Review of The Poisoner’s Ring
The Poisoner’s Ring continues the story of detective Mallory Atkinson as she is trying to adjust to her life in a previous century. Her trip to 1869 Edinburgh is still mysterious and, as yet, irreversible.
Adjustment is a challenge to a 21st century woman who was accustomed to living life on her own terms, as opposed to being a female servant in a Doctor’s household. Dr. Duncan Grey, and his sister Isla both know who she really is and allow her to help out in more substantial ways than a typical maid would. In this book, Mallory will be helping to find the culprits behind several poisonings. Duncan’s oldest sister, Annis, is a prime suspect, making the Grey household involvement in the investigation a bit problematic.
Mallory’s character is growing nicely, as is Duncan and his sister. And yet, Mallory is always thinking about getting home even as she grows closer to Duncan and Isla.
It is still challenging for Mallory to ‘blend’ in. She doesn’t act like a maid – at all. Always going where women don’t go, asserting herself, speaking informally with her ‘betters’. Her use of 21st century colloquialisms tends to confuse the locals. This adds humor in some instances, and tension in others. Still, she is appreciated for her brain and problem-solving skills. While 19th century crime solving leaves much to be desired, Mallory is lucky to be working with the Duncan and Isla, who have both embraced scientific techniques and integrity.
The term ‘poisoner’s ring’ refers to ring of women who murder their loved ones, possibly with the help of another person. The multiple deaths by poison lead the police, newspapers, and public to suspect such a ring. However, before this convoluted, complicated killer scheme will be resolved, there will be many twists, turns, and surprises. This book is full of lots of little mysteries and one great big plot. There are many suspects and even though Annis is not really a very nice person, as the reader, I did not cheer against her, lest the Grey family, and by extension, Mallory, come out the worse for wear.
Both books in this series can be read as standalone. Reading them in order will give insight to Mallory’s circumstance in Edinburgh’s past. The Poisoner’s Ring is for readers who enjoy humor, drama, mystery, police procedurals, and mixing modern day logic with historical crime-solving mayhem.
Through Netgalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
About The Poisoner’s Ring by Kelley Armstrong
Edinburgh, 1869: Modern-day homicide detective Mallory Atkinson is adjusting to her new life in Victorian Scotland. Her employers know she’s not housemaid Catriona Mitchell―even though Mallory is in Catriona’s body―and Mallory is now officially an undertaker’s assistant. Dr. Duncan Gray moonlights as a medical examiner, and their latest case hits close to home. Men are dropping dead from a powerful poison, and all signs point to the grieving widows… the latest of which is Gray’s oldest sister.
Poison is said to be a woman’s weapon, though Mallory has to wonder if it’s as simple as that. But she must tread carefully. Every move the household makes is being watched, and who knows where the investigation will lead.
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