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Summary

I swear I'm one bad mood away from calling it black magic and going home....

Detective Sergeant Washington Poe can count on one hand the number of friends he has. And he'd still have his thumb left. There's the insanely brilliant, guilelessly innocent civilian analyst Tilly Bradshaw, of course. He's known his beleaguered boss, Detective Inspector Stephanie Flynn, for years, as he has his nearest neighbour, full-time shepherd/part-time dog sitter Victoria.

And then there's Estelle Doyle. It's true the caustic pathologist has never walked down the sunny side of the street, but this time has she gone too far? Shot twice in the head, her father's murder appears to be an open-and-shut case. Estelle has firearms discharge residue on her hands, and, in a house surrounded by fresh snow, hers are the only footprints going in. Since her arrest she's only said three words: 'Tell Washington Poe.'

Meanwhile, a poisoner the press have dubbed the Botanist is sending high-profile celebrities poems and pressed flowers. The killer seems to be able to walk through walls and, despite the advance notice he gives his victims, and regardless of the security measures the police take, he seems to be able to kill with impunity.

For a man who hates locked room mysteries, this is going to be the longest week of Washington Poe's life....

©2022 M. W. Craven (P)2022 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"Mesmerising, macabre and murderously funny. The Botanist is M.W. Craven at his sinister best. I couldn't love this series more." (Chris Whitaker)

"Another classy thriller from the king of Cumbrian crime." (Paul Finch)

"Unputdownable, gripping, clever and with a rich seam of trademark Craven humour running through it." (Imran Mahmood)

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Average

Had great hopes for this book. But it has turned out not as expected. The story is somewhat far fetched with much pseudo science. The main police characters are not believable at all. Well read though. But I won't be bothering to listen to any more from this author

1 person found this helpful

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Stiff Little Fingers

Hits you like the guitar riff and pounding drums after the pause on Alternative Ulster live on Hanx.

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Another really good one

I am really enjoying these Washington Poe and Tilly novels, it's fun to see how the characters have grown! An excellent story, read in just a day!

1 person found this helpful

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Entertaining story, great reader

As a Cumbrian love Washington Poe series and all local references but also enjoyed this story written in such a way that could have guess at what might happen next and was sometimes correct. And really appreciate narration, in fact so good, characters just come out of the page.

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Poe & Bradshaw strike again!

Another belter by Mike Craven. Bring on the next one!! Highly Recommended. Is this 15 words yet?

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Another excellent Washington Poe

This is one of the best crime series, great characters and a clever story line every time

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I really hope this was meant to be funny

I found this hilarious. It reads like a tween murder mystery, one of the characters sounding exactly like Moss from the IT crowd. Much of it was fairly formulaic, and the language nothing outstanding but there's nothing wrong with a good Agatha Christie-type novel.

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another cracking read

I love the author for creating all these great characters the interaction involved with solving the crime makes the books such an enjoyable read

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A real page turner

Cleverly composed with lots of twists and turns. The motley team are endearing and lend a human element to a chilling tale. It is compelling to see how all the threads intertwine to produce a satisfying conclusion.

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Not good

Not my first Poe and Tilly book so I don't know if I'm just fed up with the books and narration or if this one was just really bad. The narrator makes all the females sound the same and why dom they have to sound so simple? It felt like the story just dragged on and on.... super boring