In a city of fast cars and movie stars, these folks are crazy about cacti. Until a killer joins the club . . .
Joe Portugal likes people. But he likes plants better. That's why the former theater actor turned small-time L.A. commercial star is a prominent member of the Culver City Cactus Club. Unfortunately, so is a killer.
The club's president is dead--a poison succulent lodged into her mouth. With a father who knows a thing or two about murder, and police breathing down his neck, Joe can recognize a jam when he sees one. But when he begins searching through a colorful cast of plant lovers, plant dealers, and even international plant smugglers, he doesn't find the answers he needs. Meanwhile, the killer has struck again, working his way through the Cactus Club with a garden variety motive--and a very green thumb--for murder. . . .
Includes The Joe Portugal Guide to Botanical Nomenclature
TV commercial actor and plant aficionado Joe Portugal, having discovered the mutilated body of his close friend and fellow Culver City Cactus Club member Brenda Belinski, decides to test his mettle as an amateur sleuth. Assisted by his best friend, interior designer and computer whiz Gina Vela, Portugal begins interviewing a long list of suspected killers, including Brenda's hot-tempered ex, an international plant smuggler and a lovesick wanna-be botanist--all of whom demonstrate debut novelist Walpow's penchant for eccentric characters. When another member of the CCCC turns up dead under equally bizarre circumstances, Portugal fears he may be next on the list. Soon he is fending off a well-dressed Italian, hired by his ex-con father, who's been blatantly tailing him; questions from overworked police officers; and an attack exploiting his terror of wasps. While some readers may tire of the author's gimmicky, if initially amusing, indulgence in weirdness, Walpow keeps the unlikely assassin effectively under wraps until the end.
I really enjoyed this book! I would just skim past the names of the cactus. It held my interest. There were a fair number of typos. I'm not a spelling/grammar geek by any means and I spotted them. Kind of strange.