Saturday, September 19, 2020

Skelton's Guide to Domestic Poisons


Skelton's Guide to Domestic Poisons is a thunderously well written exuberant historical legal procedural set in the late 1920s and written by David Stafford. Released 17th Sept 2020 by Allison & Busby, it's 352 pages and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. 

The story arc is well plotted, with a plethora of possible suspects and motives. The disparate plot threads (a poisoning, injury compensation, Skelton's cousins Alan & Nora, flappers, suffragettes, skullduggery, official corruption and more) interweave well and culminate in a satisfying and well written denouement. Even the secondary characters are very finely drawn, from Skelton's clerk, his wife (a fervent feminist and lady gym master), to Arthur Skelton himself. 

Arthur and his clerk, Edgar, have a solid repartee going on as they investigate, and the whole has a *very* Albert Campion and Lugg vibe. The dialogue is witty and sparkling and cheeky and thoroughly enjoyable. It scintillates and Stafford is a beautifully capable writer. It's not entirely apparent whether this is the beginning of a series or not, but I find myself fervently hoping there's more in store. 

For readers who decide to pick it up, the author's notes at the end of the book are absolutely worth a read.

A lovely and entertaining mystery. Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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