cover image Poppy Harmon and the Backstabbing Bachelor

Poppy Harmon and the Backstabbing Bachelor

Lee Hollis. Kensington, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4967-3040-4

The stalking begins in Hollis’s rollicking fourth Desert Flowers mystery (after 2021’s Poppy Harmon and the Pillow Talk Killer) soon after PI Poppy Harmon, posing as an elderly widow, catches a trio of thieves preying on the most vulnerable residents of Palm Springs, Calif. Poppy’s stalker, who creepily whistles “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” as he attempts to terrify her, succeeds in causing a fatal car accident. However, he mistook the detective’s neighbor for Poppy, and it’s Poppy who’s reported killed. Since Poppy was a star of the 1980s hit TV series Jack Colt, PI, her death makes the news. To catch the killer—who’s possibly a bachelor on an upcoming reality TV show—Poppy’s front man, Matt Flowers, joins the show as a bachelor eager to find love, with Poppy disguised as his aunt. Is the killer the astronaut, the Nascar driver, the rugged cowboy, or the “royal” with a Liverpool accent? Hijinks on the drama-filled set lead to heartbreak and murder as the clever plot with its cast of eccentrics builds to a surprise ending. Cozy lovers new to Poppy Harmon will want to check out earlier series entries. (May)