The best time of the year is when there's another Washington Poe thriller on the shelves. It's becoming a yearly ritual. He's one of those authors, along with Elly Griffiths and Peter James, that I look forward to. The Botanist is the latest instalment of the series. Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are back in a wonderful story that adds to MW Cravens reputation as one of, if not the best, crime writer in the UK at the moment.
This time, the serial killer is sending his victims flowers and a poem before they die. A right wing fanatic dies on a TV chat show, and another odious right wing politician is targetted next. Poe, Bradshaw and the mole people are called in to help try to stop the death and bring the Botanist, as the press call him, to justice. Meanwhile, Poe's friend, Estelle Doyle is accused of murdering her father. Poe understandably wants to help her prove her innocence, rather than help protect an obnoxious political. Duty calls, and Poe and Bradshaw set about catching the Botanist and helping Doyle.
I love the Washington Poe series. Have done since I read the Puppet Show. Poe is the usual faulted personality detective, but Tilly Bradshaw is a brilliant foil to him. Their interaction brings genuine light relief to sometimes harrowing stories. Poe's pig headedness, coupled with the sheer brilliance of Tilly, is a welcome relief to my sometimes jaded palate. This book is no exception. It's one of the best in the series. A taut storyline with those little chinks of humour.
I heartedly recommend the Botanist. If you're looking for real characters in the desert of samey crime fiction, then this will quench your thirst. Now a year to wait until the next instalment 🙁