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The Poisoner's Ring

Kelley Armstrong's latest was one of my most anticipated new releases, and it did not disappoint!

This is book two of the A Rip Through Time series, and we return to Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1869, where modern-day homicide detective Mallory Atkinson is still trapped in the body of a Victorian housemaid. In the first book in this series, Mallory has mysteriously time-traveled and has no idea how it happened. However, a few people know her secret, including Dr. Duncan Gray, an undertaker and unofficial medical examiner in whose house she is employed, Isla, his chemist sister, and McCready, their detective friend. The group has begun to take on murder investigations, and this one has multiple victims and suspects. Men are being poisoned, with their widows accused of their deaths, including Duncan and Isla's older sister, Annis.

I'm a big fan of Armstrong's writing and storytelling. This series is fascinating with its time travel aspect and the beginnings of scientific crime scene analysis, such as fingerprinting, which isn't advanced enough to be used as evidence yet. Mallory cannot rely on much of her modern detective training and must adapt to a society where her position as a female servant puts her in a lowly position. Even though her friends are open-minded, particularly for the time, Mallory's observations of Victorian life make for some thought-provoking scenes tackling social issues and interesting and often humorous dialogue. The group has gelled as a team, and this time we get more background on Dr. Gray and his sisters. Atmospheric and well-researched with lots of period detail, this has a tightly woven plot and engaging and complex characters. There is even a hint of a possible romance, making this series a unique and suspenseful genre mash-up and a thoroughly entertaining read! I devoured it and cannot wait for book 3!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur books, for the opportunity to review this ARC. I loved it!

My steep was iced Raspberry Earl Grey Black tea from Club Magic Hour. A delicious twist on a classic!


A modern-day homicide detective is working as an undertaker's assistant in Victorian Scotland when a serial poisoner attacks the men of Edinburgh and leaves their widows under suspicion.

Edinburgh, 1869: Modern-day homicide detective Mallory Atkinson is adjusting to her new life in Victorian Scotland. Her employers know she's not housemaid Catriona Mitchell—even though Mallory is in Catriona's body—and Mallory is now officially an undertaker's assistant. Dr. Duncan Gray moonlights as a medical examiner, and their latest case hits close to home. Men are dropping dead from a powerful poison, and all signs point to the grieving widows… the latest of which is Gray's oldest sister.

Poison is said to be a woman's weapon, though Mallory has to wonder if it's as simple as that. But she must tread carefully. Every move the household makes is being watched, and who knows where the investigation will lead.

New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong is known for her exquisite world building, and this latest series is no exception. The Poisoner's Ring brings the intricacies of Victorian Scotland alive as Mallory again searches for a 19th-century killer as well as a way home.

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