Monday, May 30, 2022

A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poisons by Kate Khavari

Saffron Everleigh is in a race against time to free her wrongly accused professor before he goes behind bars forever. Perfect for fans of Deanna Raybourn and Anna Lee Huber, Kate Khavari’s debut historical mystery is a fast-paced, fearless adventure.

London, 1923. Newly minted research assistant Saffron Everleigh attends a dinner party for the University College of London. While she expects to engage in conversations about the university's large expedition to the Amazon, she doesn’t expect Mrs. Henry, one of the professors’ wives to drop to the floor, poisoned by an unknown toxin.

Dr. Maxwell, Saffron’s mentor, is the main suspect, having had an explosive argument with Dr. Henry a few days prior. As evidence mounts against Dr. Maxwell and the expedition's departure draws nearer, Saffron realizes if she wants her mentor's name cleared, she’ll have to do it herself.

Joined by enigmatic Alexander Ashton, a fellow researcher, Saffron uses her knowledge of botany as she explores steamy greenhouses, dark gardens, and deadly poisons. Will she be able to uncover the truth or will her investigation land her on the murderer’s list?

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
published by Crooked Lane Books
Audiobook 8 hours, 13 minutes
published by Dreamscape
on June 7, 2022
3/5 stars

Set in 1923 this book is a combination cozy mystery and historical fiction. I was drawn to this book from the stunning cover.

I did a combination read and audiobook listen, thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for those arcs.

Saffron is a young woman who is determined, resourceful and at times a little foolish. Driven to clear the name of a mentor she impulsively does things that put her own life and others at risk.

It was a fun read and an entertaining listen. With an interesting cast of characters, some likeable some not so much. The mystery played out nicely with adventure, wit and risk. There was a satisfying ending as well. I am not sure if this is the beginning of a series or not but it does have the makings for one.

While there are some comparing this book to Deanna Raybourn‘s Veronica Speedwell Series I don’t think I would go that far.

My thanks to Crooked Lane Books and Dreamscape Media for advanced copies in exchange for a honest review.

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