Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Blog Tour - Killing Weeds by Joyce and Jim Lavene

I'm so thrilled to have this lovely couple here today. Jim and Joyce Lavene are wonderful people and amazing authors. I met them last year at Malice and so glad I got that chance. They are so warm and welcoming and delightful. They have a new Peggy Lee Garden Mystery book out Killing Weeds and it fantastic.
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Killing Weeds
by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Killing Weeds front onlyKilling Weeds (A Peggy Lee Garden Mystery Book 8)
File Size: 348 KB
Print Length: 235 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (May 5, 2015)

It’s spring in Charlotte, North Carolina, home of forensic botanist and garden shop owner, Peggy Lee. This spring has been beautiful, as always, with flowering trees and blue skies.
But a killer is on the loose, and seems determined to destroy everyone and everything she cares about.
When her garden shop, the Potting Shed, is brutally vandalized, Peggy doesn’t realize that it is only the beginning. Her son, Paul, who has been moonlighting as a private detective to investigate the death of his father, John Lee, is suspected of murder when a mink coat lined with poison kills the woman who is wearing it.
Peggy identifies the particularly virile blend of botanical poisons in the coat. Unfortunately, her work as a specialist with plant poisons makes Paul even more interesting to the police. When attacks against her and her family continue, Peggy must go back through her years of sleuthing to finger the person responsible . . . before it’s too late.

My review:

Peggy receives an early morning call that sends her rushing off to the flower shop and what she finds there sends this fast paced action packed story on a whirl wind of fun and excitement.  When her shop gets vandalized and a woman is found dead wearing a mink coat. The cast of characters and the story line will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Follow Peggy as she tries to find out who the killer before it is to late. I loved this book and am waiting for the fun adventure that Peggy will get into next.

Guest Post:
How We Write a Peggy Lee Garden Mystery
By Joyce and Jim Lavene
Like all mysteries, the heart of the story is in its characters.
Peggy Lee is our main character in Killing Weeds. She’s a woman in her fifties who runs a garden shop, The Potting Shed, and also helps out on occasional police investigations where her specialty is needed. She has always enjoyed forensic botany, even though she doesn’t like the gore at a crime scene. She enjoys helping people find out what happened to their loved ones.
She has a small but devoted family and plenty of friends. She was a widow but is now re-married. Peggy has a mostly normal life.
Writing a mystery always starts this way. But with Peggy Lee, we have to do research to find out what the best botanical poison is to kill someone. We have to think beyond the usual poisons – arsenic, hemlock, or digitalis - those are too simple for the police. The poison has to be difficult to trace. It has to be something subtle and dangerous.
We work with a botanist to help us come up with a poison that matches our scenario. Our botanist has also worked as a contract forensic botanist, as Peggy does in our stories. He’s a big help setting the scenes for us.
But we have to understand how the poison works, too, so we know how to use it. We do more in-depth research once we have a meeting with our real-life botanist. Peggy’s head is stuffed full of information by the time we’re done – and so is ours!
The research is interesting, and sometimes terrifying. There is almost no poison we’ve used that hasn’t been used before. People think of terrible things to do to each other. Like Peggy Lee, we are always worried that someone
might read a book we write and try out our poison.
Even with the coziest mystery, there is research that goes into creating a character, police work done around the death, and the ways and means of it. Writers want to make things interesting and intriguing for their readers – without giving the plot away!


About The Authors
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
Purchase Link


  1. Thanks for having us here today, Shelley!

  2. I noticed the 10th Anniversary emblem on the cover--congrats to J & J on the new release and milestone!

    1. Thanks! We've been writing Peggy Lee for ten years, since 2005! Very proud to have been her friend for so long!

  3. This series is great. I can't wait to read this one

  4. This series is my favorite one of yours and the first I ever read. Anything related to toxicology has always fascinated me so I learned a lot. No one is dead, don't worry. :)

    1. The first time we heard of forensic botany we were hooked. it has been fascinating learning about it.

  5. I absolutely loved this book! Your research really showed through out the book! You are an incredible writing team! I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

  6. I am reading the food truck series and am just starting this one!!! Love these BOOKS!!!!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you like the food truck books too!

  7. You just know this is going to be another stellar entry into this series!

    Kathleen Bylsma h5apby@yahoo.com

    1. Thanks Kathleen! We appreciate you stopping by!

  8. Congratulations, Joyce and Jim! I love this series!

  9. I get excited anytime these two have a new book out!


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