Nature. Nurture. Murder.
L.A. actor Joe Portugal just wants to keep the mealybugs off his cacti, give a little boost to his love life, and maybe make a few commercials along the way. And with a small acting role nailed down, Joe has every reason to mind his own business. But he doesn't. That's because a man who loved orchids has been found dead. And so has a woman who asked for Joe's help.
Never one to walk away from a challenge, Joe is plunging into a world unlike any he's seen before--the frenetic, highly competitive world of the orchid enthusiast. And suddenly Joe Portugal--actor, cactus lover, reluctant sleuth--is discovering that solving murder cases among the flora, fauna, and fanatics who thrive in L.A. isn't just a hobby, it's his true calling...especially since a killer has already come calling on him....
Includes The Joe Portugal Guide to Orchids.
Walpow brings back Joe Portugal of The Cactus Club Killings to unravel the mystery behind the sudden death of Albert, an orchid grower in Los Angeles. Portugal, more of a succulent plant enthusiast, rarely mingles with orchid growers but happens to attend the spring social of the Palisades Orchid Society, where he meets the accused, Laura, whom he fondly remembers from his past. Attracted to the thrill of playing detective--and to Laura--he assumes the role of investigator, enlisting the help of his best friend, Gina. This time around, Walpow ups the ante, tossing more bodies in the protagonist's way; soon Portugal is wondering whether he's too involved for his own good. Despite the predictable romance between Gina and Portugal and the lackluster horticulture details, Walpow's quirky cast of characters enlivens a satisfying mystery.