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A Poisonous Journey

(Lady Evelyn Mystery #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  258 ratings  ·  53 reviews
The year is 1925, a time that hovers between two catastrophic wars, a time of jazz and sparkle, and a time of peace and reflection. For Lady Evelyn, struggling to outrun the ghosts of her tragic past, it is a time of transformation. Left orphaned after a fire when she was only four, Lady Evelyn Carlisle was raised in London by her stern aunt and uncle. Now, twenty years ...more
Paperback, 394 pages
Published August 27th 2015 by BookBaby (first published August 25th 2015)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  258 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Given two of my favorite genres include historical fiction and cozy mysteries, I expected to enjoy A Poisonous Journey, the first book in the Lady Evelyn series, written by Malia Zaidi in 2015. I was definitely thrilled with this book and pleasantly surprised to learn there were already 3 published in the series. What a great find for this enthusiast of history, detective stories, and charming characters set in foreign lands.

Lady Evelyn, a mid-20s former orphan (her parents died young and she
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Full disclosure: I wrote this.
I spent so much time with these characters, I am very fond of them, and hope you will be, too:-)
Sean Gibson
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully written, languidly paced story wherein a murder mystery is largely subordinate to character building and exploration and a burgeoning romance. Zaidis prose is a feast for the senses (I would call it sensual, but that word carries with it a provocativeness that doesnt apply here; Im not quite sure we have a single word that suits), evoking an exotic locale (Crete) in the not-so-distant past (1925). The mystery is well constructed (albeit methodically pacedwhich suits me ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019
I should have enjoyed this book a lot more than I did because in theory it is everything I look for in a book! In practice however it somehow missed the mark.

I was a fair way in and feeling uncomfortable when I realised it was because it was written in the first person/present tense. This is just a small pet hate of mine and I can and do look past it in many books. In this one however the author used it to delve at length into the main character's feelings which became tedious and took up many
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
When Lady Evelyn Carlisle gets an invitation from her cousin Briony to stay with her and her husband at their home in beautiful Crete she knows this is her chance to finally break free from her stern Aunt's grasp at their home in London. What she wasn't expecting was for her adventure to begin with murder. When another guest of her cousin is found poisoned, Evelyn and company set out to find the culprit. Was it an outsider, or could the killer be close to home?

Well this was absolutely
I have recently read mystery novels by Wilkie Collins and Agatha Christie, so when I began this novel by debut Goodreads author Malia Zaidi, I was expecting....well, not to be disappointed necessarily, but something just average let's say. But what I found, almost immediately, was a brilliantly conceived mystery, intriguing characters, a refreshingly different setting, and most importantly, very good writing. Not just structure and style, but insight into life and human nature, things you would ...more
Elyse  Walters
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Full of energy!

Malia Zaidia's triumphant debut takes us into a type of 'wonderland'...capturing a solid sense of
place through her lush poetic narratives.

Fluid - rich - writing- vivid characterizations: mystery, closeness, and camaraderie develops with a group of young bright attractive interesting people. Cretan hospitality is stupendous.
Food of all sorts - delicious - plentiful - delicacies -[absolutely lovely healthy -freshness in each of the meals were prepared for the guests]

Just image
Mary Papastavrou
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have to say that crime mystery is not a genre that normally entices me. However the Poisonous Journey was a very pleasant and exciting read. My feeling is that crime fiction enthusiasts will find this book a great experience.

