A Corpse for Yew – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
As you read the excerpt below, picture a group of elderly ladies, all members of the Shamrock Historical Society due to their ancestors and proud of it. Picture these ladies standing in the middle of a cow pasture as they search for a grave that has been long forgotten. And now listen as they reminisce about another outing that took them in search of a grave from the past.
“It doesn’t really matter,” Geneva said. We’re within our legal rights to visit the grave since Mrs.. Waynewright is a direct descendant. MCWhirter can’t keep us away.”
Dorothy grimaced. “Remember that time we had to sneak into that abandoned cemetery out by Salisbury? Those terrible dogs! I’m not sure what w would’ve done if Mr. Hawkins hadn’t been with us. He took that bite like a man.”
“After that, the dogs seemed fine with us being there.” Annabelle shrugged.
“But poor Mr. Hawkins had to have rabies shots. He was such a gentleman about it.”
Peggy is the owner of a garden shop called the Potting Shed located in Center City, Charlotte. She’s also a part-time forensic botanist for the Charlotte Police Department. When her mother, Lilla, talks her into joining the Shamrock Historical Society and their quest to rescue bones that have been buried under Lake Whitley for years, she didn’t expect to discover the body of one of the Society’s own members, Lois Mullis, who also turns out to be the Aunt of the Police Chief. Was it accidental or murder? The Chief believes it was an accident. The members of the Shamrock Historical Society believe it was murder and they put their faith in Peggy to prove them right and to find the killer.
A Corpse for Yew is a book of humor and mystery, as well as a book that spiked my interest in plants. Joyce and Jim Lavene provide a description of the plants as they are introduced into each chapter, giving you a little history of the plant’s origin and it’s uses. As they introduced each member of the Shamrock Historical Society, I found myself picturing each lady perfectly. When I put the mental pictures of these ladies together to form the full group, I could see their every move as they persuaded Peggy to help them find the killer of their friend. And with my living in Charlotte, NC, I knew almost every location visited by Peggy and her group of ladies.
A Corpse for You is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in some time. It became a real mystery as I tried to decide who would want to harm the late Mrs. Mullis. But with it’s humor, it was a very relaxing book to read.
When Fates Collide
The title not only fits the story but the way it begins too. There have been many pairs of outlaws that have teamed up. Batman and Robin. But, none of these pairs can compare to the zany and seriously wacky who teams up with a receptionist working in corporate America to hunt and bring back and track down a jumper who has eluded the law and will stop at nothing to get their man., Thelma and Louise and of course
Meet Hope: Sitting innocently having a drink in her usual hangout the Crypt feeling sorry for herself and saying that she has no life and nothing ever happens to her of any consequence. Maybe she should have been thankful for that. All too often when we complain and wish for more or some changes in our lives we might get our wish but not exactly in the way we might have liked. Hope lives in Tampa and thought that she would be there for the rest of her live doing her everyday and mundane job and just going through the motions. But, then she meets Alex. No, she does not just come up to her and say, “Hi, you wanna be friends or BFF’s.” That would be boring and not make this great story what it is funny, comical and extremely creative for first time paired authors Yvonne Mason and.
Alex is a bounty hunter who is looking for someone named Hope Harrington, who you would assume is a woman or a young girl. But, you know what happens when you assume. I don’t have to explain that to you. Well, she goes into this bar the Crypt thinking that she now has her man and will earn the bounty or the money for bringing him in. Walking into the bar with the guys jacket or rap sheet she sees what she thinks is her jumper and proceeds to execute the arrest and telling the suspect not to even think about trying to get away. Of course I am using different words for this review. Spinning her around she slammed her onto the floor and what came out of Hope’s mouth cannot be written but you can just imagine what you would say if it were you getting slammed dunked. After realizing that she had found Hope Harrington but not the one she was looking for the two decided to get to know each other and team up to find the real suspect.
The guy that they were really looking could change his appearance at the drop of a hat and was out to make Alex look bad to her boss and to herself too. But, Alex is a force to be reckoned with and timid and not so forceful Hope is about to learn the ropes and learn a whole new meaning of not so boring life or job.
After losing the suspect twice they decide they try to figure out his next move. Alex feels that he might try and steal a boat and head for the Florida Keys. How she manages to lose the suspect you will have to read for yourself. With the help of a friend named Tyrell, Alex and Hope take off for the Keys and what happens is hysterical and yet creative that you would think this was an episode of America’s creative and funniest videos or the new and improved Unsolved Crimes solved in a very unique and different way.
With all of the boats at the dock and many there for Gay Pride week it was easy to lose the suspect in such a big crowd. But they would not give up and Alex would not lose the bounty and her time was short and she needed to find this guy and fast. There was a festival in St. Duvall and Alex thought that since this guy was a master of disguise he might be hiding in plain sight and of course looking anything but like himself. Splitting up and searching for this guy Tyrell gets a lead and relates the suspects true appearance to Alex. How they finally get him will make you double over and yet show pure admiration for our girl Hope and her clever mentor Alex. How far would you go as a law enforcement officer to get your man? Would you have yourself body painted as a nun in order to hide your true identity? Would you have yourself body painted as a zombie to create a diversion and not allow yourself to be noticed? Would you come up with a clever way to make these disguises work for you and against the suspect who is not only full of himself and loves attention but has his body painted too. I won’t tell you as what because that might give too much away.
Hope is quite smart and she comes up with a way to not only help Alex foil this guy but help others too. There is a contest for the best costume being held on. She convinces the people in charge of the contest to add a new twist to it: They were going to sell off the contestants to the highest bidder. Yes: there own contest and whomever gets the most bids during the contest, as in who wants to own that person the most, as the authors state, will go out on a date with the lucky winner. The proceeds will go to a children’s charity fund.
What happens during the contest and how they finally get him will not only give up pause for thought about how dangerous the job of a bounty hunter really is, but also how creative and cunning you have to be. Just when Alex apprehends the suspect as he comes on stage another twist and turn occurs and she needs the help of her Uncle Max a higher up in law enforcement to help complete the takedown of this man. The rest and the outcome you will have to read for yourself. The friendship between these two gets as tight as the handcuffs on a criminal and they decide they make a good team. Will Hope chuck her job in corporate America for a life of danger, the unknown, sleepless nights, travel and not many amenities, or will she decide to go back and complain about having no life and being bored? Will Alex entice her to take a step on the wild side and be her partner? You will have to wait and see. I can feel a sequel coming on and I know that you the reader will want to see what trouble these two will get into next.
Five stars would not be the right things for this book: Five Bounty Hunters and Five Gift Cards for Body Painting by Mr. Van Goth.
Fran Lewis: reviewer