Book Review: A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang

Title:  A Beautiful Poison
Author: Lydia Kang
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
Release Date:  August 1, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction / Mystery

Just beyond the Gilded Age, in the mist-covered streets of New York, the deadly Spanish influenza ripples through the city. But with so many victims in her close circle, young socialite Allene questions if the flu is really to blame. All appear to have been poisoned—and every death was accompanied by a mysterious note.

Desperate for answers and dreading her own engagement to a wealthy gentleman, Allene returns to her passion for scientific discovery and recruits her long-lost friends, Jasper and Birdie, for help. The investigation brings her closer to Jasper, an apprentice medical examiner at Bellevue Hospital who still holds her heart, and offers the delicate Birdie a last-ditch chance to find a safe haven before her fragile health fails.

As more of their friends and family die, alliances shift, lives become entangled, and the three begin to suspect everyone—even each other. As they race to find the culprit, Allene, Birdie, and Jasper must once again trust each other, before one of them becomes the next victim.

A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang is the perfect title for this story. The writing is beautiful and it intrigued me from the start. Yet there's a certain level of chaos that makes it convoluted at times, but surprisingly in a good way. The mystery comes off far-fetched, but in all, it kept me guessing and chugging along quickly through the pages. So if you ask me how I like A Beautiful Poison? I'd say, just fine and maybe more.  I think it's so "all over the place" that it was simply just the right read for me at this time. Something not too intense, yet so crazy that it's good. Know what I mean? That ending, I don't think I expected it at all. Maybe for a glimpse I had a crazy notion that the character in mind was the culprit, but of course that was just as quickly dismissed. This "just after the Gilded Age" period made a great setting for what this is, a hint of Sherlock Holmes mixed with a bit of the start of the roaring times. And it made chemistry fun! In all, an interesting read for sure!

For my clean readers, please be aware of intimacy and plot lines of promiscuity. Some very minor language. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Lydia Kang is a physician and author of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine. She completed her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and currently lives in the midwest, where she continues to practice internal medicine.

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