Cover Image: A Botanist's Guide to Flowers and Fatality

A Botanist's Guide to Flowers and Fatality

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Member Reviews

1923 So far there have been three deaths, and three flower bouquets delivered to the victims. The deaths are investigated by DI Green. With help from Saffron Everleigh, a researcher for aBotany department, who reveals their meaning, then she and Dr Michael Lee continue their own investigation.
A mixture unfortunately of romance and mystery. 
Overall an enjoyable story which did seem to drag a little in the middle.
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I liked this, though not as much as the first one, due to the love triangle focus.  I did think all characters were well developed in it, and I enjoyed the mystery.  I liked getting to know Saffron a bit more as well. 
The two men had strong characters of their own as well, which was good, and weren't just there to facilitate Saffrons conflicted interests.
I felt that the detective from the police should have played alot stronger roll, due to Saffron helping them with their investigation. 
In general, I was hoping for more of a focus on the detective side, botany, academic pursuits, and books.
She had a project going on, but we didn't really know about it until the end when it was revealed to have negative impact.  This would have been felt more had I been more invested in what she was working on at school.  

Maybe having pictures of flowers drawn in the old style alongside the name, so that people can put a picture to a plant name better, and be able to go into more detail on the plant side.  That would be so cool!  Diagrams and such. Field notes
Excited to see where Saffron is up to next!
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As someone who absolutely loved the first adventure in Saffron Everleigh's series, I was very disappointed for at least 60% of this sequel.

I have received this book in exchange of an honest review, thank you to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for the opportunity.

Release date: 6th of June 2023.


I'd like to preface this review by saying that my opinion is going to be on the very unpopular side, than the majority of readers given how much I loathe that genre.


Reading through the first book of this series, I was taken back to the very happy times of my life of discovering The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan. Which also depicts a scientist of a main character and one who faces the stigma of being a woman in a very patriarchal society.

Through the progression of A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poisons, I got to see Saffron do the exact thing Lady Trent did, which was, to break the chains imposed by others and actually pursue what she loves.

In A Botanist's Guide to Flowers and Fatality, the author brings back that drive and knowledge while presenting Saffron with new challenges and a new murder mystery to solve. While also giving me the chance to see other parts of this society, and learn a little bit more of the aftermath of what happened after the first book.

Until here, everything is set up to be a wonderful read, as I love love love being with this type of leading ladies. But, it doesn't progress as such whatsoever.

The thing that utterly ruins this book for at least 60% of it, is the awful trope-y romance that serves no purpose that wasn't clearly established last time. I expected an increase of this genre in my review after reading A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poisons, but not to this extent.

While the mystery, or rather the investigation was ongoing, Saffron spends enough time wondering about the physical characteristics of Lee and his gag worthy attempts of being a flirt, that it completely overtakes the plot. Hence why I'm focusing on it, more so than what actually happened in the book.

Which by the way, ended up being much easier to solve of a mystery in comparison to book one.

It doesn't help whatsoever that his personality is truly insufferable, and the real reason of his addition is once again completely useless. I'm not saying the other option is better, because it's definitely not. Chapter 31 was one of the most enraging chapters I've ever read in my life and a clear indication of what's to expect of this series going forward, if nothing changes.

Thankfully, a sense of self respect decides to make an appearance at the end of this book and it slightly promises a potential change. But, I'm not keeping any hopes up, nor am I ever picking a sequel up without heavily spoiling the progression of this situation.

And it's a damn shame I feel this way, when the new paths so to speak, could potentially end up being very fun to explore with Saffron.

Overall, I'm just very disappointed.

A Botanist's Guide to Flowers and Fatality could have been a great chance to continue building on what happened in book one, and not being able to see that to the extent I hoped, is not something I appreciated at all.
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This sequel was as enjoyable as the first!

It's a murder mystery, with a twist.

It's an extremely easy read, enjoyable, and will get you out of a slump.
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In this second book of the Saffron Everleigh Mystery series, we find our heroine a few months after her dangerous exploits (book one) have precipitated personal and professional changes. Now under the supervision of her mentor, Dr. Aster, Saffron is participating in a study for the identification and cataloging of poisonous plants in England. Much to her irritation, the dashing and glib Dr. Michael Lee becomes her partner. She now has to deal with the intrusion into her office of the messy Dr. Lee (Lee) who has taken over the desk of Alexander Ashton: her colleague and possible lover. Settling into her new routine (and the misogyny of her peers on campus), Saffron is contacted by Detective Inspector (DI) Green asking her to assist him with some plant identification of his own. 

