Title – Beloved Poison
Author – E.S. Thomson
Publication Date – March 2016 by Hachette Australia
ISBN – 9781472122261
My Rating – ★★★★/5
St Saviour’s infirmary is crumbling, trapped in the past and about to be demolished. Inside it’s putrid wards and overflowing halls the doctors tend to fight and bicker with each other. Under the professional courtesy is hate, jealousy and ambition. Apothecary Jem Flockhart has always been on the outside, observing things and hiding a secret of her own.
One day, six tiny coffins are discovered, inside are dried flowers, a doll and a bundle of rags. After Jem uncovers these strange coffins inside the infirmary’s old chapel, she is determined to find their meaning but along with the secrets that have been buried with the coffins comes deadly consequences.
I received a copy of Beloved Poison from Hachette New Zealand to review. I wasn’t too sure if I would like this but it did sound interesting and I wanted to give it a chance and I am so glad that I did.
Beloved Poison is set in the 1850’s and follows Jem as she and Will try to uncover the truth about the coffins. Jem was raised by her father and trained as an apothecary. She’s lived at St Saviour’s most of her life and thought she knew everything about it and knew the people that worked there. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
I really liked Jem. I think she should have thought things through a bit more before she
acted but she always thought she was doing the right thing. I also enjoyed the friendship between Jem and Will, how accepting he was of her and her family. He’s also really supporting and never seemed to doubt her.
The medical procedures in this book and I assume the 1850’s were really disturbing. They had hay on the floor during a surgery and some of the doctors would wear the same blood stained coat during surgeries. It’s surprising anyone survived. And I was really creeped out by something Dr Graves did to a dead body. On top of all of that they dug up corpses to study the human body. I get that the students had to learn but I still found it disturbing.
I haven’t read a lot of books set in the 1800’s but I really enjoyed Beloved Poison. Like I said at the start, I wasn’t sure if it would be something I’d like but I was hooked within the first few chapters. It says on Goodreads that Beloved Poison is the first book in a series but I’m not sure. The ending was, for me, the best place to leave it. I don’t know what would happen in another book but I did like Jem and Will enough to see. If it is the first in a series.
Oh, and I love the cover of this book. My photo doesn’t do it justice at all.
*Thank you Hachette New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*
Have you read Beloved Poison? What did you think of it?