Book review: The Crystal Crypt by Fiona Veitch Smith

Book cover of The Crystal Crypt Poppy Denby Investigates, which has illustrations of a young woman standing near some stone steps against which a bicycle has been leant. Through a window next to the steps a scientist can be seen working in a lab.

I received a copy of The Crystal Crypt: Poppy Denby Investigates as a Christmas present and read it over two days of the holiday period. This is the sixth Poppy Denby book. For new readers of this blog this series is set in the 1920s in England. Poppy Denby is a ground-breaking female investigative journalist. Her enquiries put her in danger.

This latest book sees Poppy’s personal and professional lives continuing to develop. It would be possible to read this as a stand-alone book. Some earlier adventures are mentioned. A list of the earlier books appears here.

I read the whole series soon after each book was published. If I remember correctly this is the first Poppy Denby book with a scientific background. The Crystal Crypt was published in November 2021. As with the earlier Poppy Denby books questions for reading groups are included. I enjoyed reading this book, which brought back some memories of my visits to the Royal Institution for lectures as a teenager. Another place Poppy visited in this book is Oxford. A map of Oxford at the time is included.

The Jazz Files – Book review

That I bought this book last Friday morning, began reading it in the afternoon and finished it in the evening is a recommendation by itself.  The story is well constructed.  I spent the whole of one chapter wondering whether there was an error in what the film industry calls continuity, only to discover it was an important element in the plot.

I had put off reading the book as I was uncertain whether it was a crime novel or a historical novel.  The former is not a genre I enjoy now, but the latter is.  I am going to declare that this is a historical novel.  It is set in the 20th century and whether any crimes have been committed, well, why don’t you read it and find out?

I am still puzzled by one sentence, which has been transcribed from Russian.  It perhaps is not important to have the meaning, but having a passing acquaintance with the language, I’d have liked to have been able to work out what it meant.  I failed. Я не знаю.  I don’t know!

However I do know that I’ll be looking out for the next in the Poppy Denby series by Fiona Veitch Smith.