Saturday 28 April 2018

Hist Fic Saturday ~ Apricots and Wolfsbane by K M Pohlkamp

On Hist Fic Saturday

Let's go back to ...16th Century, Tudor England

Filles Verte Publishing

My thanks to the author for sharing her book with me

Apricots and Wolfsbane is set against the dark years of Tudor England and introduces us to Lavinia Maud, a young woman whose endless fascination for poisons and their uses will take her into some very dark places. There's something endlessly fascinating about a beautiful young woman going about the deadly business of poisoning. That she is also a paid assassin adds a delicious frisson of excitement to what is a decidedly deadly sort of story.

When Lavinia confesses her sin of murder, she does so only in the hope of appeasing her conscience and not with any intention of giving up her profession. However, as her increasing skill at the alchemical art takes her into some very shadowy places, Lavinia learns to her cost that people are not trustworthy, and that with success comes a degree of dangerous responsibility.

I found the opening chapter of Apricots and Wolfsbane quite impressive and I knew that this would be a good omen for the rest of the story which really fires the imagination, bringing Tudor England to life with all its dark and dangerous corners. The historical aspects of the story sit very comfortably alongside the darker elements and I enjoyed watching how the mystery at the heart of story played out within the wider context of different poisons and their possible uses.

The author has a really interesting way of writing the narrative so intimately that you feel as if you walk in Lavinia’s shadow as she practices her deadly trade. I even looked up Wolfsbane, not because I want to poison anyone with it, but just so I would be able to recognise it if ever I came across it in the English countryside. It's a really pretty colour but its effects are deadly and dangerous.

Apricots and Wolfsbane is an impressive debut novel, with some genuine surprises and some very dark elements which make for fascinating reading. I hope to see lots more of the same from this talented writer.

K.M. Pohlkamp is a blessed wife to the love of her life, a proud mother of two, and a Mission Control flight controller. Originally from Wisconsin, she now resides in Houston, Texas.

Twitter @KMPohlkamp

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