An orphaned girl is caught in a clash of religious cultures.
Martha Rose is an observant Jewish woman with a close circle of friends, a passion for quilting, and a surprising amount of experience with detective work through her fiance, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent Yossi Levy, and her son-in-law, LAPD detective Noah Kaplan (Knot My Sister’s Keeper, 2018, etc.). When Marigold Poppy Sarah Halaby comes to her door to inform her that Martha’s neighbor Sonia Spiegelman, Poppy’s new foster mother, won’t wake up, her visit launches Martha on a complicated and dangerous mission. Sonia recovers from her diabetic coma, but because Poppy’s social worker fears she may be unable to care for Poppy, Martha steps in to help. She learns that Poppy’s parents, Rachel and Ali Halaby, were murdered, with Poppy a possible witness. Both Rachel’s Orthodox Jewish family and Ali’s Muslim family disowned the couple and refused to take in Poppy when they were killed. Her parents had agreed to raise the precocious Poppy as Jewish but teach her about her Muslim heritage. Martha’s wealthy half sister, Giselle, offers to pay for a bodyguard for Poppy, but when they learn that Poppy’s father was an undercover agent for the FBI and his killer may plan to return, Yossi gets ATF agent Hector Fuentes to take the job. Determined to find family members who’ll accept Poppy, Martha tracks down the Katzenozen family and discovers that Rachel’s sister, Leah, lives in New York. Leah, who’s been trying to get her stubborn grandfather to let her adopt Poppy, agrees to meet them secretly but backs off once Martha reveals the danger she’s in. Martha approaches the Halabys through the family lawyer, but Marwan Halaby stubbornly resists even though her grandmother is anxious to meet Poppy. Fed up with the self-righteous families mired in distrust, Martha knows she must find the killer if she ever wants to see Poppy settled in a loving home.
A fine combination of detective work and religious bickering presented with wit and style.