The year is 1925, a time that hovers between two catastrophic wars, a time of jazz and sparkle, and a time of peace and reflection. For Lady Evelyn, struggling to outrun the ghosts of her tragic past, it is a time of transformation.
Left orphaned after a fire when she was only four, Lady Evelyn Carlisle was raised in London by her stern aunt and uncle. Now, twenty years later she has grown restless and is keen to escape her chaperone's grasp. A letter from her cousin, Briony, living with her husband on Crete, comes at just the right time. Packing what she can, Lady Evelyn makes off for foreign shores.
Welcoming her are not only Briony and her husband, Jeffrey, but also his handsome and mysterious friends, Caspar Ballantine and Daniel Harper. Though the latter carries with him tragic memories of the Great War, Evelyn is glad to be in their company. With the sun warming her back and the dazzling sea in her sights, this fresh start seems destined for happy days ahead. Little does she know . . .
What starts off as a sunny holiday quickly turns into a sinister nightmare, when Evelyn stumbles across the corpse of one of her cousin's houseguests. Drawn into the mystery surrounding the murder, Evelyn embarks on a mission to discover the truth, forcing her to face her own past as well as a cold-hearted killer. With the help of her cousin, the handsome local police detective, and the mysterious Daniel Harper, will she uncover the truth, before another life is claimed?
A varied cast of characters, an engaging mystery at its core, an exotic setting, and a thoughtful, plucky heroine provide a story that will appeal to fans of many genres, including historical fiction and suspense/mystery.
About the Author
Malia Zaidi is a writer and painter, who grew up in Germany and lives in the US. An avid reader and traveler, she decided to combine these passions, and turn her long-time ambition of writing into a reality. A Poisonous Journey is her first novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite A Poisonous Journey: The First Lady Evelyn Mystery is a historical sleuth mystery written by Malia Zaidi. Evelyn's bored with her life in London, especially now that the city is in its cold, gray and drizzly late-winter weather pattern. Life with Aunt Agnes is predictably bleak, as it has been ever since Evelyn came to stay with her as a four-year-old orphan. Aunt Agnes is a brusque, stern and overly protective guardian. When Evelyn receives a letter from her cousin, Briony, she's thrilled to read her cousin's invitation to come visit her and her husband, Jeffrey, in their new home in Crete. As it was, Evelyn only got to read the letter due to the kindness of Harris, the butler, who was able to sneak it past the eagle eyes of her aunt. Even though Evelyn is now in her mid-twenties, Aunt Agnes still feels it necessary and proper to keep her niece under control. And so it was that Evelyn surreptitiously made her plans to depart London on an early train some days later, with Harris there to wish her farewell. After a tumultuous journey aboard a not entirely safe feeling ship, Evelyn is thrilled to step foot on the sunny isle of Crete where Briony's chauffeur, Yannick, is waiting for her. Malia Zaidi's historical sleuth mystery, A Poisonous Journey: The First Lady Evelyn Mystery, is a fascinating classic mystery tale set in Crete in 1925. Evelyn is a credible and intriguing character whose college training in the classics stands her in good stead as she visits her cousin, Briony, and her scholarly husband whose employment is with the Historical Museum in Heraklion. There's a hint of a burgeoning romance between Evelyn and one of Briony's other house guests, Daniel, and the murder of yet another house guest is a puzzle that the intellectually minded Evelyn cannot resist trying to solve. Overshadowing all is the spectre of the Great War which decimated an entire generation of British youth and left survivors who were physically or mentally scarred. Zaidi's plot is marvelous, with lots of red herrings for the reader and Evelyn to consider, and an exhilaratingly lovely setting. I enjoyed reading about the cousins' trips to Crete’s historical sites and their other sightseeing adventures on the island. Evelyn is a natural at sleuthing, and it's a good thing that her creator has future mysteries planned for her to solve. A Poisonous Journey is highly recommended.
What a wonderful book. This book isn't your typical murder mystery since the murder doesn't happen in the first chapter. I was going to put the book down because to me it was taking so long to get to the murder but there was a reason for it. The author introduces all the characters in such a way that you can actually picture the characters right in front of you. The book had a touch of romance in it which made me think that these 2 people should get together since they are good for each other. To me all of the characters are likable with a few that have a dark side. The reason I gave this book 5 stars which I hardly do is because of the description of the people and places. I know it's not easy to write a book and be point on for some of the scenes it takes a lot of time and research. Would I read more from this author absolutely just to see how the character has progressed.
Talk about a murder mystery with flair! Zaidi not only takes readers back to the early 20th century, she does so with class. The history and character development fits with the period. At the same time, the plot itself kept me guessing. Zaidi throws twists and turns at readers throughout, while also refraining from throwing anything out of left field. The suspense that the author creates is of the mellow, low key sort, lulling you in to a sense of security while trying to unravel the mystery that she’s created. Not only are the characters in this novel well developed, they are ones that I would truly like to know in the real world. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them, watching them tyring to unravel the same mystery that I was attempting to piece together. This fun & original historical mystery definitely held my attention throughout. Zaidi’s creativity & imagination definitely shine through in this well written novel that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to others. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
I saw this book and loved the cover. When I read the description, I was pretty sure I'd like it. The story is about a British aristocrat, Lady Evelyn Carlisle, who is unhappy in London and goes on an adventure in Greece. As you might guess, she gets entangled in a murder, and becomes determined to solve it. I really liked the character of Lady Evelyn. I read a lot of historical mysteries and my gripe with many of them is that the character is either really tough and kind of cold, or too silly and making lots of dumb decisions. I thought Evelyn was believable and the fact that the story is told in first person, from her point of view makes you feel like you really know her. I think the author is planning a whole series, so I'm looking forward to the next mystery. I hope it comes out soon!