Cover image for She smiled sweetly : a Poppy Rice mystery
She smiled sweetly : a Poppy Rice mystery
Smith, Mary-Ann Tirone, 1944-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : H. Holt, [2004]

Physical Description:
275 pages ; 25 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

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The intrepid Poppy Rice is back with not one but two cases, separated by thirty years but connected by DNA When the body of a young pregnant woman washes ashore on a stretch of barren beach at Boston Harbor, homicide detective Rocky Patel writes to FBI agent Poppy Rice for help in identifying the Jane Doe. The crime lab comes up empty, but a year and a half later an anonymous tip to the Boston PD reveals the woman to be the wayward daughter of a prominent Irish American political family. In a separate case, more than thirty years earlier, a pregnant woman's corpse had been discovered on the Irish island of Inishmore. A group of women secretly buried the body but saved a lock of the dead girl's hair, which is just now passed along to Poppy. She agrees to set up a DNA test, which soon confirms her gut feeling that the two drownings are somehow linked-and that foul play is involved. Teaming up with the inimitable Rocky, Poppy sets out in search of truth and justice and instead finds herself snared in a web of political deceit, family intrigue, and out-and-out bad guys. As always, she rises to the occasion.

Author Notes

Mary Ann Tirone-Smith is the author of two other Poppy Rice mysteries, Love Her Madly and She's Not There . She has lived all her life in Connecticut, except for the two years she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The body of a pregnant young woman is found in brackish water on a beach near Boston Harbor. FBI agent Poppy Rice, a crime lab specialist, is assigned to help identify the victim. At roughly the same time, an Irish emigre firefighter (and one of Rice's former love interests) pleads with Rice to run DNA testing on a strand of hair from another pregnant young woman, but this victim was found off the coast of Ireland 30 years earlier. DNA testing must be performed in the U.S. since Ireland bans the recovery of DNA from a corpse. This third mystery starring Agent Poppie Rice is especially strong on delivering fascinating crime lab expertise in a nonintrusive, nonshowy way. Agent Rice, a deft mix of careful scientist and daring speculator, connects the two cases to an intrigue that reaches back three decades. A well-constructed puzzle. --Connie Fletcher Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Blend literary brilliance with outstanding mystery writing, stir in a bit of political intrigue and you get a surefire winner, Smith's third book to feature D.C.-based FBI agent Poppy Rice (after 2003's She's Not There). Poppy agrees to help a friend's mom find closure in the case of the death of a pregnant woman in her native Ireland during the 1970s, but before you can say "Erin go bragh," the body of another pregnant young woman with an Irish link washes up on a beach in Boston Harbor. Police detective and Hindu/Catholic Rocky Patel heads the Beantown investigation of the American victim, and his coolness and wisdom complement Poppy's no-nonsense professionalism. When the corpse gets a name, her family ties prove to be political powerhouses-including connections clear to the White House-and one relative appears to be dirty in more ways than one. Was the dead woman this family's bad seed, or contaminated by someone truly evil? Her sister pronounces the latter, and in doing so, reveals a cancer that has spread far beyond the cells of her own family. In a plot that takes Poppy's crime fighters on a desperate chase across the country and beyond, the action concludes in a heart-hammering climax. Smith shines in this superb whodunit. Agent, Molly Friedrich at Aaron Priest Literary Agency. (June 3) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved