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Beloved Poison: A Novel
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Pegasus Books 2016
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Checked Out
Description
Set in a crumbling 1850s London infirmary, a richly atmospheric Victorian crime novel where murder is the price to be paid for secrets kept.
Ramshackle and crumbling, trapped in the past and resisting the future, St. Saviour's Infirmary awaits demolition. Within its stinking wards and cramped corridors, the doctors bicker and backstab. Ambition, jealousy, and loathing seethe beneath the veneer of professional courtesy. Always an outsider, and with a secret of her own to hide, apothecary Jem Flockhart observes everything but says nothing.

And then six tiny coffins are uncovered, inside each a handful of dried flowers and a bundle of mouldering rags. When Jem comes across these strange relics hidden inside the infirmary's old chapel, her quest to understand their meaning prises open a long-forgotten past—with fatal consequences.

In a trail that leads from the bloody world of the operating room and the dissecting table to the notorious squalor of Newgate Prison and the gallows, Jem's adversary proves to be both powerful and ruthless. As St. Saviour's destruction draws near, the dead are unearthed from their graves while the living are forced to make impossible choices. And murder is the price to be paid for the secrets to be kept.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/13/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781681772684
ASIN:
B01E9EHVS6
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

E. S Thomson. (2016). Beloved Poison: A Novel. Pegasus Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

E. S Thomson. 2016. Beloved Poison: A Novel. Pegasus Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

E. S Thomson, Beloved Poison: A Novel. Pegasus Books, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

E. S Thomson. Beloved Poison: A Novel. Pegasus Books, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Mar 29, 2019 08:59:38
Date Updated:
Sep 07, 2021 20:28:27
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Aug 07, 2022 12:28:02
Last Metadata Change:
Jul 28, 2022 17:28:15
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Jul 31, 2022 12:27:14
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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      • bioText: E. S. Thomson has a Ph.D. in the history of medicine and works as a university lecturer in Edinburgh. Her work has been shortlisted for the Saltire First Novel Award and the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award. Beloved Poison was shortlisted for the Scottish Crime Novel of the Year Award, and Dark Asylum was longlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Historical Dagger Award. Elaine lives in Edinburgh with her two sons.
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title
Beloved Poison
fullDescription
Set in a crumbling 1850s London infirmary, a richly atmospheric Victorian crime novel where murder is the price to be paid for secrets kept.
Ramshackle and crumbling, trapped in the past and resisting the future, St. Saviour's Infirmary awaits demolition. Within its stinking wards and cramped corridors, the doctors bicker and backstab. Ambition, jealousy, and loathing seethe beneath the veneer of professional courtesy. Always an outsider, and with a secret of her own to hide, apothecary Jem Flockhart observes everything but says nothing.

And then six tiny coffins are uncovered, inside each a handful of dried flowers and a bundle of mouldering rags. When Jem comes across these strange relics hidden inside the infirmary's old chapel, her quest to understand their meaning prises open a long-forgotten past—with fatal consequences.

In a trail that leads from the bloody world of the operating room and the dissecting table to the notorious squalor of Newgate Prison and the gallows, Jem's adversary proves to be both powerful and ruthless. As St. Saviour's destruction draws near, the dead are unearthed from their graves while the living are forced to make impossible choices. And murder is the price to be paid for the secrets to be kept.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Journal of Books
      • content: Beloved Poison introduces a major talent. An absorbing read on many levels, sure to enthrall readers and leave them anxious for her next book.
      • premium: False
      • source: Daily Record (UK)
      • content: E. S. Thomson mixes the perfect potion for a dark and mysterious read.
      • premium: False
      • source: Criminal Element
      • content: A beautifully dark portrait of Victorian London that Charles Dickens would feel right at home in. With macabre portrayals of anatomy, science, and death, this Dickensian crime novel is not to be missed, especially if you're missing Showtime's Penny Dreadful and are looking to fill the loss.
      • premium: False
      • source: Marilyn Stasio;New York Times Book Review
      • content: After a while the Grand Guignol effects start to get under your skin—unless that's just the ­leeches crawling out of their jar.
      • premium: False
      • source: HistoricalNovels.info
      • content: Beloved Poison vividly portrays the sad state of mid-nineteenth-century medicine. Jem makes a sympathetic narrator, and the mystery is puzzling enough to keep readers entertained.
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal (starred)
      • content: This outstanding debut historical enthralls with its meticulously researched details of 19th-century hospitals; the result is a dismal portrait of unrelenting bleakness that will make readers grateful to be living in the 21st century. This is Showtime's Penny Dreadful, brought to life!
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: A debut mystery chock full of mysterious doings, riveting historical detail, and so many horrifying anecdotes about the state of medicine in the mid-1800s that you can almost feel the evil miasma rising from the pages.
      • premium: False
      • source: Historical Novels Review
      • content: The narrative is excellent and the story utterly enthralling – quite simply a page-turner!
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly (starred review)
      • content: Rich atmospherics and a Dickensian portrayal of the underbelly of Victorian London elevate Thomson's superb whodunit above most other historical debuts. Thomson excels in evoking the claustrophobic feel of the back alleys Jem must tread in search of the truth.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from August 1, 2016
        Rich atmospherics and a Dickensian portrayal of the underbelly of Victorian London elevate Scottish author Thomson’s superb whodunit above most other historical debuts. Jem Flockhart, an apothecary at St. Saviour’s Infirmary, has successfully passed herself off as a man in order to work alongside her father, continuing a family tradition in medicine that dates back a century. Meanwhile, the hospital governors have agreed that to sell the property to make way for a railway bridge, which necessitates emptying its graveyard, an unpleasant task delegated to junior architect William Quatermain. And, in the midst of that upheaval, one of the infirmary’s doctors is fatally poisoned, a crime that Jem believes is linked to her discovery of six tiny coffins, each containing a blood-stained doll. Some of the coffins are lined with papers with cryptic writing, including a reference to the date Jem’s mother died giving birth to her. Thomson excels in evoking the claustrophobic feel of the back alleys Jem must tread in search of the truth. The plot builds to a logical but surprising reveal. Agent: Jenny Brown, Jenny Brown Associates (U.K.).

