In 1923, females on staff at educational institutions had to have very thick skin and a tolerance for harassment. Meet Saffron Everleigh, a new research assistant at the University College of London, who attends a party where, instead of scientific subjects, she meets an intriguing new researcher and then witnesses the wife of a senior professor collapse after sipping champagne. The toxin in the bubbles is unknown. Saffron’s beloved mentor Dr. Maxwell, a collector of exotic flora, is arrested for the crime. At first relying on the neutrality of the police, she soon decides to do her own investigations. With the sometimes reluctant, sometimes horrified, help of Alexander Ashton, the new researcher with memories of trench warfare still vivid, she embarks on a risky series of explorations that lead to a deadly stand-off with the villains. Feisty heroine, handsome sidekick with personal issues, exotic poisons, evil antagonists…a great mix. By page ten I was hooked! Thanks to Crooked Lane and Net Galley I have a new author to follow.