Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Published: August 1st, 2017 by Lake Union Publishing
ISBN: 1477848878
Paperback, 350 pages

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.

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I have been looking forward to reading this book since I signed up to review it earlier this year. In most aspects, it held up to the hype though in some facets I felt disillusioned. I’ve read a lot of great books lately, therefore, they cannot all be a hole in one. Though that would be nice, right?

To begin with, after I read the story a while it felt more comparable to a young adult novel also the characters felt one dimensional. While I am on the subject of disfavor in the story I found the argument between Paregoric and Laudanum misguided since from the first reference of Hazel’s tincture was mentioned at the bus stop by Birdie as being Laudanum before she pulled out her own tooth. Therefore, was the mentioning of Laudanum a mistake on the author's part or ignorance of the characters? The story was a bit drawn out making me feel a little jet-lagged afterward. Nonetheless, there are just as many positives.

The air in October was different. In the evenings, it haunted Jasper as he walked home from the city morgue. Sometimes it swept over his head like a scythe missing its mark. Sometimes it skimmed his collar, touching his neck where the blood pulsed, as if checking that he was alive.

The author did a great job historically. Every detail appears spot-on from WWI and General Crowder, the Spanish influenza outbreak, to the Radium girls. As to what I most highly regarded was the chemistry. With a degree in biochemistry myself, it is rare that I find so many impressive and entertaining chemistry references while I am reading a whodunit. As a result, there is much to hold your attention plus many what's, how’s, and why’s to keep the reader guessing throughout including some mighty fine twists in the plot. Above all, this is just my crazy opinion, so do yourself a favor and get a copy. Then let me know what you think!

Can you name this molecular structure?

I love salt more than chocolate. I'm somewhat small, yet deceptively strong. Sort of like an ant.

I'm a part time doc, full time family member, and if you offer me snacks, I'll be a friend for life.
My adult fiction debut is an historical forensic mystery, entitled A BEAUTIFUL POISON, coming August 2017 from Lake Union Publishing.
I have a nonfiction adult book written with Nate Pederson entitled QUACKERY: A Short History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything, coming in 2017 (Workman).
And also...a new YA novel, THE NOVEMBER GIRL. Set on a remote island on Lake Superior, a girl with violence running through her veins meets a boy running away from an abusive home life. (Entangled Teen, 2017)
Lydia Kang’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, July 31st: Reading is My SuperPower
Tuesday, August 1st: Reading Reality
Tuesday, August 1st: Reviews from the Heart
Wednesday, August 2nd: 5 Minutes for Books
Thursday, August 3rd: The Maiden’s Court
Friday, August 4th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, August 7th: Write Read Life
Tuesday, August 8th: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, August 8th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, August 9th: Readaholic Zone
Friday, August 11th: I Brought a Book
Monday, August 14th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, August 15th: Books a la Mode
Tuesday, August 15th: Books ‘n Tea
Thursday, August 17th: A. Holland Reads
Friday, August 18th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, August 21st: Just Commonly
Tuesday, August 22nd: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, August 23rd: Mama Vicky Says
Thursday, August 24th: Just One More Chapter
Friday, August 25th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, August 29th: From the TBR Pile
Sunday, October 15th: Writer Unboxed – author guest post

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