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        July 15, 2016
        The coming demolition of St. Saviour's Infirmary in Victorian London marks a decisive chapter for a young woman who's lived her entire life there as a man.Jem Flockhart has been raised by her apothecary father to follow in his footsteps in the crumbling ruins of the buildings due to be torn down to make way for a railway. It's been hard to hide her sex from others, and she's distressed when William Quartermain, the junior architect for the project, has to share her room. Hundreds of bodies have been discovered on the grounds, and it's Quartermain's job to remove them all. While she's showing Quartermain around, they find hidden in the chapel six tiny coffins, each with a doll inside wrapped in bloody cloth, along with bits and pieces of flowers and seeds. Curious about who made them and for what reason, Jem, who's slowly warming to Quartermain, joins his quest for answers. One person who won't be able to help is Dr. Bain, who's been collaborating with Jem on a book about poisons. When Bain is found dead in his home, Jem naturally suspects poison. The suspects include the infirmary's other doctors, many of whom hated Bain because of professional jealousy or due to his reputation as a womanizer. Jem also worries about her father, who hasn't been himself, perhaps because his brother is in the final stages of madness. The next to die is the wife of Dr. Catchpole, who was in love with Bain and accused her husband of killing him. Jem is sure she and Quartermain are clever enough to catch the killer, but she's not prepared for the horrors they will uncover and the extent of the malevolence they must overcome. A debut mystery chock full of mysterious doings, riveting historical detail, and so many horrifying anecdotes about the state of medicine in the mid-1800s that you can almost feel the evil miasma rising from the pages.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from September 1, 2016

        In 1850s London, Jem Flockhart works as an apothecary at the crumbling St. Saviour's Infirmary, built in 1135. Still, time marches on, and the hospital has been sold to be torn down to build a new railway bridge. Junior architect Will Quartermain is given the unpleasant responsibility of moving the bodies from the graveyard. Teaming up with Jem, with whom he is lodged, he finds six little coffins in the old chapel, each containing a wood puppet and dried flowers. As the two investigate, their discovery will unleash death and destruction and reveal some secrets (including Jem's). VERDICT Short listed for the Saltire First Book Award and the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award, this outstanding debut historical enthralls with its meticulously researched details of 19th-century hospitals; the result is a dismal portrait of unrelenting bleakness that will make readers grateful to be living in the 21st century. This is Showtime's Penny Dreadful, brought to life!

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
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shortDescription
Set in a crumbling 1850s London infirmary, a richly atmospheric Victorian crime novel where murder is the price to be paid for secrets kept.
Ramshackle and crumbling, trapped in the past and resisting the future, St. Saviour's Infirmary awaits demolition. Within its stinking wards and cramped corridors, the doctors bicker and backstab. Ambition, jealousy, and loathing seethe beneath the veneer of professional courtesy. Always an outsider, and with a secret of her own to hide, apothecary Jem Flockhart observes everything but says nothing.

And then six tiny coffins are uncovered, inside each a handful of dried flowers and a bundle of mouldering rags. When Jem comes across these strange relics hidden inside the infirmary's old chapel, her quest to understand their meaning prises open a long-forgotten past—with fatal consequences.

In a trail that leads from the bloody world of the operating room and the dissecting table to the notorious squalor of...
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Beloved Poison A Novel
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Jem Flockhart Mysteries
subtitle
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publisher
Pegasus Books