Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Just beyond the Gilded Age, in the mist-covered streets of New York, the deadly Spanish influenza ripples through the city. But with so many victims in her close circle, young socialite Allene questions if the flu is really to blame. All appear to have been poisoned—and every death was accompanied by a mysterious note.

Desperate for answers and dreading her own engagement to a wealthy gentleman, Allene returns to her passion for scientific discovery and recruits her long-lost friends, Jasper and Birdie, for help. The investigation brings her closer to Jasper, an apprentice medical examiner at Bellevue Hospital who still holds her heart, and offers the delicate Birdie a last-ditch chance to find a safe haven before her fragile health fails.

As more of their friends and family die, alliances shift, lives become entangled, and the three begin to suspect everyone—even each other. As they race to find the culprit, Allene, Birdie, and Jasper must once again trust each other, before one of them becomes the next victim.

my thoughts:

Historical fiction for the YA set, A Beautiful Poison, is a fun, engaging murder-mystery that will have you turning pages faster and faster to find out "whodunit".  Set during the Gilded Age, this story centers on three BFFs - Allene, Birdie, and Jasper.  All three besties are now eighteen, which means they are embarking on adulthood and all the responsibility that it entails.  Allene is rich, privileged and about to be married.  Her love of science is seen as a hobby that is to be forgotten about, according to her father.  Birdie and her mom used to work for Allene's family until they were thrown out of the household and are now trying to scrape by a living.  As for Jasper, he is living with his uncle who refuses to leave the house, so he is forced to fend for the both of them.  The trio reunite for Allene's big engagement party.  A party that will impact them in ways they never could have imagined.

At the party, a young woman named Florence dies.  She's fallen down the stairs and broken her neck.  Everyone assumes she was drunk and in a clumsy accident, she fell.  However, Jasper sniffs the glass that Florence was drinking from and discovers the scent of almonds.  What does that mean?  It means that cyanide was in her drink.  Does that mean she was murdered? Well, it seems pretty likely, especially once Allene finds a note that reads, "You're Welcome".  How crazy is that?  What does that even mean?  Someone killed Florence as a favor?  Say what?!  Yep, looks like the three besties have a murder to solve - or at least they decide that they do.  Allene, Birdie, and Jasper resolve to figure out what really happened to Florence.  Through their investigation, they discover truths about their friendships and themselves that show them just how much they have changed and grown apart.  They also discover that love and friendship is even stronger than they imagined. 

A Beautiful Poison is a terrific story that entertains and captivates.  The writing is rich and full of gorgeous details about the Gilded Age.  The characters are flawed, selfish, and focused on helping themselves by any means necessary.  Their friendship is broken and dysfunctional, filled with betrayals, jealousies, and mistrust.  And yet, they do care about one another, and that love does shine through at times.  As for the murder-mystery they set out to solve - its filled with red herrings that throws them off the scent, but eventually the truth is revealed.  All in all, a truly fun read.

I would happily recommend A Beautiful Poison to fans of Kang and anyone looking for their next mystery story - you will LOVE this book!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule:  A Beautiful Poison
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

I'm a sucker for books set in The Gilded Age...it's one of my favorite time periods to read about. :)

Terra said...

What a clever title and attractive cover, and your review shows an interesting plot and study of 3 friends.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!