Joyce and Jim Lavene. A Corpse for Yew. New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2009.

Botanist and garden shop owner Peggy Lee is having a bad time of it.  The worst drought in North Carolina history has killed the business at Peggy’s shop, The Potting Shed, and Peggy’s parents have moved to Charlotte, forcing Peggy to hide boyfriend Steve’s live-in status.  Because business is so slow, Peggy agrees to go with her mother on an artifact dig.  Instead of finding old pottery shards and bones, they uncover a fresh corpse. The “dead geriatric socialite” (the indelicate words of the first policeman on the scene) is one of the most esteemed members of the Shamrock Historical Society–and the aunt of the police chief.  The ladies want to know what’s happened, and so does the Charlotte power structure. When it appears that the victim died from ingesting yew berries, Peggy knows she has to get involved.  The book includes tips for successful gardening when water is in short supply.

This is the fifth novel in the Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries series.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Lavene, Jim and Joyce, Mecklenburg, Mystery, Novels in Series, Piedmont

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