Thursday, 9 August 2018

Book Review | The Butterfly Conspiracy by Vivian Conroy

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Miss Merula Merriweather is not like other women her age: instead of hunting for a husband at balls and soirees she spends her time in a conservatory hatching exotic creatures. As the Royal Zoological Society won't accept a woman's accomplishments, she has her uncle Rupert take credit for her achievements. But at a zoological lecture, the guest of honor dies after contact with one of Merula's butterflies, and Merula's uncle is arrested for murder. 


In an attempt to safeguard evidence to prove his innocence, Merula almost gets killed but for the timely interference of enigmatic Lord Raven Royston. Viewing natural history as a last resort to regain respectability lost by too many dubious business investments, Raven didn't expect his first lecture to take a murderous turn. Feeling partially responsible because he encouraged Merula to release the gigantic butterfly from the glass case in which it was kept, Raven suggests they solve the puzzle of Lady Sophia's sudden death together by looking closer at her relations with estranged friends, long suffering staff and the man groomed to be her heir, so close to her money and yet unable to touch any of it. 

With the police looking for them, and every new discovery raising more questions than answers, especially about the murder method which left no traces of foul play on the body, Merula will have to risk her own life to get at the truth and save her uncle from the gallows in The Butterfly Conspiracy, Vivian Conroy’s enchanting series debut.


The Butterfly Conspiracy
by Vivian Conroy

  • Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (23 Aug. 2018)
  • ISBN-10: 1683317653
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683317654

Amazon - Hardback / Kindle




Review

A new background for Vivian Conroy, The Butterfly Conspiracy is a leap away from the Lady Alkmene books and The Cosy Gift Shop series. 

The Butterfly Conspiracy pursues the story of Merula as she investigates a suspicious death with her new found companion, Royston. The Lady Sophia suffers an increasing temperature and shortness of breath before collapsing after a large butterfly sits on her arm. Suspicion is quickly aimed at the poor creature, but Merula's uncle is also in the picture for murder. She then takes it upon herself to clear his name, as well as her own and the butterfly's. After a catastrophic fire and deployment of the police, Merula and Royston pursue avenues of enquiry privately while taking on the identities of a married couple. 

Even before reaching 12% of The Butterfly Conspiracy I was absorbed and hooked on the intriguing plot unfolding. Merula has a unique personality which shines out strongly and that alone is enough to pull you into her unravelling story. Her passion for butterflies is ridiculed by many who have traditional values for women, but she strives to make them see sense and above all, prove them that women don't belong in the kitchen or at home with the children.

The Butterfly Conspiracy is an engaging cosy crime novel, which continues to show the many impressive ideas from Vivian Conroy's catalogue of genius. There are clues to spot and moments for good old intuition, but when it comes to it, you may well get the solution wrong. A great read which should be accommodated in every cosy crime collection.


*PR Samples received unless otherwise stated. Some blog posts contain affiliate links. Any quoted prices are correct at the time of writing the blog posts.
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