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  • Writer's pictureHeather Moll

Book Review: Fierce Poison


London, 1893, there is poisoner loose in the city, with deaths piling up, and private enquiry agents Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn are apparently his next target in Fierce Poison by Will Thomas.

Minotaur Books April 12, 2022

I love these books. Know up front that I am not an impartial reviewer. Whenever the next Barker and Llewelyn book comes out, I just grab it. I don’t even have to read the description.


I enjoy watching Cyrus Barker’s layers be peeled back over a dozen or so books, and Thomas’s droll humor will never, ever get old for me. These two private enquiry agents in 1890s London are an odd couple—Cyrus is an abrupt Scot raised in China who was a merchant captain and Thomas came from a poor Welsh family, was university educated, and wrongly spent time in prison—and they are compelling in every single book.

The mystery itself stands alone and it’s easy to get acclimated to our detective pair, but have some fun and read them in order. Or at least read the first, Some Danger Involved, to get to know these two characters and how they got to where they are.

In Fierce Poison, a government man and former lawyer comes into the office, begs for help, and promptly dies of poisoning. This was a page-turner and as the pair get closer to the solution, the threats hit closer to home.

“We are a loose end, and someone holds the scissors.”

The writing is evocative and the setting comes alive from Thomas’ quick and insightful observations. But as quick as he is, Barker, who keeps his cards close to his chest, is usually one step ahead. I should have realized the culprit sooner, and the ending and Cyrus's plans for the future make me eager for the next one.

I received an arc from NetGalley

Do you enjoy historical mysteries? It's my favorite genre. I can't begin to count how many 19th century English murders I've read about.

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