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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“My target focused upon me. His hand shook, reaching out in a misplaced plea for aid. Instead, I raised my goblet in a final toast while he turned purple. He glanced towards his spilled glass, and then studied my face with new understanding. With his last remnants of life, he pieced together what I had done. Those little moments made the act so delicious. And as his body collapsed upon the floor, I added one more success to my mental tally. Murder just never got old.” Can you ever side with an assassin? Lavinia Maud, a poison master, is at an odd place between her obsession and her faith. Apricots and Wolfsbane by K.M. Pohlkamp lets readers see how she navigates through life dealing with this interesting conundrum.
One should never condone murder, but, strangely, I rooted for Lavinia. Pohlkamp made her easily understandable, despite her odd sense of morality. She had to survive in a time period dominated by men. That said, following her accomplishment of deadly deeds was not an easy read at times. Her dark obsession with poison, her love for the magistrate, Haylan Moryet, and her belief in God turn the narrative into something fascinating and substantial that powers the heart of the story. There are some nice twists to the plot and I think the story has a well-deserved ending. There’s also a great reading group guide at the end. All in all, Apricots and Wolfsbane is a commendable novel from Pohlkamp, highly recommended to my fellow readers.