CBR15 Bingo: Guide (it’s right there in the title)
Official book description, because I’m still reviewing books I read in JULY):
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?
While I’m no longer able to read a lot of mystery, because it know either squicks me out or just plain upsets me, I am still fond of historical mysteries with lady sleuths. The first book about the plucky Saffron Everleigh is set in the 1920s, a lovely change of time period from the Victorian-set mysteries I tend to default to. This means that our heroine is slightly less constrained than her Victorian counterparts, but she is still a woman working in a wholly male-dominated environment so mustn’t try to advance too far, no matter how clever and capable she may be.
Saffron’s father was a famous botanist and Dr. Maxwell, her mentor, was one of his close friends. So he treats Saffron kindly and fairly, and she’s determined that he not go to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Unfortunately, there were a lot of people at the party and a large majority of them would have access to the same greenhouses where the police suspect the poison was grown, so Saffron’s search is not an easy one. She also has to try to conduct her investigations without arousing the suspicion of the real murderer or aggravating the police who are actually on the case.
The rest is on my blog.
Bingo #2: Hold Steady (Never Been Kissed), On the Road (the Monk and Robot novellas, North America (Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, Guide (this), Nostalgia (Men at Arms/Feet of Clay)
Bingo #3: In the Wild (Magic Claims), Violence (Nettle & Bone), Guide (this), Asia/Oceania (The Dragon and the Pearl), Edibles (Arsenic and Adobo)