‘… the bodies are going to keep piling up . . .’ #TheBotanist #Review @nholten40 @MWCravenUK @TheCrimeVault

This is going to be the longest week of Washington Poe’s life…

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 guilelessly innocent civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw of course. Insanely brilliant, she’s a bit of a social hand grenade. 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. Dark and dangerous and sexy as hell. It’s true the caustic pathologist has never walked down the sunny side of the street, but has she gone too far this time? 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. Since her arrest she’s only said three words: ‘Tell Washington Poe.’

Meanwhile, a poisoner called the Botanist is sending the nation’s most reviled people poems and pressed flowers. Twisted and ingenious, he seems to be able to walk through walls and, despite the advance notice given to his victims, and regardless of the security measures taken, he is able to kill with impunity.

Poe hates locked room mysteries and now he has two to solve. To unravel them he’s going to have to draw on every resource he has: Tilly Bradshaw, an organised crime boss, even an alcoholic ex-journalist. Because if he doesn’t, the bodies are going to keep piling up . . .


* My thanks to Beth / the publisher (Constable) for a proof copy of this book *

The fabulous Poe & Tilly are back in what might be my favourite book in this series (I feel like I say this for each book! 🤔😂🤷‍♀️ But I mean it this time!) We see the characters in London, Cumbria, and Newcastle to name a few of the locations and as always, the descriptions have you right there visualising everything as the words flow. You’ll come across revenge, narcissism, focussed opportunities, with a killer on a mission and Poe trying to get justice – not only for the victims but for a friend…

I hate to say it, but I think when it comes to writing crime thrillers, M.W. Craven is a genius and looking at his success and reviews for this series, I’m not the only one who thinks this way. In The Botanist, the author delivers not one, but TWO locked room mysteries that simply blew my mind!

Complex storylines were executed flawlessly. The dialogue is crisp and relatable, I feel totally invested in all the characters whether I liked them or not. The team dynamics were also on point and I really have enjoyed watching them shift and change through each novel. A special shout-out to Estelle Doyle as when were were first introduced to her, I immediately wanted more and we get that in The Botanist.

Would I recommend this novel? Hmmm 🤔 let me think about that for a hot minute. You bet your friggin ass I would. This series goes from strength to strength. Each one, fresh, sharp, chilling and authentic. How will M.W. Craven top this? I can’t wait to find out. Highly recommended! 👌🏻