The Crystal Crypt

Poppy Denby Investigates

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Pub Date 19 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 17 Jun 2022
Lion Hudson Ltd, Lion Fiction

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The 1920s most stylish sleuth returns this autumn in THE CRYSTAL CRYPT for another thrilling murder mystery!

In the city of dreaming spires, Poppy Denby is asked to investigate the mysterious death of an up-and-coming female scientist. But was it an accident or is something more sinister lurking in the shadows? And is Poppy the next target...

The 1920s most stylish sleuth returns this autumn in THE CRYSTAL CRYPT for another thrilling murder mystery!

In the city of dreaming spires, Poppy Denby is asked to investigate the mysterious death...

Advance Praise

Praise for Poppy Denby Investigates

“Great fun for fans of mysteries set during detection’s Golden Age.” - Martin Edwards, author of Mortmain Hall and Gallows Court

“A delightful period romp, neatly sprinkled with the choicest historical detail.” - D.J. Taylor, author of Bright Young People

“A gloriously readable slice of historical crime fiction featuring a charismatic amateur sleuth.” - Liz Robinson, LoveReading

Praise for Poppy Denby Investigates

“Great fun for fans of mysteries set during detection’s Golden Age.” - Martin Edwards, author of Mortmain Hall and Gallows Court

“A delightful period romp, neatly...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781782643593
PRICE £9.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 27 members

Featured Reviews

This ARC was provided to me via Kindle by Lion Hudson Ltd, Lion Fiction and #NetGalley for my honest opinion.

Poppy Denby is back with gusto and flair.

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The Crystal Crypt by Fiona Veitch Smith was for me like the curate's egg. I enjoyed the story and liked seeing Poppy standing more on her own. But it seemed to me to be written for an American audience in terms of both the narrative voice and, sometimes, Poppy's own voice.

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An engaging book that kept me avidly reading.... The truth of what happened and how people were treated and segregated against its so sad. It was encouraging to read something positive about the times, even if it was fictional.

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I loved this book. Even though I hadn't read any of the other books in the series, this didn't feel like a problem. I connected with Poppy very quickly.

I know Oxford very well and loved all of the description of the city. The use of bikes etc and the description of it made me chuckle, I only ever braved it once so understood the jeopardy of cycling in Oxford.

I would advise anyone to read this book and would like to find the earlier ones of the series. This was a gripping book with many twists and turns, and I couldn't put it down.

Thank you for my preview copy!

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Another in the series and a well-written murder mystery. I have read some of the others in the Poppy series Denby and thoroughly enjoyed them. This has an intriguing plot with many twists and turns and while I did not manage to guess whodunnit (there are a fair number of red herrings), it was rewarding to have worked out many of the key aspects.

I love her boss, Rollo, he's just the most delightful and well-rounded character. With every episode, I enjoy him more and hope he features more strongly going forward. Sadly, I don't find Poppy's romantic interest quite so appealing. Daniel just doesn't do it for me. Both Rollo and Poppy feel the need to keep him out of the loop during the investigation... hmmm!

The author includes historical details about birth control and the prejudice around people of colour. Whilst they may make those of us who are a little more sensitive cringe a little, they were tastefully dealt with and added context and depth to the overall story.

With thanks to the publisher Lion Hudson Ltd, #Netgalley and the author for my free advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

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A Suspicious Death…?
The sixth in the Poppy Denby Investigates series of mysteries set in the 1920’s and our enigmatic reporter come amateur sleuth returns to investigate a suspicious death of a scientist in an Oxford laboratory. What secrets does the Crystal Crypt hold? Enjoyable and entertaining read with a likeable protagonist in Poppy and populated with a colourful cast. Part of a long running series but could happily be read as a standalone. A worthy addition.

