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The Poisonous Seed: A Frances Doughty Mystery (The Frances Doughty Mysteries) Paperback – May 1, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the Frances Doughty Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Her knowledge of the London area in which the Victorian Frances lived is detailed and cleverly given in a way that avoids any tedium."  —Mystery Women


"Her adventures as a detective, and the slowly unraveling evidence of multiple crimes in a murky Victorian setting, make for a gripping read." — The Historical Novels Review

About the Author

Linda Stratmann is the author of several books including Chloroform: The Quest for Oblivion and Greater London Murders.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Frances Doughty Mysteries (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; 1 edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752461184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752461182
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,848,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this historical mystery. Its hard to find a good historical mystery that is more mystery than romance. If you feel the same way, than this might be the book for you. I am off to see if there are any additional books in this series....Synopsis: When a customer of William Doughty's chemist shop dies of strychnine poisoning after drinking medicine he dispensed, William is blamed, and the family faces ruin. William's daughter, nineteen year old Frances, determines to redeem her ailing father's reputation and save the business. She soon becomes convinced that the death was murder, but unable to convince the police, she turns detective. Armed only with her wits, courage and determination, and aided by some unconventional new friends, Frances uncovers a startling deception and solves a ten year old murder. There will be more deaths, and a secret in her own family will be revealed before the killer is unmasked, and Frances will find that her life has changed forever.
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Format: Paperback
Frances Doughty works with her father in a chemist shop in Victorian London. Women are gradually starting to be accepted in the workplace and she hopes to qualify as a pharmacist. Then all her plans are shattered when one of their customers dies of strychnine poisoning apparently caused by an excessive quantity of the poison in a medicine prepared by William Doughty for the victim's indigestion.

Percival Garton is a respected local businessman and the police are convinced that the poison got into the medicine during its preparation. In order to restore her father's good name and preserve her own future livelihood Frances sets about investigating the case. She is convinced the victim was murdered. With painstaking attention to details, Frances sets about her task but further upheavals are in store for her before she can work out what has happened and where the truth lies.

I really enjoyed this low key mystery which brings Victorian London vividly to life. I liked Frances as a character and could share her frustration at the way society confined her to certain roles. I thought the book was well written in a low key style with a very well researched background. The details about medicine at the time made fascinating reading. I thought all the characters were well drawn and convincing and I especially liked the servants who are often overlooked in historical novels. This is the first book in a series and I look forward to reading the next one.
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Format: Paperback
Those who relish a tale of dark deeds done in the ever-fascinating era of Queen Victoria are in for a treat. Frances Doughty (by nature, as well as name) assists her father in his Bayswater pharmacy. She becomes a detective to clear his name when a customer dies and one of their preparations is blamed. Linda Stratmann's story unfolds with authority and authenticity (and touches of sly humour), and is memorably peopled with characters worthy of Dickens himself. An utterly satisfying solution completes this noteworthy book. I recommend it unreservedly and am delighted to see that it is the first of a series!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoy a good Victorian mystery and The Poisonous Seed certainly provided me with a great read. I loved Frances’s tenacity as she followed the clues and her instinct to solve the murder and in the process find out more about herself and her family’s past. She also does this in a time when women had basically no rights and were believed not to have the intelligence to think for themselves and have a career in the business world. I was glad to see this as the first book in a series for I will definitely want to read more from Linda Stratmann. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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