couldn't get into the story. I don't know if it was because I didn't really know the characters well before WHAM a murder occurs and everything gets crazy. I thought maybe the writing was too scattered and jumped around too much for me. But as I've read on I enjoyed it more and more and got very interested in the story. Who the heck was the culprit? There seemed lots of suspects, but no realistic ones at the time. There was also a couple ...more
Nuala Raftery
Jun 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Peggy Lee is a botanist who finds a murdered man in her gardening shop. As usual in this type of fiction, she sets
out to solve the case. The characters are well wrought, the setting interesting but some of the situations are ridiculous. However, the story would still be a good read if the writing weren't so bad. The writers have never heard of the pluperfect tense with the result that one spends an inordinate amount of time trying to decipher the sequence of events. This lack of grammar results
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: challenge
Interesting book. There was a lot of information about different flowers and I liked the poisoning aspect. The characters were likeable and the mystery was good and kept me guessing.
Aug 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty Poison (Joyce & Jim Lavine)
Murder/mystery. Peggy Lee, a police officers widow, is a gardener and junior sleuth. She owns a flower shop in Downtown Charlotte. she enters her sop one day and finds a dead man, apparently murdered with a shovel to his head. The victim is a wealthy prominent married man with many mistresses. The suspect list is high. with the help of her son Paul, a police officer she finds that thins=gs are not as they appear and anyone is suspect, and everyone has motive
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Peggy Lee is a widow and now owns The Potting Shed which is a local garden shop as well as a college Professor.
One morning when arriving in her shop Peggy finds the body of Mark Warner. How did he get in her shop and why is he dead? Murder or accident?
Peggy Lee starts digging around in places that could put her in danger to find the truth.
A good story and great information on plants.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Cozy mysteries really can be hit or miss for me. This one had some high points, but when you find the quirky affectations of the main character particularly annoying, it doesn't bode well for the series.

Peggy Lee is a quirky gal with spirit. She's got a green thumb, and she owns a garden shop. She's widowed, still misses her cop husband, wears a purple cape (I wish I were kidding) and rides her bike everywhere because she is environmentally conscious. She's even converting her old Rolls Royce to
Andrea Guy
If this book is any indication of what the rest of this series will be like, I'm in. Peggy Lee is a 52 year old widow, who runs a garden shop. She has a "real" life. She has a son on the force, like her late husband, who she is having issues with. Paul is a jerk. She met a man, Steve, who is 7 years younger than her, who she is starting to have some romantic feelings for, oh and then there's the Great Dane that has moved in. All that and a murder in her shop and a friend asking her about a certa ...more
Apr 28, 2017 rated it liked it
It is a new series for me. I found it a easy read once i got into it.
Georgiann Hennelly
This is a clever murder/ mystery story. Peggy Lee is a police officers widow a gardener and a sleuth. She owns a flower shop in Charlotte. One day when she enters her shop she finds a man face down in one of her attractive wicker baskets of Anemone bulbs. It was part of an Autumn display she,d created along with a scarecrow and pumpkins. She calls the police and to her relief the Det who comes is her deceased husbands partner. When they turn over the body they discover it ,s Mark Warner one of t ...more
Heather L
A pretty good mystery, I would probably pick up the second in the series if I happened across it.
Lynn Demsky
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed it this cozy --- was comfortable, fun and entertaining especially liked how she got stuck with Shakespeare her great Dane dog! And, he helps to make the story very human!
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is a new series to me, and I‘m not sure how I feel about this book. The fact that it is set in Charlotte, and I connected with many of the locations helped a lot. The characters were a mixed bag for me with connections. Some of them I really liked, some of them I really didn’t. Peggy and Steve were two that I took to immediately, and could see myself having lunch with. And I adore Shakespeare… such a typical Dane. The son grew on me, once he got over being an over-protective butt-head. Howe ...more
Karen Hollins-Stallman
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pretty Poison - Peggy Lee Garden, Bk 1
Author: Joyce Lavene, Jim Lavene
I have read several of their books and enjoyed them all. In this series It's another busy fall day for Peggy. A quick cafe lecture on African violets is followed by a minor bike accident involving a good-looking Saturn driver. Upon returning to her shop, Peggy discovers one of the wealthiest men in town--and one of the biggest philanderers--sprawled face down across one of her seasonal displays, apparently beaten to death with
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pearl Meaker
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great mystery with a lot of information in it as well. Each chapter opens with a one-page informational listing of a plant or flower that is mentioned in that chapter - including if the item is poisonous or not. Lots of great characters and a plot that kept me guessing.
Nan St.Michael
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this well written, well researched book!
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This garden series is OK...will read another in respiration ..
Munchkin Bells
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely cute and spontaneous cozy! It has a humor and well written with many suspense! Very different and enjoyed it! Looking towards to the second one !!
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick and fun read. Very far fetched but it was fun anyway.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a cute, fast read (one day!). The characters were likable and I'll definitely be reading the rest in the series over the summer.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy
Liked the little chapter intros of plant trivia.
Sharon Bezrutczyk
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It was a perfect vacation book
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Probably more like a 3.5

This was one of January's picks for #Book1CoziesClub and I also finished it as part of #MarchMysteryMadness which I am co-hosting. This was enjoyable and I found the gardening tips and information on the flowers at the beginning of each chapter interesting. I do not have the gift of growing plants, but I may try some of the tips included in this book. I enjoy where Peggy Lee is in her life and how this story also shows the growth of her relationship with her son in the a
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
now i am hooked. This was such a great, easy and creative book. i was hooked after the first page.

