About the book, Arsenic at Ascot
- Series: Fiona Figg and Kittty Lane (Book 4)
- Publisher: Boldwood Books (November 28, 2023)
- Language: English
- Paperback: 280 pages
Arsenic at Ascot (A Fiona Figg & Kitty Lane Mystery Book 4)
Saddle up for this first class historical mystery, perfect for fans of Helena Dixon and Verity Bright.
Fiona Figg finds herself back in Old Blighty saddled with shuffling papers for the war office. Then a mysterious card arrives, inviting her to a fancy house party at Mentmore Castle. This year’s Ascot-themed do will play host to a stable of animal defense advocates, and Fiona is tasked with infiltrating the activists and uncovering possible anti-war activity.
Disguised as the Lady Tabitha Kenworthy, Fiona is more than ready for the “mane” event, but the odds are against her when both her arch nemesis, dark-horse Fredrick Fredricks, and would-be fiancé Lieutenant Archie Somersby arrive unexpectedly and “stirrup” her plans. And when a horse doctor thuds to the floor in the next guest room, Fiona finds herself investigating a mysterious poisoning with some very hairy clues.
Can Fiona overcome the hurdles and solve both cases, or will she be pipped to the post and put out to pasture by the killer?
Buy, read, and discuss this book:
About the author, Kelly Oliver
Kelly Oliver is the award-winning, bestselling author of three mysteries series: The Jessica James Mysteries, The Pet Detective Mysteries, and the historical cozies The Fiona Figg Mysteries, set in WW1. She is also the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is bringing new titles in the Fiona Figg series to Boldwood, the first of which, Chaos in Carnegie Hall, will be published in November 2022.
Connect with Kelly:
It’s a farce! It’s a period piece! It’s a mystery! It’s a romance! Actually, it’s all of the above, and you can find it in Kelly Oliver’s fourth installment in her Fiona Figg & Kitty Lane Mysteries, Arsenic at Ascot. This novel finds Fiona undercover as several different people from Lady Tabitha Kenworthy to a rear admiral, and she’s solving crime, thwarting international spies, and flirting with men – and danger – in a delightful romp through the English animal rights scene of 1918.
Kelly Oliver’s prowess is in her ability to make a period piece feel completely contemporary, while never compromising the setting. Fiona Figg’s costume and personality shifts as she moves between undercover guises are both fantastic and a little bit funny, and the author makes you want to jump into the pages and join the adventure. Her deft hand at pacing and plot only make the read even better, and I confess, she kept me guessing until the end of the story.
I also appreciated that this book, while fourth in a series, is perfectly readable as a standalone (though I’ll go back and read books 1-3 as time allows). While it would have been interesting to know more of the relationships at play, especially the history of Fiona, fellow agent Archie, and nemesis Fredrick Fredricks, not having their backstories in no way detracts from being able to follow the plot, through it’s many twists and turns.
I especially enjoyed seeing a feisty, independent woman leading the story in a period that isn’t given a lot of “air play” in literature, and it was interesting to observe both the similarities and the differences in the cultures of the past in the novel, and our own present.
I listened to the audiobook of this story as well as reading the text, and I can say that while the quick pacing makes it something that, I feel, works better in print, the narration by Willow Nash was spot on, and I’d happily listen to more of her work
Overall, this is a fabulous story with something for everyone: romance, intrigue, humor, danger… and horses. What’s not to love?
Goes well with: late-night whiskey in the library.
Visit the Other Great Blogs on This Tour