Review: A Pinch of Poison by Alyssa Maxwell. Kensington Books.

It’s April 1919, and Lady Phoebe Renshaw is the speaker at a charity luncheon at the Haverleigh School for Young Ladies, encouraging the students and faculty in their efforts to aid the needy in this post-war era.

In the midst of this worthy activity, tragedy strikes, and the school’s headmistress, Miss Finch, suffers a sudden choking attack after eating her special Madeira cake, and falls dead before anyone can help her. At first it seems an unfortunate accident, but the Coroner finds that death was due to cyanide poisoning.

This throws the students and faculty and families into instant chaos. School is suspended, girls are returned home, and the future of the school is in doubt.

It falls to Lady Phoebe and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, to solve this challenge. That proves difficult, as they soon find that nearly everyone connoted with the school has a secret. Is one of those secrets the key to the murder of Miss Finch?

This is an engaging and well-constructed tale that uses the talents of these two ladies. In the process, they may find that romance also looms for one or both of them.

My thanks to author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing this advance copy to read and review.

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