Lethal LilyI’m Sofia Balducci, half owner of the Kozy Kettle Tea and Coffee Emporium. My husband, Emil, and I run the shop which is across from Peggy Lee’s garden shop in Brevard Court.

Peggy Lee is always looking for trouble! How many times have Emil and I offered to help her find a real man who could help her out of the tight scrapes she gets into? She turns her nose up and walks off with that crazy husband of hers. He’s as much good as a bicycle in a snowstorm!

Where we come from, women are protected by their family. They don’t go out in the middle of the night with strange men who could rape and strangle them – God forbid! The stories I could tell you about Peggy. They would curl your eyebrows!

Peggy is a good woman – like my own grandmother who raised three sets of children and buried five husbands. My grandmother could plow the land and put a new roof on the house by herself. But even she wouldn’t try some of the stunts that Peggy has.

I say this with all the love in my heart – Peggy is crazy! She should tend her garden, and get a smaller dog. That dog of hers is a small horse. My cousin, Jacopo, had a horse smaller than that brute. He probably ate less too.

Don’t get me started on the two kids Peggy has working with her at the garden shop. Best to leave that alone. If she had a good man, like my Emil, she wouldn’t need them and their silly stunts.

But if you should pay Peggy a visit at The Potting Shed in Charlotte, North Carolina – be sure to pay Emil and me a call too. We bake our cookies fresh each day, and everyone loves our coffee. Come to us for food. Don’t eat any of the plants that Peggy sells. She knows about poisons, God help her.

You can read more about Peggy in Lethal Lily, the 7th book in the “Peggy Lee Garden” mystery series, published by Joyce and Jim Lavene. The first book in the series is Pretty Poison. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on July 1, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of LETHAL LILY. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
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. Visit them at joyceandjimlavene.com or peggyleegardenmysteries.com.

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