Monday, April 11, 2022

Fierce Poison by Will Thomas

First Line: Scotland Yard is of the opinion that we at the Barker and Llewelyn Agency are barking mad.
There's a poisoner loose in 1893 London, and the first that private enquiry agents Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn know about it is when a victim drops dead moments after walking into their offices.The dead man, a Member of Parliament, was coming to them for help, and former Prime Minister William Gladstone hires them to find his killer.
But before they can really begin their investigation, they become the target of the poisoner, now dubbed the "Mad Pie Man" by the press. A member of their household is poisoned and dozens of deadly traps placed throughout their home. 
Sending loved ones to places of safety, Barker and Llewelyn are on the run, desperately trying to find the information that will uncover this deadly foe before anyone else dies.
I've enjoyed Will Thomas's excellent series from the very first book, Some Danger Involved. I've learned a lot about the different areas of Victorian London, and I've enjoyed watching young Thomas Llewelyn mature and his cheeky sense of humor become more sharply honed. The mysteries are always good, strong exercises for the little grey cells, too.

From standing beneath Big Ben as it tolls the hour to finding out why the typical Englishman dislikes plainclothes police officers, readers are firmly treading the streets of London in the 1890s, and I have to admit that Fierce Poison is one of my favorite books in the series. The "Mad Pie Man" poisoner is truly frightening, and Llewelyn's reaction to one of the victims and her flower pots is profoundly moving. There was a time or two when Barker or Llewelyn touch something or enter a place and I wanted to shout "Put that down!" or "Don't go in there!" -- but happily, Thomas manages to keep readers on red alert without overusing that thriller staple.

Barker and Llewelyn continue to be one of my favorite private enquiry duos, and as young Thomas's life continues to change, I'm certainly looking forward to their next adventure. If you're new to the series and not sure you're intrigued enough to begin at the very beginning, you should be able to read Fierce Poison without confusion. The author does provide enough of the characters' backstories. But... don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting more.

Fierce Poison by Will Thomas
eISBN: 9781250624802
Minotaur Books © 2022
eBook, 320 pages
Historical Mystery, #13 Barker & Llewelyn mystery
Rating: A
Source: Net Galley


  1. I really like this series, too, Cathy. I think Thomas does an excellent job of creating atmosphere, and I do like the relationship between Barker and Llewelyn. Very glad this one lives up the rest of the series for you!

    1. There are those wonderful series that always manage to maintain their high quality, and this certainly is one of them.

  2. Color me intrigued. I'm putting the series on my list of books to consider for reading.

  3. Victorian London makes for such a great setting...especially for a mystery. This series sounds like one I would like. :)

    1. You hit the nail on the head, Lark-- Victorian London is ripe for mysteries!


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