As a Greek person I was curious to test the validity of the Greek background that the author chose for her narrative that takes place in Crete. I have to say that the details of the location are well researched and it passes with flying colours. The author provides
Laurette Long
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing

The immortal words of Cole Porter are an apt introduction to this first novel by Malia Zaidi in which we meet the dashing and delectable brand-new sleuth Lady Evelyn Carlisle.
London, March 1925. The rain is beating against the windows of the Belgravia townhouse where Evelyn lives with her rigid and old-fashioned Aunt Agnes, chafing at the boredom and restrictions of a respectable English upper class society and longing for some event which will break
eloise vellucci
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More than a mystery

This book is rich in the beauty of Crete,it's people and the lives of the protagonists. It is beautifully written and philosophical. It is also an interesting mystery which is not contrived but very well plotted. If you are looking for a light book this isn't it,but a delightful read none the less.
Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
You can read all my review on Blog - Books Teacup and Reviews

A Poisonous Journey was cozy murder mystery set in Crete, in 1925. Apart from murder mystery and armature sleuthing skills of main character, Evelyne Carlisle, book covered historical and archaeological aspects, effects of Great War on character, social values and prejudice, scandals and humanity.


Evelyn was emotive, empathetic character who felt for other characters around her. The grief she faced at younger age was still
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I would like to start this review off by saying two things. 1) This is my first ever review of any kind online and 2) If I am being honest, I am not someone who reads often and when I do, I generally don't grab a mystery novel (despite initial resolve, I always end up skipping to the end to find out who did it!). However, when this book was given to me I flew through it in just two days because it is not only a thrilling and clever mystery, it has something for any reader to enjoy. For fans of ...more
Wilde Sky
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1925, a young lady is invited to spend some time in Crete and is soon drawn into a murder mystery.

The location and feeling of Crete were vividly brought to life and the descriptions of the culture and mythology of the region were good. The characters were well drawn and the story had a good plot - with the feel of an Agatha Christie piece.

My overall rating is 4 stars, as I found the pace a bit too slow and some of the writing didnt flow seamlessly.

If you enjoy period crime dramas this book
Dovie Ruth
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For those of you who love retro cozy mysteries, this one is a charmer! The author has a lovely, wispy style that immediately draws you into the story and holds your attention until the last page. The story is set on the island of Crete, which I suppose is a beautiful place for a murder. A truly engaging tale!
With A Poisonous Journey, I am reminded of the quote from Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey: "If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own neighborhood, then she must seek them abroad."

One of my favorite plots for an old-style historical romantic suspense reminiscent of Victoria Holt or Mary Stewart is a young, determined lady who finds herself on a travel adventure when a murder happens. Lady Evelyn has lived sheltered and confined up until this point. She longs to prove herself so in
Reff Girl
Sep 02, 2015 rated it liked it
A Poisonous Journey A Lady Evelyn Mystery by Malia Zaidi

A wonderful start for this debut historical mystery series. Author Malia Zaidi set's the scene of the 1920s with it's clothes and sounds, and a gives us sunny Crete as a backdrop for Lady Evelyn to embark on a life unchaperoned. But the discovery of a body in her best friends garden sets her on an unlikely path to solve the crime.

Unlike several female historical mystery sleuths, she is not a plucky former battlefield nurse. Instead, she is a lovely educated women that at times, seems almost
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Douthit
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun and exciting book that picks up quickly and then moves at a fast pace. If you like mysterys this book truly delivers with a great plot and extensive character development.

The main character Lady Evelyn is a witty adventurous type that keeps you wanting more. This author did some great writing here, would highly recommend this book.
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, excellent, excellent. Malia has a complete understanding of the universe and impeccable observation of human behavior and body language.
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Actual rating 4.5

I posted this review on my blog as well. You read this review and many others, here.

Declaimer: Ive received this book from the author herself in exchange for an honest review. I would like to send big thanks to Malia Zaidi for sending me this book!