The characters were easy to fall in love with and follow, along with the story. the author made the mental visions so easy and vivid of the surroundings and the characters actions felt so real.

i would highly recommend this author and this book.
Martha Cheves
Nov 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing

Pretty Poison - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

'The man was face down in one of her attractive wicker baskets filled with anemone bulbs. It was part of the autumn scene she'd created, complete with scarecrow and pumpkins. He'd obviously fallen forward, dragging the scarecrow from its perch on the oak rocking chair. The straw figure looked forlorn, lying half under the man's weight like some bizarre teddy bear.'

Peggy Lee is the owner of the Potting Shed and when she walk
Susan Ferguson
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery, 2012
I quite enjoyed this - borrowed from the bookshelves in the breakroom. I'ave already bought the second one.
Margaret (Peggy) Lee is a botanist whose hobby is poisonous plants. She does research in her basement on antidotes and developing new plants. Her current effort is developing a night-blooming rose. She is occasionally consulted for information on some obscure plant poison. As she is riding her bicycle to a class, she runs into the door of a vehicle that pulls out in front of her. He stops t
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book because I liked the characters and found the mystery interesting. I'm not sure it is one of the best I've read, but I did appreciate the age and status of the main character.
I am very suspicious of the "young" vet because of the difference in their ages, although I'll agree he could find Peggy interesting because of her age and certainly because of her academic status,and because she's different from other women her age and status.
Peggy's son was very off-putting, and I didn
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it
It took time to gel with “Pretty Poison”. I plodded because I love plants, flowers, and a protagonist over 30. Too many ‘young adult’ novels hold 20+ year-olds back. When there is adult material, characters are either this age, or bitter divorcées. This series starter has great components but delivery felt faint. I saw the mechanics of a book, instead of the mini world created. All movement felt deliberately plotted, as if the author’s outline were published instead of the life that ignites fict ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I chanced to pick this book up at a used book sale because it looked good. I was right; it was very good. It's the first book in a series about gardening and botany. I found the characters well- developed and decided that I like "mature" protagonists in mystery series. They're well developed in this series. I also love the blurb at the beginning of each chapter about a flower plant including the origin of the name and any folklore associated with it.

Dr. Peggy Lee is a 52 year-old detective's wi
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mystery Madness: BOTM 01/2017 - Pretty Poison (Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries) 6 14 Feb 09, 2017 01:37PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Murder in Miniature (Miniature Mystery, #1)
  • The Mournful Teddy (A Bear Collector's Mystery #1)
  • Dead Air (Talk Radio Mystery, #1)
  • Sketch Me If You Can (A Portrait of Crime Mystery, #1)
  • Killer Mousse (A Della Cooks Mystery #1)
  • A Killing in Antiques (Lucy St. Elmo Antiques, #1)
  • A Deadly Row (A Mystery By The Numbers, #1)
  • Flowerbed of State (A White House Gardener Mystery, #1)
  • Through a Glass, Deadly (A Glassblowing Mystery, #1)
  • A Hoe Lot of Trouble (A Nina Quinn Mystery, #1)
  • How to Host a Killer Party (Party Planning, #1)
  • Sink Trap (A Georgiana Neverall Mystery #1)
  • Delicious and Suspicious (A Memphis BBQ Mystery, #1)
  • Stuck on Murder (A Decoupage Mystery, #1)
  • Hounding the Pavement (Dog Walker Mysteries, #1)
  • Pushing Up Daisies (Dirty Business, #1)
  • Scratch the Surface (A Cat Lover's Mystery #1)
  • Tressed to Kill (Southern Beauty Shop, #1)
See similar books…
aka Elyssa Henry and Joye Ames, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant

Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene are a wife and husband team who have written and published more than 70 books since 1999. They live in North Carolina with their family and enjoy cooking, photography and ghost hunting.

Other books in the series

Peggy Lee Garden Mystery (9 books)
  • Fruit of the Poisoned Tree (Peggy Lee Garden Mystery, #2)
  • Poisoned Petals (Peggy Lee Garden Mystery, #3)
  • Perfect Poison (Peggy Lee Garden Mystery, #4)
  • A Corpse for Yew (Peggy Lee Garden Mystery, #5)
  • Buried By Buttercups (Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries #5.5)
  • A Thyme to Die (The Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries, #6)
  • Lethal Lily (Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries, #7)
  • Killing Weeds (Peggy Lee Garden Mystery #8)