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Poppy Harmon Investigates

(A Desert Flowers Mystery #1)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  330 ratings  ·  105 reviews
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 Palm Springs widow in a matter of weeks, she decides to use her obsession with true crime shows to start a career as a private eye. But
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 26th 2019 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When life throws up a potential disaster you can go in a few directions. For Poppy Harmon who discovers to her shock that her recently deceased husband Chester, has fritted away the couples life-savings and re-mortgaged the house, she has to think fast to ward off becoming financially ruined. With minimal skills, Poppy thinking back to her acting days and the cozy mysteries she has read applies for a PI license and then sets up her own detective agency. Coming along for the ride is Poppy's ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Things aren’t going well for Poppy Harmon. Her husband unexpectedly dies. Then, she learns he left her with no money and no means to support herself. As a 60-something woman she has no place to live and no job skills. What she does have is a love of mysteries. Although her friends and family laugh at her, she gets a P.I. license and opens her own detective agency, The Desert Flowers Detective Agency.

She quickly learns that it’s not easy to get a business off the ground even with her best friends
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-cozy, arc
Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.

Jessica Fletcher, Miss Marple, move over - Poppy Harmon is on the case. Anyone old enough to remember the old TV show "Remington Steele" will love this cozy. I am and I really liked this first book in a new cozy-mystery series for so many reasons. The heroine is a 60-something that finds herself having to start from scratch. I love the Palm Springs, CA locale. The cast of
Linda 📚
I loved this story from start to finish. Poppy is a great character with her retirement village friends who use their varied talents and contacts to solve a mystery of some stolen jewelry and a murder. The 12 year old grandson who is a hacker is a riot! The pace is fast, and the dialogue witty. I highly recommend this debut of the Desert Flowers Mysteries.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I have to say I loved this book! It started out with a bang, capturing my interest immediately with sudden suspense and an easy-conversational style. Poppy is not your ordinary cozy character. She is a former lady-who-lunches in Palm Springs, a recently widowed and 62 years old. She is vibrant, sassy and determined. After the death of her fourth husband, she suddenly finds herself penniless. What is a 60-something year-old Palm Springs widow to do? Why, get her private investigators license and ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, arc, cozy
The unique cover caught my eye and I was looking forward to the story. The plot was intriguing However, I was disappointed. The writing moved freely and it was easy to read but the characters did not bond with me. There was nothing funny with actions of middle age was so out a character of a person just left shaking my head. The daughter's action was unreal to me as she told her Mother what to do. I did not like the encouragement of a 12 year youngest to hack into the internet was okay as long ...more
Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to an incredible start!

When life deals her lemons, retired actress Poppy Harmon makes a fantastic batch of lemonade by contacted an old friend to give her the credentials she needs to become a private investigator. Together with her friends Iris and Violet the Desert Flowers Detective Agency is born. The only problem no one wants to hire a bunch of senior ladies comfortable with a man for their investigation. Poppy does a little fast footwork and lines up
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Poppy Harmon is a more mature sleuth, who has to find a job to support herself after being involved in charity work and raising her daughter. She finds herself penniless and in debt after the death of her third husband. She was an actress who worked on a detective series earlier in her life, and using what she learned on the set, assisting the writer, as well as her skills of observation and solving puzzles, she applies for a Private Investigator licence. With the backing of her two best ...more
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poppy Harmon Investigates by Lee Hollis is the 1st book in A Desert Flowers Mystery series, and a great beginning. I have always liked Ms. Hollis's Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery series, so I was excited to read this new series. Poppy is a 62 year old widow who learns her husband left her broke. Not only is she going to lose her house, she needs to find a job. With the help of her two friends Iris and Violet they start the Desert Flowers Detective Agency. I really loved this book, it ...more
Gail C.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington books for providing me with a complimentary advance copy of Poppy Harmon Investigates by Lee Hollis in exchange for an unbiased review. The book is populated with some characters who have the potential to become both interesting and humorous with additional development. The three primary investigators, Poppy, Violet and Iris, along with the “face” of their agency, Matt, may grow into individuals we enjoy although in this first book they are somewhat ...more
Christina T
A decent first book in a new series with some of my favorite cozy tropes.

The Good: The whacky cast of characters were just delightful in this book, minus some of Iris's cantankerous scenes where she grated a bit. Their interactions were the highlight of this book. There were many passages I ended up highlighting in my kindle, even.

