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The Poison in All of Us*

History, Mystery, and Murder

In a strange coincidence, I just read a mystery that had a suffragist as a potential murderer. Now, this book has one as the victim. This book felt so well grounded in history, and the author made it feel like it might have actually been lived. World War I, or as it was known then, the Great War, had just wrapped up, the suffragist movement was in full swing, and the Roaring Twenties were at the doorstep. This book manages to convey all of these elements of the time, yet the author didn’t weigh the story down with too much explanation of anything all at one time. Instead, facts and ideas were related in a way that seemed natural between characters. I loved that one of the heroines was very modern in her love of motorcycles and fast driving. The fact that she even liked to tinker with it reflects the changing roles of women that were happening at the time. The mystery is a solid one, and the solution did come as a bit of a surprise to me, which I like. The author’s writing style was very enjoyable. I didn’t feel like she did a big info dump at the beginning, which can be so common in any historical book. Rather, the backstory was slowly revealed as characters interacted; I thought this was well done. She actually also described things well, showing rather than telling, and I felt I could visualize what was going on. I like that, as I am a very visual reader. The book is short, but unlike many short mysteries, I didn’t feel like this book suffered from its brevity. All in all, I really enjoyed this historical slice-of-life mystery and look forward to others in the series.

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