Title: A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons
Author(s): Kate Khavari
Would I Recommend it? Yes!
It’s a race against the clock to find who the true criminal is or else your mentor professor ends up behind bars. This is no faint task as we are dealing with poisons, which thankfully you are knowledgeable about. But will that be enough?
Saffron Everleigh works with Dr. Maxwell at the University College of London in the botany department. As the two attend a dinner party, an unexpected crime occurs. A fellow professor’s wife is unexpectedly poisoned and in a coma. The police immediately put Dr. Maxwell into custody. While Saffron knows that Dr. Maxwell could never do this, everyone else is preoccupied with the university’s upcoming expedition to the Amazon. Saffron will have to navigate all these obstacles, plus being a women in the 1920’s. With the help of Alexander Ashton (a fellow researcher) the two have their handful while attempting to find the culprit.
Content Warning: Poisoning, mentions of sexual assault, some violence, mention of war, off-page death of parent in war.
Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.
Before I get into the story review, can we please talk about this cover! Immediately when I saw this book I was attracted to the cover. The colors are vibrant and classy. Once I read the book it matched the vibe of the mystery and Saffron as a character. I would 100% want this book on my shelf.
Once I started this book I had a hard time stopping. I thoroughly enjoy a good historical fiction, but when you add in the mystery side of things its a new dynamic that keeps things interesting. Saffron is a character who is well advanced for her time. She sees the struggles of being a women in academia and society, but that does not stop her from finding out the truth. She is determined no matter what happens.
While she is partnered with Alexander Ashton for this story, she is still the primary lead and the attraction the two characters have does not take away from the story. I was following along with their mystery and attempting to figure out who could have poisoned Mrs. Henry. I did not see the criminal coming which allowed me to stay engaged in the mystery.
The one thing about writing reviews for mystery books is to make sure to not reveal too much that will spoil the mystery. I guess the main notable points that I would mention is that the characters are developed well, but I feel like there are parts of the story missing (specifically from Alexander’s perspective). Saffron introduces the world of women in the 1920s and in academia, and it is done well. I was far more intrigued by the ideas of poisons then I should have comfortably been. Lastly, that cover is something I have a hard time forgetting.
I now wonder what the next mystery will look like for Saffron and if Alexander will be involved after that ending?
Do I think this is a good book?
Absolutely! I wish that there were more books in the series ready to go, I would have immediately started the next one.
Would you classify this as a cozy mystery?
Uhh…I know that some people will classify historical mysteries as a cozy mystery, but I would say that this one can fall into the category of standard historical mystery.
Would I recommend this to anyone and everyone?
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and mysteries.