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I hadn't read any of the other books in this series but the author does recap previous incidents and happenings with the characters during the story.
Poppy a newspaper journalist in London and amateur detective is drawn into an investigation amongst the scientists in Oxford. She is examining the life of a ground-breaking female scientist who has died, but as she delves deeper into her life it seems that there has been a possible cover-up of a murder. Who is behind it and why? Increasingly violent crimes and threats indicate that she may be getting closer to the truth.
This is a quick read but It does fell a bit drawn by numbers especially the revisiting of earlier plots. The depiction of misogyny towards women ,casual racism is hard to stomach but very much of its time. Not sure from the setting and description if this is intended for an American market?
An ok esapist read but not sure I will red the others in the series.

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When there's a mix between misterious murder and an old lady detective searching for answers , all that set in the glamorous and sophisticaded 20's decade, You bet there's a higher chance that this book would be awesome.But for me, this one was.

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The Poppy Debby series by Fiona Veitch Smith is a favourite of mine (and one I introduced Mum to, for a change) and so it was with excitement I tucked on to “The Crystal Crypt”! The gang is all back together and an old acquaintance of Poppy, a scientist has been killed in a university town and the investigation ruled it an accident. Poppy decides to go down and find out more about what happened under the guise of a profile on the female scientist but soon sees there is more going on than meets the eye on more than one front.

With Rollo and Ike to back her up, Poppy starts digging and before long she’s onto something, something big enough she may be in harm’s way, not that stops her in any way! It is a great mystery full of twists and turns! I am looking forward to the next one!

It’s a five out of five on the enJOYment scale, I highly recommend it!

I received complimentary copy of the book from Lion Hudson Ltd Books through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review is completely my own.

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The Crystal Crypt by Fiona Veitch Smith is a marvellous historical amateur sleuthing novel. It is the sixth book in the Poppy Denby Investigates series but can be read as a stand-alone. For me, I enjoyed catching up with familiar faces as Poppy Denby once more finds herself investigating a murder.
The novel is set in 1925 when the role of women was decidedly below that of men. Women were seen as second-class citizens, good for making the tea and looking pretty. Within the book there are strong women who are breaking out of this role. The reader meets not only Poppy as a reporter but a WPC and some female academics at Oxford. All are breaking the traditional mold of women.
As well as the women, the reader witnesses the attitudes towards disability and men of colour which horrifies the modern reader. One of my favourite scenes was of Poppy Denby forcefully acquiring a hotel room for her male colleague Ike.
The novel is mainly set within the academia of Oxford. It is very much a closed world that discourages the outsider.
Fiona Veitch Smith has marvellous descriptions of Oxford enabling the reader to ‘walk’ through the action. I particularly loved the inclusion of Blackwells as I have been there on several occasions. It is a fascinating place. I recommend a trip.
Poppy Denby reminds me of a younger version of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. Her amateur sleuthing is superb, like a dog with a bone, she tenaciously hangs on until the case is concluded. She is a very likable heroine.
I am thoroughly enjoying all the Poppy Denby books. I think they would translate marvellously into a Netflix series – any producers out there please take note. I am hoping there will be many more books to come.
I received a free copy from the publishers. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.

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Set in 1920s England, this charming mystery is about Poppy Denby, intrepid tabloid newspaper journalist and amateur sleuth who investigates the death of a female scientist. Her boss, Rollo, is a very likeable character who is one of the few men of the time who sees the value and contribution of female professionals. Thankfully, Poppy's fiance is on the same page. Not only is there murder but also mayhem in spades for us crime-thirsty readers! The importance of crystals and diamonds in laboratory work and the inclusion of autistic symptoms in one of the characters are brilliant additions.

The historical bits are fascinating as are the author's notes and information on her inspiration for this particular book. Nice and personal. The character list is also a nice touch.

Historical Fiction and General Fiction readers, do get lost in this light escapist book. It is not particularly suspenseful but an enjoyable read nonetheless.

My sincere thank you to Lion Hudson Ltd. and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this enchanting book!

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