Poisoned at the Priory

Mirror. (Cold Case Jury). Sept. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781912624799. pap. $15.95. CRIME
Brown, a self-proclaimed Sherlock Holmes aficionado, authors the “Cold Case Jury” series, devoted to stories about historical unsolved murders. In his latest he examines the death of Charles Bravo, a British lawyer who was fatally poisoned in London in 1876. His case was initially dismissed as a suicide until a barrister friend brought his suspicions to Scotland Yard and a fresh inquest was made. Florence, Bravo’s wealthy widow, was a prime suspect. She’d had an illicit affair with Dr. James Gully, who practiced homeopathic medicine and whose coachman was familiar with the kind of poisonous chemicals needed to manage equine parasites. Jane Cox, Florence’s nurse and companion, also came under suspicion and was implicated in several different theories. Brown directly addresses readers (or the Cold Case Jury) throughout the first part of the book, in which the evidence is presented; the second part consists of statements, inquest minutes, and other relevant documents. Finally, Brown offers his own opinion of what happened; readers may vote on a verdict on the Cold Case Jury website.
VERDICT Although the book is billed as true crime, this is a bloodless mystery that will appeal to fans of cozies and Agatha Christie, as well as those who enjoyed Eleanor Herman’s The Royal Art of Poison.

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