Books · Read in 2022 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons (Kate Khavari)

Thoroughly enjoyable and just mysterious enough


Title: A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons
Author: Kate Khavari
 Fiction / Historical Mystery
First published: 7 June 2022 by Crooked Lane Books
Edition: e-Arc, courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher

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.


This was a pretty effective and fun mystery set in the aftermath of WW I. It took me a little while to read, but that is by no means down to the novel.

This was an enjoyable read for me. I like the characters quite a bit and I was very happy with the way the romance was not taking over from the mystery elements, but was just right. I felt for Saffron as she had to navigate a male-dominated environment, but liked how she was able to hold her own most of the time.

The mystery itself was interesting, even if Saffron and Alexander’s way of investigating was a bit gung ho at times.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable historical mystery set at a botany department at a 1920s London University.

6 out of 7 stars

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