The mystery aspect took a long time to show up but it was a decent mystery in the end. I'm hoping as the series progresses the mysteries will be more prevalent in the
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
In this new series we are introduced to Poppy Harmon a retiree whose life changes overnight. When Poppy's husband dies and makes her a widow she is surprised to find out he also made her penniless. She knew he gambled a bit but hadn't realized that he lost all their money and put her in the poor house. With no real skills to speak of Poppy begins to devise a plan that is a step in helping her get back on her feet. You see Poppy loves crimes shows and in her prime she acted on one, how hard could ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozies
2.5 stars. The premise of the characters is good, but storyline gets muddled and characters begin to fall flat.
A sort of Jessica Fletcher meets Miss Julia. 60 something Poppy and her friends are cliches for cozy mysteries. Poppy, an 80's actress, is suddenly widowed and unsuspectingly penniless and homeless thanks to her gambling and philandering ( the wife is the last to know) husband.
Her friends, Iris and Violet, help her open a private detective agency in order to make a living.
The story
Cathy Daniel
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book and most characters (Iris was my favorite!) and laughed out loud several times BUT I positively hated the daughter and the plot twist at the end that was left hanging. I really should rate it lower but most of this book was so good so I'm only knocking one star off (being generous) ...more
Susanne Gulde
I really liked the start of this book but lost interest after the first few chapters. I just didn't like the characters all that much and felt it was a zany plot. Many others will probably like it with good reason, but it's just not my kind of book.
Poppy Harmon Investigates by Lee Hollis is the first novel in A Desert Flowers Mystery series. Poppy Harmon is shocked when she learns that her recently deceased husband, Chester gambled away all their money and left her deeply in debt. Poppy with the aid of her two friends, Iris Becker and Violet Hogan open The Desert Flowers Detective Agency. Unfortunately, people do not want to hire three mature women to solve their cases. That is when Poppy recruits her daughter’s actor boyfriend, Matt ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had originally taken this out of the library and was reading it on a few car trips, so I'm kind of guessing on the read date. I'm glad I got taken in by a brand new book at the library, because I wasn't sure if I would ever have paid much attention to this book. I knew I loved Lee Hollis' Hayley Powell series and I was definitely not disappointed with this book. I loved that Poppy was an older lady than the usual amateur sleuth and was determined to pull herself back up after finding out she ...more
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fluffy mystery that is light and thinking necessary.
E-book/Mystery: I requested this book from NetGalley because it was about a woman who has to hit the restart button at an older age. Poppy is 62 and has well-to-do friends, so it comes a little too easy in the beginning. At first I thought it was going to be like the old show Moonlighting and Poppy was going to start working in an already established PI firm. No, it's more like Remington Steele where the woman has to get a young actor to play the part of boss because no one wants to hire a over ...more
Susan Johnston
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Princess Fuzzypants here: We almost gave up on this book in the first chapter. Poppy’s husband has died suddenly and if she had known the things she discovers after his death, she might have killed him and got off on Justifiable Homicide. I mean it is a total downer. She finds out he has left her broke with huge debts and that is but the beginning. As a former actress who gave up her career 30 years ago, she has to start again as a lady of a certain age. In a world that dismisses women who have ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first clue I had that this was not going to be a good one is from the cover - how old do you think the lady in stilettos is? Hmm? Well, in the first chapter we find the main character, Poppy, is 62. I'm 62 -not wearing stilettos any time soon! The next clue is that her 2 best friends are Iris and Violet. Too cute. Alas, I paid no attention and ventured further anyway. I've read 400 page books in 1 day. It took me a week to slog through this. I kept hoping it would get better. For the first ...more
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I really did not expect to like it, but after reading it, I cannot wait to read (hopefully) more in the series.
The protagonist was absolutely delightful and with humor and some wonderful friends embarks on a new chapter in her life.
The whodunit was well written and had twists that kept me enthralled until the very end.
A good solid start to this new cozy series, and one that I highly recommend!
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
I love this writer and had high expectations but unfortunately this book fell flat and I was a bit disappointed.
Even if there're a lot funny moments, it took ages to get to the mystery part and it was slow.
There's a lot of potential but the books doesn't delivery and it's a sort of incomplete work.
I'll give a try to the next instalment to see things improved.
Unfortunately this one was not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC
RO G'ma
Poppy Harmon Investigates is the first book in Lee Hollis’ new A Desert Flowers Mystery series. This is a fun and humorous read, with some adult language. This whodunit is well plotted, with likable characters, and twists and turns that kept me guessing until the surprising reveal. I’m looking forward to reading more books in this delightful cozy mystery series.

As Poppy Harmon, a sixty-two year old former actress, sat in Edwin Pierce’s Palm Desert, California office, she was shocked when her
Keith Chawgo
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The novel ticks all the boxes of a domestic mystery thriller like a germaphobe cleans his house, ensure nothing is left untouched. This is pretty much how Hollis handles his novel but this is not a bad thing because Hollis does something that most writers of this genre miss and that is giving his story heart and emotions in abundance.

Reading like a pilot for a new series, the book sets all his characters up to give the reader a fully realised world in which they incorporate. You have the
Diane Hernandez
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Poppy Harmon Investigates Lee Hollis

Poppy Harmon Investigates is great fun for fans of madcap stories like those featuring Stephanie Plum and Serge Storms!

Poppy discovers soon after her husband’s death that he has gambled away their life saving and over-mortgaged the house. Poppy, a 62-year-old former C-level actress, must find some way to support herself. Her most famous television role as a private detective’s ditzy secretary makes her decide to open her own detective agency in her hometown of
Are you a fan of older sleuths? If you like Rita Lakin's Gladdy Gold mysteries or J.C. Eaton's Sophie Kimball ones, you might want to try Poppy Harmon Investigates by Lee Hollis.

When Poppy Harmon's fourth husband, Chester, dies, the retired actress is stunned to learn he left her penniless. She has no practical skills. Once, though, she did assist a private investigator turned screenwriter with some of his plot ideas. Maybe that qualifies her to be a PI?

Poppy gets her California license, and
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in the Desert Flower Mystery series. I am super glad I got in on this cozy series early! This book was such fun! I love all the characters, well Poppy's daughter is not my favorite, but perhaps in time. How wonderfully corny that Poppy's friends are Iris and Violet. Iris, the German with the feisty attitude and Violet is so sweet, but clever also. Matt, well Matt saves the day in more ways than one! I cannot wait for book two. What fun can these amazing ladies who are such ...more
D.L. Morrese
Poppy Harmon's husband dies leaving her with unexpected debts and no substantial income. What can an ex-movie actress do? Well, start a detective agency, of course. After all, she once played a secretary for one on film. This is a fun, cozy mystery featuring (refreshingly) a bunch of older and almost painfully average people. It's a fun, light read.
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Lee Hollis is the pen name for Rick Copp and his sister Holly Simason.

Other books in the series

A Desert Flowers Mystery (2 books)
  • Poppy Harmon and the Hung Jury (A Desert Flowers Mystery #2)