Flower bouquets have been found at the crime scenes of murdered women. Saffron thinks that
poisonous plants may have caused their deaths. However, DI Green informs her that the victims have been murdered by strangulation and stabbing. Knowing that DI Green contacted her for a reason, Saffron utilizes her expertise as a botanist to analyze these bouquets. To find answers, Saffron unearths floriography: the arcane practice of communicating through flowers.

Popular during the Victorian era, people would use what they called “talking bouquets” to secretly communicate with each other. Usually, young women would carry small flower arrangements called nosegays (or tussie-mussies) to express their intentions to men who may become suitors. The flower arrangements sent to the victims contain plant life with negative and sinister connotations. Can the identity of the killer and the reason for their crimes be found through floriography?

Saffron continues putting herself in harm’s way as she goes beyond DI Green’s instructions. She visits speakeasies with Lee in search of a group young people who may have known the victims, searches for cocaine users and dealers, and gets kidnapped. While in pursuit of knowledge, she is incapable of assessing the foolhardiness and possible dangers of her actions. The inclusion of Lee disquiets Saffron, bringing her confidence in her love for—and from--Ashton love under scrutiny. Luckily, book two ends in a cliffhanger to ready us for the next installment.

This book—and its predecessor—are fun and satisfying reads. I highly recommend you check them out.

I’d like to thank Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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The second book in this series and it was almost as enjoyable as the first. The lovely main character is back, with a very likable new partner, and her cases are super interesting. As in the first book, the characters are really well written and the mystery was a very good one. My problem was the pacing, it seemed all the information about the murders was given right up front and the rest of the book was slowly chugging through the investigation, and at times it felt truly sluggish. I would have rather the murders were more spread through the story to create more suspense and to introduce new clues along the way so that I felt pulled through the reading by way of the story line. Instead, I felt like I was pushing my way through just to figure out who did it. But, nevertheless, this was another great read in the series and I will very much look forward to the next one.
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I had the chance to read the first book in the series, A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poisons. I enjoyed reading that book, so I decided to check out this book. You learn a lot about what a botanist does while reading this book/series. I never knew much about Botany,  and the author makes the subject interesting for readers while blending in charming characters and mystery elements.

I enjoyed reading this book and recommend readers give it a try as well!

My thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGallery for a digital copy of this book for my review!
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Saffron Everleigh, a young woman pioneering in Botany, continues to face challenges as her male colleagues spread rumors and don't support her.  Her side kick in the first mystery, Alexander Ashton, is away on safari for the college and makes an appearance in the last chapters.  Saffron is teamed with Dr. Michael Lee for her research work but they don't get along even when he helps her investigate the murders.  

The plot is well conceived and presented and Saffron's investigation takes her into a seedy side of society's young party scene.  The characters are yet again well developed.  I flew through the pages, devouring them.  It had a very tense and dramatic killer reveal like I love.  This unique heroine and clever mysteries are my new favorite series.

Rating:  Near Perfect - Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.
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Synopsis from Goodreads: 
1920s London isn’t the ideal place for a brilliant woman with lofty ambitions. But research assistant Saffron Everleigh is determined to beat the odds in a male-dominated field at the University College of London. Saffron embarks on her first research study alongside the insufferably charming Dr. Michael Lee, traveling the countryside with him in response to reports of poisonings. But when Detective Inspector Green is given a case with a set of unusual clues, he asks for Saffron’s assistance.

The victims, all women, received bouquets filled with poisonous flowers. Digging deeper, Saffron discovers that the bouquets may be more than just unpleasant flowers— there may be a hidden message within them, revealed through the use of the old Victorian practice of floriography. A dire message, indeed, as each woman who received the flowers has turned up dead.

Alongside Dr. Lee and her best friend, Elizabeth, Saffron trails a group of suspects through a dark jazz club, a lavish country estate, and a glittering theatre, delving deeper into a part of society she thought she’d left behind forever.

Review (with some spoilers) Below:
I didn't realize this was a sequel before I started it, but it definitely didn't feel like one! We're brought into Saffron's world effectively with lots of context and reflection on the events of the first book - reading it would be very interesting, but not necessary to the plot of this book, which I found helpful! The use of floriography was fun and something I'd never thought of before. It was fun to learn more about it as we move through the investigation with Saffron.

There was a lot to like about this book - Saffron is a delight, but Dr. Lee was by far my favourite character - maybe I would feel differently about Alexander if I had read the first book, but I liked Dr. Lee as a love interest a lot more than him. The only thing I didn't love was the pace: it sometimes felt like it took too long to reach the climax of the story and the big reveal. Overall though, a solid story, and I'll likely read the first book too!
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I wouldn't say that I disliked this book but it left me dissatisfied by the end.  The pace was very slow up until about 80% into the book.  The concept was very interesting but the execution felt off to me.  The characters and environment were brought to life very well and the scenes were set up wonderfully but the story itself seemed confusing and not brought togther in a way that felt resolved to me.

