The Crystal Crypt by Fiona Veitch Smith

Thank you to Fern at Lion Hudson for the invitation to join the Literary Footsteps blog tour for the latest book, The Crystal Crypt, in the Poppy Denby Investigates series. I read and reviewed The Art Fiasco last year – see https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2020/10/28/the-art-fiasco-by-fiona-veitch-smith/ for my review. Today we are stopping at the Police Station.

The series so far

Synopsis:

But accidents can still happen… Perhaps there was something out of her control, something she couldn’t have foreseen…” “Like someone plotting to kill her?”

Reporter sleuth Poppy Denby is asked to investigate the mysterious death of an up-and-coming female scientist in an Oxford laboratory known as the Crystal Crypt. The official verdict is that Dr June Leighton died in a tragic accident, but Dr Leighton’s lab assistant believes it was murder. However, when Poppy discovers that the colleague has spent time in a mental institution and has an unresolved murder in her own past, Poppy wonders if she is being misled. But then, another female academic is attacked, and Poppy herself becomes a target.

My thoughts:

Having enjoyed reading The Art Fiasco last year, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to read and review the next book in the series, set in the 1920’s.

Life has moved on for Poppy and her friends, old relationships have become closer or ended. However some things don’t change as Poppy starts to investigate an unusual death.

This book may be set almost one hundred years ago, but Poppy doesn’t let the lack of modern technology and stricter social rules stop her investigating the unusual death of a bright young female scientist. However someone is keen to ensure that Poppy doesn’t stumble across the truth and her own life is in danger again.

I enjoyed visiting 1920’s Oxford with Poppy. Sadly the city appeared to have a number of misogynistic and racist people, and a group of potential murder suspects (with some overlap).

Book six in the Poppy Denby Investigates series is full of well developed main characters, secrets, historical details and an excellent cosy crime story. Happy to recommend this book (and the series) to readers of my book review blog.

Author Bio:

Fiona Veitch Smith is the author of the Poppy Denby Investigates novels, Golden Age-style murder mysteries set in the 1920s, about a reporter sleuth who works for a London tabloid. The first book in the series, The Jazz Files, was shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger, while subsequent books have been shortlisted for the Foreword Review Mystery Novel of the Year and the People’s Book Prize. She is formerly a journalist, having worked on the arts and crime beats of a Cape Town newspaper, and lectured in journalism in the UK for ten years.

She lives with her husband, daughter and dog in Newcastle upon Tyne. On her non-writing days, she works part-time as a freelance editor and writing tutor, as well as being the Assistant Secretary of the Crime Writers’ Association.

@FionaVeitchSmithAuthor @FionaVeitchSmit fiona.veitchsmith.com poppydenby.com

By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum of teenagers. Adopter of dogs.

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