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The Poisoned Island

The Poisoned Island - Lloyd Shepherd

bookshelves: autumn-2013, historical-fiction, net-galley, e-book, plague-disease, eye-scorcher, gardening, magical-realism, london, regency-romp1811-1820, published-2013

Read from October 08 to 15, 2013


NetGalley ARC from Atria Books/Washington Square Press

Description: A brilliant young police officer discovers a series of bizarre deaths are connected to the cargo of a research vessel bound for Kew Gardens in this fantasy-tinged historical thriller set in early nineteenth-century London.

Author Website

Opening quote is from The Botanic Garden, “The Economy of Vegetation” Canto 1

She comes!—the Goddess!—through the whispering air,
Bright as the morn, descends her blushing car;
Each circling wheel a wreath of flowers entwines,
And gemm’d with flowers the silken harness shines;
The golden bits with flowery studs are deck’d,
And knots of flowers the crimson reins connect.—
And now on earth the silver axle rings,
And the shell sinks upon its slender springs;
Light from her airy seat the Goddess bounds,
And steps celestial press the pansied grounds.


We open up with a rape on Tahiti 1769. Rape is an area of contention with the book industry at the moment as many readers will not tolerate a book with that as a frontspiece. Historically though, that is the way things were back then and the sexually transmitted diseases spread by those sailors come back to London with the sailors of the Solander in 1812.

So keep this book in your hand because you are in for an exciting story with many twists and turns, some of them magical and deadly.

John Harriott is from the realm of historical fact, he was the instigator of the London River Police and he also featured in Lloyd Shepherd's debut novel 'The English Monster', which I haven't read yet, so this seems to be a series.

Excellent read and I feel the need to catch a hold of a copy of the first novel.

Cross-posted to NetGalley, aNobii, LibraryThing, Bettie's Books