A Poisonous Journey (2015) by Malia Zaidi

1925 and Lady Evelyn Carlisle flees the gloom of London to visit her cousin Briony and her husband Jeffrey in Crete. But more than sunshine is awaiting her. Tensions are bubbling under the surface with Briony and her friends, leading to the death of one Caspar Ballantine. Ballantine was a drinker and a socialite, but it seems that he had a hobby that led to more than one person wanting him dead.

As Lady Evelyn and her new friend Daniel investigate, they find a tangled web of relationships to navigate. But will they succeed in finding a murderer in their midst?

Another entry in the growing genre of between the wars female sleuths, with the distinction that Lady Evelyn leaves the recovering Britain behind her, escaping her problems to the sunny shores of Crete. It’s a character-heavy tale, with the author taking time to build up her characters, while still creating a mystery for the reader to get invested in.

It’s an interesting read, constantly moving from character to character through Evelyn’s point of view. At times, the introspections of our heroine do get in the way of the plot and at the end of the day, the plot is a little too straightforward – we find the murderer at around 90% of the way through and I kept expecting another major plot twist.

Still, it sets the scene well for the first book in a series. I’ll be back next month for the second one.

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