Berkley, May 2005, 6.50, 272 pp.
Peggy Lee, who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a widow and a botanist who teaches part time at Queens College and owns the Potting Shed. One fall day her bicycle bumps into her neighbor, Steve's car, Saturn Vue, she adopts a dog the size of a small horse and she finds the body of a dead man in the warehouse space in the back of her store. His head was bashed in by a shovel and when the police are called, another shop owner tells them about the homeless man who hangs around the mall.
Peggy has befriended the man, giving him food and money and doesn't think he could have killed anyone. When the homeless man Mr. Cleever is arrested they find the victim's wallet and shoes in his possession. One of Peggy's clerks, Keely Prinz was having an affair with the victim who was a married man. She was pregnant with his child and also had a motive to kill him. If Peggy finds evidence that will free Mr. Cleever, suspicion will fall on Keely. Peggy with the help of Steve who makes his interest in her plain, decades to investigate so that both suspects will be cleared of all suspicions.
Peggy proves life can be rich and rewarding after fifty and the beginning of a romance with a sexy younger man adds an extra ingredient to a charming story.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner