Wednesday, January 9, 2019

#BookReview – “The Perfect Poison” by Amanda Quick

Blurb

Plagued by rumors that she poisoned her fiancé, Lucinda Bromley manages to live on the fringes of Victorian London's polite society, tending her beloved plants—and occasionally consulting on a murder investigation. For the notorious botanist possesses a unique talent: she can detect almost any type of poison, especially those that have their origins in the botanical kingdom.

But the death of a lord has shaken Lucinda to her core. At the murder scene, she picks up traces of a poison derived from a very rare species of fern. So rare, in fact, that only one specimen exists in all of England—and it was stolen from her conservatory just last month.

To keep her name out of the investigation and to find the murderer, Lucinda hires a fellow Arcane Society member. Caleb Jones runs a psychical investigation agency. A descendant of the founder of the Society, he is very good at protecting its secrets—and frighteningly good getting at the truth. Immediately, Lucinda senses both a raw power and undeniable intensity in the imposing man.

But as a nearly overwhelming desire blooms between Caleb and Lucinda, they are drawn into the dark heart of a deadly conspiracy that can be traced to the early days of the Arcane Society—and to a legacy of madness that could plunge Caleb into the depths of his own tortured soul…
 

Review

In this Arcane Society book, Lucinda Bromley’s reputation is absolutely ruined after she’s accused of poisoning her fiancé months earlier. She’s a highly-adept botanist who can feel and see the power of the plants around her, and she can sense the presence of any poison, especially if it’s plant-based. After one of her rare ferns is stolen and used as a poison to murder someone, she seeks help from Caleb Jones.
Caleb comes from the powerful Jones family. They trace their lineage back to Sylvester the Alchemist, the founder of the Arcane Society, and every member of the family for generations is known to have incredible psychical powers. Caleb, however, is cursed to fall into madness and take his own life. He fights the curse every day, but after meeting Lucinda, he realizes there’s more to life than solving puzzles and mysteries.
Lucinda is my favorite heroine from the series, so far. She’s a strong woman due to the terrible loss and ordeal she’s suffered, and if not for the fortune she’d inherited, she likely would’ve been homeless on the street.
Caleb is stubborn, obsessive over his work, and so dense at times you just want to slap him. He knows how to behave in the polite society, but he often chooses not to because he doesn’t have the time to bother with niceties. His attitude was actually refreshing.
Lucinda’s cousin Patricia, and Caleb’s friend Fletcher, are great additions to the story. I really liked them and would’ve loved to read more about their romance. Lady Victoria returns with her matchmaking efforts. Unfortunately, Harrow from the previous books didn’t return in this one, and he’s one of my favorite characters.
The writing is good, but the book is wordy and there are lots of taglines. The series continues into the contemporary setting under the author name Jayne Ann Krentz, and I look forward to reading how the new characters will connect to the Jones family from the first three books.
4 Stars

Note -- Even though this book is considered number 6 in the Arcane Society series, it’s technically number 3 if you read the books in chronological order (not publication date). Personally, I read all of the Amanda Quick (historical) books first, then the Jayne Anne Krentz (contemporary) books, and lastly the (futuristic) ones by Jayne Castle. For readers who don’t know, these three authors are the same author, and she uses different names for each time period.

Disclaimer – I bought this book for my own enjoyment. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape, or form for this honest review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.