The Poisonous Seed – rather good

As you will know, if you happen to have read my post from yesterday, I indulged in a spot of book-buying-retail-therapy and am happy to report back positively on one of the books.

The Poisonous Seed by Linda Stratmann, the first of her Frances Doughty mysteries – set in the late nineteenth century.   I stayed up quite late last night reading it and finished it today and have to say it was really rather good.    I think the author got the feel of the Victorian age really well, attention to detail was good, I think it read like a mid-nineteenth century sensation novel, the dialogue seemed authentic and the Victorian sensibilities were adhered to with just one or two nods to behaviour that, did go on in the Victorian period (and throughout history) but which would not have been alluded to in a book written in the nineteenth century – but this was subtly done.  The plot was cracking and it has set up the next novel well.

There were two ‘comic’ characters introduced (and an indication given that they will appear in later books in the series), these were seemingly ne’er-do-wells but who then proved to be useful to the heroine and I felt their introduction in to the plot and acceptance by the heroine was a little contrived and not all that convincing but once you get over that they helped moved the plot along and have potential for future stories.

My only real complaint is with the publishing house – there were a lot of lines of bad type – whole lines of text where spaces between words had been completely omitted.  Hopefully this was a one-off and isn’t a feature of this publishing house.   I picked up the books cheaply in the charity shop so it is not a big deal for me but I would have been very miffed if I had paid the RRP of £8.99.

I am not going straight on to the next book in the series, I am about to take the Gladys Mitchell to bed with me – but am looking forward to reading the next in the series of the Frances Doughty Mysteries.


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