Sunday, June 19, 2022

On My Radar: Colleen Cambridge's A Trace of Poison!


When I read Colleen Cambridge's first Phyllida Bright mystery, Murder at Mallowan Hall, I wasn't sure what to expect, but a mystery investigated by Agatha Christie's housekeeper was just too intriguing to ignore. I'm glad I didn't pass it by because I found it very enjoyable and full of promise for a series. So much so, that I did a little happy dance when I learned that there was a release date for the second book in the series.
Let me tell you more about it!
Available October 25, 2022!

"In England’s stately manor houses, murder is not generally a topic for polite conversation. Mallowan Hall, home to Agatha Christie and her husband, Max, is the exception. And housekeeper Phyllida Bright delights in discussing gory plot details with her friend and employer . . .
The neighboring village of Listleigh has also become a hub of grisly goings-on, thanks to a Murder FĂȘte organized to benefit a local orphanage. Members of The Detection Club—a group of celebrated authors such as G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Agatha herself—will congregate for charitable events, including a writing contest for aspiring authors. The winner gets an international publishing contract, and entrants have gathered for a cocktail party—managed by the inimitable Phyllida—when murder strikes too close even for her comfort.
It seems the victim imbibed a poisoned cocktail intended for Alastair Whittlesby, president of the local writers’ club. The insufferable Whittlesby is thought to be a shoo-in for the prize, and ambition is certainly a worthy motive. But narrowing down these suspects could leave even Phyllida’s favorite fictional detective, M. Poirot, twirling his mustache in frustration.
It’s a mystery too intriguing for Phyllida to resist, but one fraught with duplicity and danger, for every guest is an expert in murder—and how to get away with it . . .
Agatha Christie, a Murder FĂȘte in the village, attendance by members of the Detection Club? How delicious! In addition, there's more to Phyllida Bright than meets the eye, so this has all the ingredients for a splendid mystery. I'm really looking forward to reading it, and I would imagine that many of you fellow historical mystery lovers are going to want to read it, too!


  1. Oh, this does sound good, Cathy! Sometimes I don't care much for these sorts of 'follow on' books, but when they're done well, they can really be enjoyable. It's an interesting way to get some perspective on an author or another fictional characters (like Martin Davies' series about Mrs. Hudson).

    1. About five years ago, Michelle Birkby wrote two books featuring Mrs. Hudson and Mrs. Watson, and I loved them. I've always wished there were more in the series. I just looked them up, and it appears that the UK publisher is re-issuing them with new covers. I hope that means the series has been picked up and will continue!

  2. I just read Mallowan Hall and will be looking forward to reading this one too!

    1. Fantastic! I'm so glad you liked Mallowan.


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