Poison Lilies by Katie Tallo
Poison Lilies by Katie Tallo was an absolute delight to read. The story follows the reluctant sleuth, Gus Monet as she is thrust into another mystery — this time involving an elderly neighbor and a whole host of secrets. With its multi-dimensional protagonist, strong writing, and a smooth-flowing plot, this is a mystery series to watch for!
Poison Lilies is the second book in the Gus Monet series. Since I have yet to read the first book, Dark August, I was a little worried about starting on book #2, but it easily works as a standalone. Yes, I was missing some of the character history (and will definitely be going back to read the first book as well) but I had no problem jumping into this novel as was.
I also thought this book was beautifully written. There was a very eerie feeling woven throughout and I loved the imagery the author was able to evoke. The timeline is divided up into three separate chunks — each one aligning with a trimester in Gus’s pregnancy — and I thought that worked very well. The book opens with the very intriguing premise of a nine-month pregnant Gus trapped in a subbasement of her apartment. As the story progresses, we constantly see the push and pull of past and present, and I enjoyed that tension.
Gus’s character was so well built. She’s strong and brave, but also, clearly grieving her mother’s death and in denial about her pregnancy. She doesn’t always make the best decisions but you can easily follow her motivation. This flawed but lovable, multi-dimensional main character is the sort I adore in mysteries. I also loved her supporting cast: Mojo, Howard, and Poppy. They were colorful and fun and made for great characters.
The plot itself is full of intricate layers and twists. However, this meant that occasionally found it difficult to keep track of everything. In particular, the ending was quite complicated. I did have to pay careful attention to the numerous characters and their relationships. Still, it all came together nicely and was wrapped up well.
An excellent read for mystery fans, I very much look forward to (hopefully) continuing on with Gus’s story.
Mystery fans who enjoy eerie thrillers and a wonderfully complicated main character.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Book provided courtesy of the publisher, Harper Collins Canada. All opinions expressed are my own.
About Poison Lilies:
(From the publisher) In Katie Tallo’s thrilling follow-up to the international bestseller Dark August, Gus Monet is swept into the orbit of a prominent, wealthy family whose privilege is founded on a dangerous web of secrets they’re desperate to keep hidden
After moving back to her hometown and solving her mother’s murder, August (Gus) Monet thought she was done. Settled. Content for the first time in her life.
Cue hard reset number whatever.
She made a mistake she couldn’t undo, so Gus cut and run. Packed all her things in the dead of night and took off. Now somewhat settled into The Ambassador, an art-deco apartment building with cheap rent in one of Ottawa’s oldest neighborhoods, Gus has found the perfect place for a fresh start—or a good place to hide.
Gus also finds friendship in Poppy Honeywell, her reclusive neighbor perpetually wrapped in a pink kimono like an aging Old Hollywood starlet. She’s also a descendant of the Mutchmores, one of the town’s founding families. When a body is found in the pond of a nearby park, her connection to this powerful and wealthy family turns dangerous, possibly deadly. The Mutchmores are hiding something and are willing to do anything to keep their secrets buried.