||Nov 3, 2005
***TV/Movie Rights Optioned*** The DAFFODILS are back and so are dead bodies, taser guns, mob bosses, and quirky lovers. Amidst unrelenting hurricanes, Ruthie, Leigh, and Penny Sue fight hot flashes, hot metal, cold stiffs, friendly spirits, and gun toting senior citizens. Ruthie consults her spirit guides, Penny Sue uses her anti-terrorist training, and Leigh tries good old common sense to stay one step ahead of the local law, hired guns and Mother Nature.
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Leigh, Ruthie and Penny Sue reunited in New Smyrna Beach for the third time; are preparing to give depositions in the trial of the drug smugglers they routed in the first Daffodils (Divorced and Finally Free of Deceitful Licentious Scum®) mystery - The Turtle Mound Murders.
Aging hippie and neighbor Guthrie (Fred) Fribble shows up on their doorstep, brimming with local gossip and news. It seems that another, rather elderly neighbor, known as Nana, is in the hospital after a home invasion robbery scared her into a heart attack. He also notifies them that there's a Category 3 hurricane potentially heading towards Florida. The ladies quickly make preparations to weather proof the condo. Later Guthrie returns sporting a frozen chicken atop the Ace bandage on his knee to beg for shelter and company during the storm. "Publix ran out of ice" he says to explain the poultry. He injured his knee when he heard a strange noise outside his condo and fell while attempting to investigate. Further investigation links the strange noises with other odd events, including Nana's heart attack and several deaths. Coincidence? Or is someone out to silence the Daffodils?
To perk up their spirits, the Daffodils and friend Chris agree to participate in a charity racing event, that will raise money for less fortunate hurricane victims. This event has to be postponed when the second storm in as many days is announced to be bearing down on Florida. The ladies evacuate to a luxury hotel on higher ground. But there are strange men lurking around the hotel, so they have to plot a quick escape. Eventually they make it safely to race day only to find out that the other teams aren't all interested in just the racing...
The best so far of the Daffodils books. The author has really fleshed out her characters, and by the third book they are as familiar as old friends. Leigh's levelheadedness, Penny Sue's flirtatious nature and Ruthie's New Age slightly flaky spirituality make them the ideal team. The character interactions, the gentle teasing and feminine in-jokes add to their appeal and invite the reader to imagine themselves as part of the sisterhood. It will be interesting to see what predicament Mary Clay is going to put the Daffodils in next.
Will have the readers rolling in the aisles
Using her mother's name as a pseudonym may seem strange, but Linda Tuck-Jenkins, a/k/a Mary Clay, chose this route because her DAFFODILS murder mysteries series is a change of pace from her first book, STARPEOPLE: THE SIRIAN REDEMPTION. Although Tuck-Jenkins originally followed a career path in mathematics and economics, she never forgot her love of mysteries which began with Carolyn Keene's Nancy Drew mysteries. Although her mysteries feature divorced women, Tuck-Jenkins is a happily hitched woman.
Only Mary Clay could find humor in the recent Florida hurricanes. But when the DAFFODILS (Divorced and Finally Free of Deceitful Licentious Scum), Leigh, Ruthie, and Penny Sue are reunited and ensconced in Penny Sue's father's condo. Originally brought together to testify against mafia types described in the BIKE WEEK BLUES, the ladies seem to be a magnet for murder. True to form, a neighbor tumbles off his deck, but this is no accident. Penny Sue begins receiving anonymous roses, and the DAFFODILS meet an unlikely odd couple in the persons of Guthrie, a reformed hippie, and his hunky mate, Timothy:
"Timothy had changed into a tank top and running shorts. I had to admit the man was a fine specimen of humanity. Penny Sue obviously agreed, since she was swigging wine with her eyes fixed on his muscular thighs. Considering the oppressive heat - the heat index had to be 103̊--I was Afraid she might burst into flames."
Mary Clay has done it again! She has produced a hilarious pre-menopausal combination of divorced women who band together in thick and thin. The combination of Leigh's level-headedness, Penny Sue's sashays and wine guzzling, with Ruthie's forays into the New Age spirit world is enough to brighten any reader's day. The women splash money and daffodil symbols around to raise funds for hurricane relief and climb into race cars to gain national attention, all the while protecting themselves from Russian and Italian mafia. Clay's own particular brand of the psychology of human nature reflected in the DAFFODILS will have the readers rolling in the aisles. A triumph!
Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
" a delightfully funny crime caper that will have readers laughing out loud [and] will win the author many new fans." --Harriet Klausner, The Readers Guild, Amazon #1 Reviewer
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