Title: A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons
Author: Kate Khavari
Publication: June 7, 2022
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
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?
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
I honestly don’t know what drew me to this book while I was browsing NetGalley one day. Perhaps it was the title or the description, however, it could have been the cover. It was a beautiful cover with a glass jar and flowers. If I had to guess it was a mixture of all three. I couldn’t wait to start this book, however, family emergencies popped up and I had to bump this book so I could deal with those. When I actually got started with the book I didn’t wait to stop reading it.
Saffron is an oddity. She is a woman working in a man’s world. She is a research assistant in the Botany Department at a university. She is struggling to find footing. That all changes when the Professor she works under gets arrested for attempted murder that she witness while at a party. Her life gets topsy turvy from here on out. I really loved this book. Although, one thing that really bothered me the entire book is that they call her Saffron the entire book. Not once did the shorten it to Saffie or Saf. They didn’t have to but that just seems like the natural way that one would go especially as she starts a slightly flirty turned romantic relationship with the male character. I did really enjoy this book, I just felt that was odd. It reminded me of a Agatha Christie mystery with a cozy mystery twist with a clean romantic edge to it.
I loved the twists at the end with the two bad guys. I guess I didn’t even have the one guy even on my radar. He was just kind of there. I enjoyed the banter that the two main characters had. They did have me giggling and I was so happy when the author actually gave them a chance romantically. I appreciated the fact that Saffron had a best friend that knew something was amiss even when she only was missing for a few hours at the time of her reporting it to the police. I hoping with the way the story ended that we will get a sequel. I have questions that need to be answered at the end of all this!!!