A Botanist’s Guide To Parties & Poisons by Kate Khavari

Author Kate Khavari brings us an intriguing and authentic new mystery, A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons. It’s the very first book in her new Saffron Everleigh Mystery series. I was mesmerized from the very beginning.

It’s London, the early 1920’s. Research assistant, Saffron Everleigh, is excited about her new job with the prestigious Dr. Maxwell at the University College London. The job is even more rewarding for her since her late father was well-known at the university as an acclaimed botanist. This is her chance to follow in his footsteps.

The story unfolds with Saffron attending a dinner party with 20 of her university colleagues including some of their spouses. The talk of the party is all about the upcoming trip to the amazon to study plants, animals, and the amazonian history. Many of the dinner guests are preparing to go on this 6 month trek.

But being a shy and quiet dinner guest staying somewhat in the shadows, she quickly learns a lot about her colleagues – and it’s not all good. And then the dinner party “really” goes downhill. Just as she’s getting ready to make an early exit, there’s a loud commotion – someone has just keeled over. Doctors suspect the victim may have had an allergic reaction to something she ate or drank and now she’s in a coma.

As the days pass and the woman’s life is teetering on the edge, it becomes apparent that she was intentionally poisoned.

Then, as they say – the other shoe drops! Her own Dr. Maxwell is now flat out accused of murder and hauled off to jail. The police don’t have a clear cut motive, but they have some wild speculations. Saffron knows Dr. Maxwell is innocent. As she pieces together what she’s overheard at the dinner party, along with what she’s heard on the job, she’s got her own pool of suspects and motives.

Could the motive have something to do with the money for the expedition? Did the victim get poisoned because “the other woman” wanted her husband? Maybe the victim having her own affair with another professor? Could this have something to do with a colleague not allowed on the trip? Or maybe the victim was NOT the intended target.

With the unexpected help of another colleague, Alexander Ashton, they wind up in a maze of dead ends, false leads, and deadly plants until they finally ferret out the real killer and the elusive motive.

Written with a sharp perspective of London in the 1920’s, Kate Khavari gives us an unusual setting with engrossing characters. In A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons, the university stage is set for the fast approaching amazon expedition. When you’ve finished this mystery, you’ll really be looking forward to the second book in this series coming out next year, A Botanist’s Guide to Flowers and Fatality.

Released by Crooked Lane Publishing, A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons is the perfect jump start for the Kate Khavari’s Saffron Everleigh Mystery series.

A copy of this book and cover photo was provided by the publisher.

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