The Poisonous Seed

The Victorian heroine of this detection story is Frances Doughty who certainly lives up to her name! She faces a home and work situation of great difficulty even before an unfortunate incident precipitates an inquest. I found the position of the Victorian unmarried female clearly shown with all its problems. Frances is working in her father’s chemist’s shop but she has no qualifications despite considerable experience due to her brother’s prolonged illness and death. Her father has been devastated by the death and is only gradually resuming work. When a customer dies from strychnine poisoning the dispensing of the relevant medicine must be investigated.
Frances fears a miscarriage of justice will lead to blame and decides that she will investigate. The limitations on a respectable middle class female’s activities become very clear but she manages to investigate regardless. Her questioning of servants, interrogation of the police and checking of documents leads her into the throes of a different and distant crime. The story twists and turns effectively until a series of denouements reveals all.
This is the first novel from Linda though she has written a number of nonfiction books on historical true crimes. Her knowledge of the London area in which the Victorian Frances lived is detailed and cleverly given in a way that avoids any tedium. I feel that I am walking down the street in Frances’s company and seeing the people and houses around me with clarity. We are firmly fixed in time and place as this very Victorian crime is dissected.

Jennifer S Palmer

Mr Scarletti’s Ghost

I love Linda Stratmann’s writing. Her descriptions of Brighton are so sharp and vivid you can smell and taste the city on every page. Peter James, author, Dead Like You Continue Reading

Essex Murders

These are not only famous cases, but previously unpublished tragedies…..Several of the stories keep the reader guessing until all the evidence is gathered in. Continue Reading

The Poisonous Seed

Her questioning of servants, interrogation of the police and checking of documents leads her into the throes of a different and distant crime. Continue Reading

The Marquess of Queensberry

Linda Stratmann’s masterly new biography cautions us to condemn a little less and understand a little more. It is essential for a good biographer, and Stratmann is a very good biographer, to cultivate a degree of sympathy with her subject. Continue Reading

The Marquess of Queensberry

‘Stratmann does not seek to defend or exonerate Queensberry. She is more subtle than that. She simply invites us to revise our opinion and move beyond the caricature…..’ Continue Reading

© 2017 Linda Stratmann | Website designed by Ideal Scene