Rebecca's Reviews > The Perfect Poison

The Perfect Poison by Amanda Quick
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's review
Apr 01, 2012

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bookshelves: fantasy, historical, mystery, romance

In a Victorian England in which a small percentage of the population is endowed with various 'psychical' gifts, psychic botanist Lucinda is notorious for being a loose woman and an unconvicted lethal poisoner (as a matter of fact, she's neither). When she hires irascible, brooding, psychic private investigator Caleb Jones--of the famous psychic family which controls the Arcane Society--to discover who stole from her a rare, hallucinatory fern, things heat up in more ways than one.

My public library branch is small, and so is the choice of audiobooks, so I often end up with things I wouldn't normally choose. I'm not a fan of steamy, schmoopy romances (give me the wit and restraint of Georgette Heyer any day), so I fast-forwarded through the melodramatic, purple prose of the love scenes (in which no mention of pregnancy or birth control ever features). The rest of the book, however, was pretty good. I liked the idea of a psychic botanist, and of course a mystery surrounding a cabal of psychic villains that's been growing for 200 years is kind of cool. I also liked that Caleb never really rescued Lucinda from all her requisite peril--she managed it herself, even if she couldn't manage to keep her legs closed.

I have two quibbles with the production of the audiobook, however. The reader sometimes lost track of who was speaking, so Lucinda said a lot of things in Caleb's voice, which was disconcerting. Second, they opened and closed each CD with the kind of kicky, adult-contemporary music that plays behind airplane announcements. Would it have been so hard to find something that evoked a mysterious Victorian atmosphere rather than "Your seat backs and tray tables must be in the upright and locked position"?

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