A Botanists Guide to Parties and Poisons – ARC Book Review

Title:- A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons

Author:- Kate Khavari

Date publisheD:- will be published on 7th June 2022

Publisher:- Crooked Lane Publishing

No. of pages:- 304 pages

Genre:- Historical Fiction/ Thriller


Debut author Kate Khavari deftly entwines a pulse-pounding mystery with the struggles of a woman in a male-dominated field in 1923 London.

Newly minted research assistant Saffron Everleigh is determined to blaze a new trail at the University College London, but with her colleagues’ beliefs about women’s academic inabilities and not so subtle hints that her deceased father’s reputation paved her way into the botany department, she feels stymied at every turn.
When she attends a dinner party for the school, she expects to engage in conversations about the university’s large expedition to the Amazon. What she doesn’t expect is for 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 and evidence quickly mounts. Joined by fellow researcher–and potential romantic interest–Alexander Ashton, Saffron uses her knowledge of botany as she explores steamy greenhouses, dark gardens, and deadly poisons to clear Maxwell’s name.
Will she be able to uncover the truth or will her investigation land her on the murderer’s list, in this entertaining examination of society’s expectations.

This is a historical fiction with a dash of thriller in it. Set in 1920’s, Saffron Everleigh attends a party organized by the botany department at the university. While attending the party, one of the attendees, Mrs. Henry, who is the wife of a professor Dr. Henry, collapses on the floor. It was soon found out that Mrs. Henry was poisoned and that the main suspect was Dr. Maxwell who few days before the dinner party had an argument with Dr. Henry and the plant was used to poison Mrs. Henry was found in Dr. Maxwell’s department. Saffron is determined to prove that her mentor was innocent and she along with Alexander must find who the real person was before it was too late.

I think as a debut, this was good. The unique thing about the book was it was set in 1923 There were some parts which was boring but then I do like how Saffron and Alexander worked together to solve the mystery. I also like how Saffron had to struggle with being in the male dominated world which was realistic as this book was set in that era. It was not fast paced nor it had twists and turns but then it was actually enjoyable to read.

Overall, if you like a historical fiction with a thriller blend in it, then this book will be one for you. Honestly if this was a series, I cannot wait what Saffron Everleigh has in store! Worth 4 stars

Many thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Kate Khavari is the author of fiction ranging from historical mysteries to high fantasy epics. She has her parents to thank for her fascination for historical mysteries, as she spent the majority of her childhood memorizing Sherlock Holmes’s and Poirot’s greatest quips. A former teacher, Kate has a deep appreciation for research and creativity, not to mention the multitasking ability she now relies on as an author and stay at home mother to her toddler son. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas with her husband, son, and a lovely garden that contains absolutely no poisonous plants.

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