It weirdly transitions from a dual POV to a three person POV that snuck up on me and had me rereading sections.

I wish I liked it more but it ended up being a book I could have gone without reading at all.

This is the second in a series but could easily be read as a standalone.  Relavant information from the previous book was explained well enough that the first book was not necessary to understand the backstory.
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I was so happy to see this series return! I’m sorry to say I didn’t like this one as much as the first, but it was still a solid sophomore novel. Saffron was as delightful as before. I liked Lee, and I’m glad Saffron got paired with someone who respects her for her project. There was one element I didn’t care for, though: I really didn't like the love triangle. It was disappointing because I really like this series and it’s bringing in a trope that I generally don’t enjoy. It looks like that won’t be an issue in future books, though, which I’m glad of. I still really liked it, and I’m looking forward to the next. 

Representation: POC character
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Saffron is back to her usual ways in this sequel and I loved it! Her charming, no-nonsense approach to crime-solving makes her one of my favorite victorian-era sleuths. She's managed to get herself tangled in a love triangle   this time around, presumably to add some spice but I'm not convinced she needs either of these men.
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I liked this more than I did book one, and I had no argument this time as to the appropriateness of the title - there were lots of flowers and a surfeit of fatalities.

The botanist in the title is Saffron Eversleigh, a woman in a man's world as a research assistant at the University College of London in the 1920's. Her love interest from the first book, Alexander Ashton, is absent for most of the time overseas, and he is replaced by Dr Michael Lee, a man with a penchant for teasing Saffron in order to enjoy her reactions. She of course thinks she does not like him when it is obvious to everyone else that she does.

There are lots of murders, many red herrings and a surprise murderer. Ashton returns and we imagine a love triangle, but Saffron is a woman with a mind of her own. I am looking forward to what happens next.
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I really like this series. Book two was just as fun as book one. 
I'm just not so sure what I thought about the love triangle. I hope that is resolved quickly in book three.
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Thank you Netgalley and publisher for an arc in exchange for my honest review. 

Publication: June 6, 2023 

I personally haven't tried a historical mystery so I was intrigued to try this book out. It was part of a series but I didn't feel too lost with not reading the first book. This is also my first book by Khavari and I have to say I loved all the historical pieces within the story but struggled to get into the mystery aspect. I ended up giving up around 30% when I realized that this book and I were not going to get along.
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Khavari has once again written a beautiful mystery that involves a cast of intriguing characters. 

Saffron Everleigh is a female botanist who desperately seeks to carve out her place in academia and in the field of botany. She and Dr. Lee are in the midst of a study of patients who have been poisoned by plants when Inspector Green asks for Everleigh to consult on a series of recent murders, all with floral bouquets left at the scene. Convinced there's more to the story that the police won't be able to access, Saffron can't help but get more deeply involved. 

I loved getting to know Saffron more deeply -- and enjoyed the reappearance of beloved characters like Eliza and Alexander. I daresay, this sequel is even better than A Botanist's Guide to Parties & Poisons!
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This is the second book in the Saffron Everleigh Mystery series. I really love the way that the 1920s setting is so much more apparent in this novel than the first. The love triangle in this book was unbearable, way too much time was spent on her debating between two mediocre men.  The mystery was intriguing but overall I enjoyed the first book more. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC!
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I somehow missed that this was a second book in a series, but it was easy enough to catch up and learn where it was picking up after the first and embed myself in the unfolding narrative.
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A Botanist's Guide to Flowers and Fatality is the second outing of Saffron Everleigh, botanist cum detective.  The premise of the mystery is fascinating, bouquets using the Victorian art of communicating with flowers are found with murder victims.  Saffron is called in to interpret and works her way into the investigation.  This novel suffers with some of the issues with pacing that plagued the first book in the series.  Some sections, especially conversations between characters, drag on, while the denouement crackled with energy.  The mystery was clever, and the romantic triangle adds spice. A solid if somewhat uninspiring sophomore effort.
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A Botanist's guide is really unique an interesting, a new twist to the typical murder mystery with a strong female lead. However I felt this leaned very heavily on the romance and I expected more of the mystery when I went into this book. Originally I did not realise this was the second in the series, although I do believe this can be read as a stand-alone with some slight confusion of the characters history, I do think to fully enjoy this you need a deeper connection to the characters I think you would get by reading the first book so you can truly enjoy the love triangle. Because of this I did not enjoy this as much as I thought I would, it was very well written and the mystery was incredibly unique but I could not get into the romance part so I was left slightly bored in parts of the book.
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