My superpower is starting book series at or near the end of the series.
And I continue to not disappoint.
A Message in Poison is the third book featuring Dr. Lily Robinson, a pathologist, toxicologist… and an assassin for the U.S. government. A unique blend of occupations, all of which Lily is brilliant at, but it’s her knowledge of poisons that makes her a standout, and a deadly assassin.
When two members of different governments are found dead in their beds, Dr. Robinson is part of the team called in to investigate and finds a link in the cause of death. Now she has to uncover the mystery of why and what it means.
Of course, while Lily is brilliant in her work, her personal life, not so much. While I haven’t read the first two books of the series, I get feelings of ennui from her that have been building for quite some time. A flawed, complex character, she’s having internal struggles with her love life, the safety of her family, and her skilled professions. As a doctor she’s taken an oath “to do no harm,” but as an assassin, she does in some truly creative ways. (I don’t like bugs, but high heels? Okay!)
Surrounded by realistic, well-developed characters, Lily and the situations in her life and their meanings add more depth to her inner conflict of woman versus assassin.
Full of international intrigue, at the heart of the story are two super powers at deadly odds, not over just weapons of mass destruction, but technological components and the rare-earth elements (REE) needed to manufacture them, and a laundry list of other modern-day devices.
Like her protagonist, author BJ Magnani is a pathologist and noted toxicologist, and it’s her professional knowledge that lifts this read from your average whodunit to smart fiction. She doesn’t have Lily and her colleagues dumb down the science but also doesn’t explain it in a condescending manner, and as a reader, this knowledge pulled me further into the story and how poisons are administered… and kill.
While I enjoyed this read immensely, I recommend reading books one and two first to better understand Lily and her motivations. But hurry back to A Message in Poison. It’s a masterful must-read!
Sparks fly as Dr. Lily Robinson-the brilliant academic pathologist and covert assassin for the U.S. Government-investigates two seemingly unrelated deaths alongside her lover, Agent Jean Paul Marchand, and D.C. Medical Examiner Dr. Logan Pelletier.
A U.S. Senator and the president of a developing nation are found dead in their beds. As governments thousands of miles apart react to the fallout and begin their investigations, no one claims responsibility, and no motives are clear. Yet, the cause of death implies a link between the two—one that only a mind versed in poisons and politics can decipher. With her personal relationships teetering on the brink and her loved ones facing foreign threats, Lily must unravel the mystery and uncover a plot more calculating than anyone could imagine—but it may be too late.
A Message in Poison, the third part of the Art of Secret Poisoning trilogy (The Queen of All Poisons and The Power of Poison), continues with twists and turns as Dr. Lily Robinson travels the globe, stares down death, and finds herself at “another crossroad, another choice between life real or imagined…”
The fast-paced action juxtaposes nicely with the personal dilemmas Lily faces as she uncovers a new plot that forces her to reconsider her talents and place in the world.
~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Genre: Medical Mystery / Thriller
Published by: Encircle Publications
Publication Date: April 20th 2022
Number of Pages: 278
ISBN: 1645993256 (ISBN13: 9781645993254)
Series: A Dr. Lily Robinson Novel, The Art of Secret Poisoning Part 3