A second outing for tiny Fish and Wildlife troubleshooter Venus Diamond (Rain Dance, 1996) sends her to a lovely salt-spray...

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BLUE POPPY

A second outing for tiny Fish and Wildlife troubleshooter Venus Diamond (Rain Dance, 1996) sends her to a lovely salt-spray meadow on the outskirts of Seattle. Jilted via e-mail in chapter one, Venus throws her engagement ring into the freezer and applies her know-how to the fatal shooting of a young scientist, an interloper found just yards from the leased poppy fields of a nearby perfumery (Blue Poppy, so exclusive a scent that Venus's movie-star mom wears it) with the scales of a thought-to-be extinct butterfly (the Dungeness Silverspot) still staining his fingers. In due course, Venus meets the media-slick Avalon brothers, busy choosing next year's Miss Blue Poppy, and the Budge sisters: haute couturiere and butterfly black-marketeer Mimi and drop-dead gorgeous Lily, still recovering from her infatuation with Mimi's fiancâ, the lepidopterist who did indeed drop dead. Then there's Cookie, Richard Avalon's jealous wife, and wealthy, elderly Aggie, who lives the natural life in a mountain shack (and dies an unnatural death). Before the close, two more will be dead--a temperamental model and a poisoned resort chef--and you'll meet a family of bears named Sunbeam, Berry, Roe, and Radio. There's some terrific social and environmental lore, plus a number of eye-catching characters, but Moody never slows down for more than a superficial scan of her crowded horizon. An author with a lot of potential, but she reads like Jackie Collins on a busy day.

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 1997

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 256

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1997