The book, or at least my version, needs to be edited. There are words that are missing, or spelled wrong. It needs to be cleaned up a little bit. This has nothing to do with the authors writing, or the storys quality. However, it
Jack Magnus
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

A Poisonous Journey: The First Lady Evelyn Mystery is a historical sleuth mystery written by Malia Zaidi. Evelyn's bored with her life in London, especially now that the city is in its cold, gray and drizzly late-winter weather pattern. Life with Aunt Agnes is predictably bleak, as it has been ever since Evelyn came to stay with her as a four-year-old orphan. Aunt Agnes is a brusque, stern and overly protective guardian. When Evelyn receives a letter
Lady Evelyn Carlisle flees London where she lives with her stuffy, Victorian aunt and heads to the sunny Greek island of Greece to join her cousin Briony. Briony and her husband Jeffrey have a few other guests staying with them and are hosting a dinner party for other local notables and expats. Evie is drawn to the brooding Daniel Harper but appalled by the drunken behavior of his friend Caspar Ballentine. There's trouble in paradise for Briony and Jeffrey as well and Evie intends to stay as ...more
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway. I enjoy mysteries and this one was very satisfying. I liked the characters and the story and the setting, in a past time. I also really enjoyed the philosophical thoughts sprinkled throughout the book, making it more meaningful than just a mystery story. This is a great first novel and I wish the author much success in this and the future adventures of Lady Evelyn. I will look forward to reading them.
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an early copy of this book and greatly enjoyed reading it. Lady Evelyn is an interesting character one would like as a friend.
Her adventures and thoughts on life are making me look forward to the next installment of the series.
Paulette Mahurin
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Poisonous Journey: The First Lady Evelyn Mystery (The Lady Evelyn Mysteries Book 1) by Malia Zaidi starts with an intriguing prologue, Crete 1908. Andros and his brother are in a tunnel when the light they have goes out and they are left in darkness like blind men. The well-written eerie feeling the tunnel projects comes through in description and dialogue as Andros tells his brother to watch his step or it may be his last. When their light goes back on, they have reached a destination and ...more
Jeremy Reppy
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable mystery novel. It was full of more twists and turns than I expected. I was able to figure out some of the mysteries, but others came as a surprise. The author has created a very interesting and diverse cast of characters and she does a wonderful job of describing the people and places featured in the book. Lady Evelyn, curious Englishwoman and amateur detective of sorts, is an intriguing character. I was glad to learn that the author plans more adventures for her.

One thing
Ian Welch
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Set in the post-World War one 1920s, A Poisonous Journey is a classic whodunnit. Evelyn finds living with strict Aunt Agnes overwhelming, she yearns for some freedom, a chance to find her true self. She seizes the opportunity and flees to Crete to meet up with her friend and cousin Briony, maybe she will find the direction in life she yearns for. The idyllic Crete Township of Milkos is the perfect setting.
Within days of arriving Evelyns dream is shattered, the discovery of the body of one of
Lorine Thomas
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever looked at a book cover and thought that it would be an exciting read. Well, that was my reaction to this book. And, boy did it hit on every cylinder. This was a well-written book, from start to finish. The attention to detail and description was something that made you feel immersed in the book's time period. You felt as if you were really in London and witnessing the marvels of 1925. Can you imagine the fashion? Wow. The characters were as lifelike as I've ever read. The author ...more
Tony Hisgett
Jan 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
I tried to give the story a chance, but by a quarter of the way through, it was clear that I was not the target audience for this book.
There is a lot of scene setting and dialogue that doesnt really go anywhere, that left me skipping quite a few pages. I wouldnt have minded some of the long descriptions and pages of introspection if I felt it was moving the story along and I was getting to know Evelyn better, but what finally defeated me was she was just a bit too pathetic. I like my heroines to
Ann  Lynch
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It took me forever because I took it on vacation and a wedding got in the way but the characters are great and the plot thickened quite nicely. No giveaways here. Read it yourself'
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Hello and thanks for stopping by!
I am the author of the Lady Evelyn Mystery series.
I'm always happy to discover new books to add to my toppling pile:-)

Check out my blog, The Princess and the Pen:

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Other books in the series

Lady Evelyn Mystery (4 books)
  • A Darker Shore (Lady Evelyn Mystery #2)
  • The Study of Silence (Lady Evelyn Mystery #3)
  • The Golden Hour: A Lady Evelyn Mystery (The Lady Evelyn Mysteries Book 4)

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