The Poison Bed by E C Fremantle
Published in: 2018
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Find it here: The Poison bed
This ARC was provided by Penguin UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Elizabeth Fremantle’s THE POISON BED is a chilling, noirish thriller ripped straight from the headlines.
A king, his lover and his lover’s wife. One is a killer.
In the autumn of 1615 scandal rocks the Jacobean court when a celebrated couple are imprisoned on suspicion of murder. She is young, captivating and from a notorious family. He is one of the richest and most powerful men in the kingdom.
Some believe she is innocent; others think her wicked or insane. He claims no knowledge of the murder. The king suspects them both, though it is his secret at stake.
Who is telling the truth? Who has the most to lose? And who is willing to commit murder?
Bookworm’s Thoughts – This was a solid 3 star read for me. I loved how the author took the bare bones of a Jacobean murder case and made a work of fiction around the main protagonists, giving them means, motive, and opportunity.
The story begins in the Tower London where Frances Howard is being held on suspicion of murder by poisoning. Due to her status, she has been given a “nice” room and a wet nurse to look after her new born daughter. While not sure if she can trust the wet nurse (Nelly), Frances has no one else to talk to and so begins to tell the story of how she fell in love and came to be imprisoned in the Tower.
Each chapter then alternates from the point of view of “Her” and “Him”, Frances and her husband as they both explain the events that lead to their imprisonment. Her sections are set in the present with her recounting the past to Nelly. In contrast, “His” sections start at the beginning of the story and move forward in time until both narratives meet at the point where the fate of Him and Her is to be decided.
With all the political game playing around the court who stands to gain most from the murder? Who is manipulating who? And, can you actually trust what anyone says?
For more information about the actual murder you read the Wiki article here
Who would like this? I would recommend this to those who enjoy historical fiction and gentler murder mysteries without too much blood and gore thrown about.
Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: The Poison Bed
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