It is the last Friday of 2016! I have been enjoying our one day of cool weather today. I find it glorious, but my mother is huddling in her bed under a mound of blankets (which is why we live in Florida). Alyssa Maxwell writes A Gilded Newport Mystery series and A Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery series. Murder Most Malicious is the first book in A Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery series and is currently $2.99 o Amazon. You can follow Alyssa Maxwell on Amazon and they will email you updates on her latest releases. Alyssa Maxwell can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
A Pinch of Poison by Alyssa Maxwell is the second book in the A Lady & Lady’s Maid Mystery series. It is April in 1919 in Little Barlow. Lady Phoebe Renshaw is at a charity luncheon at Haverleigh School for Young Ladies. Phoebe has helped organize this event (along with the help of her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford) to help raise items and funds to help war veterans (Relief and Comfort for Veterans and their Families). The young ladies at the school helped collect the items, and they prepared the luncheon for today’s guests. The girls bring out the desserts and Zara Worthington presents the headmistress, Miss Henrietta Finch, with a Madeira cake. Several minutes later, Miss Finch starts choking and clutching at her throat. The nurse is called but Miss Finch collapses before Nurse Delacy can arrive. Chief Inspector Isaac Perkins and Constable Miles Brannock are called to scene. It is suspected that Miss Finch has been poisoned. Lady Phoebe assists with the questioning of the scholars while Eva helps with the staff. It turns out that Miss Finch was not well liked because of her progressive ideas (she was a suffragist and wanted the girls to learn mathematics as well as other unladylike subjects). Phoebe sets out to find the guilty party with help from Eva, Major Lord Owen Seabright, and Constable Brannock. The killer, though, does not wish to be caught and will go to great lengths to stay free. Will this investigation be Phoebe’s undoing?
A Pinch of Poison was an engaging book. I liked the characters as well as the setting (and time period). I liked Phoebe’s attitude, determination and inquisitive mind. I summarized the main storyline, but there are other situations happening as well (Julia, Phoebe’s sister, is being particularly secretive). I found A Pinch of Poison to be nicely written and had a good, steady pace. I give A Pinch of Poison 4.5 out of 5 stars (I enjoyed it, but I was able to solve the mystery). There is a good moral lesson contained within the storyline. The mystery was complicated, but it can be solved if the reader pays careful attention to the clues (one in particular). I think many people will be surprised by the culprit which is the sign of a well-crafted mystery. While this is the second book in the series, you can enjoy it as a stand-alone. The author provides the needed information for the reader (you will not be lost). I eagerly anticipate the next novel in the A Lady & Lady’s Maid Mystery series.
I hope all of you had a lovely day and have an equally delightful night. I am going to enjoy dinner (we are having sausage chili which is perfect for a cool evening) and continue watching the Downton Abbey marathon (I wish the show had not ended). I am currently reading The Guests on South Battery by Karen White. Take care and Happy Reading!