Book Review: A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons

Goodreads Summary:

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?

My Thoughts:

Saffron Everleigh is the first female research assistant at University College in London, following in her professor father’s footsteps. She is very focused on her work and greatly admires Dr. Maxwell, a professor and mentor. When is accused of murder, she resolves to clear his name and free him – no matter what she needs to do, including her own research on the deadly plant that is believed to have been the deadly poison and murder weapon.

I love reading books set in academia and universities, I love plants and steamy greenhouses, I love parties, and well, murder mysteries. So this book was pretty perfect for me!

I really enjoyed Saffron as a character! She was smart, quirky, brave, determined, and stubborn. She knew that in her position she needed to work hard just to be taken seriously, and did her best to put up with the sexism and sexual harassment she encountered. She had earned a “bad reputation” thanks to one influential staff member, but persevered on, holding her head up high.

Then, Alexander Ashton enters her world. He is a veteran with PTSD, and works at the university as well, but in the field of bacteria (not as fun as botany in my opinion). He is also very handsome, and very charming – and genuinely a good man. Things start to heat up between these two, and I have to admit I started reading this book more for the romance than the mystery, which became secondary to me. I just really liked these two characters and their interactions.

That ending though! How could Khavari leave us like that?! I guess probably to keep us reading the series, which I am definitely going to do! I am looking forward to the next in the series, A Botanist’s Guide to Flowers and Fatality – even though I do have to wait a very long time!


11 thoughts on “Book Review: A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons

  1. Pingback: My Sunday-Monday Post – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

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