Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Book Review: A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poison
by Kate Khavari
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A relatively quick read that includes: mysterious poisons, embezzlement, historical showing of women being looked down upon, university professor culture, and an adorable little love story.
There's nothing too special here per say but if you like simpler mysteries or want something that won't bend your head around twenty times (the way some mysteries do today) this is a good choice.
There is not a lot of the 'thriller' genre here. A few briefly intense moments, including an almost sexual assault attack that left me feeling not only disgusted by the man in question; but also reminded that I am lucky we have any of the supports in place today (even if they are inadequate still) and aren't subject to whatever any man wants like back in the 1920's. Lots of chauvinistic pompous academia comments from men towards our leading lady. I do think it's a good representation of what it was like back then to struggle as a female scientist. And I do like that not all the men are portrayed as awful. There are at least two, probably more like four that have our leading girls best interest at heart and are trying to do what they can to watch out for her. Keeping in mind that "doing what they can" within the confines of respectable society (and that which will protect their own butts and careers) may not seem like much to some; however, it is again what was at least some sort of support back in the day. Our leading lady graciously notes this many times so as to remind the reader that the men of this time and place don't have to do anything for her (sadly).
Overall a good beach read; and a great little break to take between epic novels (if you’re like me and need that). A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poisons is a quicker read that should satisfy the average reader for a weekend or so. It is also fairly safe to lend out to others and recommend as it's interesting enough (who doesn't like learning about poisons!) without having too many trigger warnings like a WWII historical novel might.
I’ll certainly read the next in the series and would be interested in more starring our leading lady Saffron or other publications by Kate Khavari.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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