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Retro Reading: Laced With Poison by Meg London

Updated on January 7, 2023

Thankfully, the second installment was a little better, but not by much.

While it was a tad tolerable, Emma Taylor and her aunt Arabella are happy to do a trunk show for Deirdre Porter, the mayor's daughter-in-law. Their shop Sweet Nothings is in the red and they think that the trunk show will put them in the black with all of Deirdre's rich friends there to buy the vintage lingerie.

True, they do make a nice profit at the show, but it didn't go off without a hitch, since no one was expecting one of the guests to die. Well, murdered by cupcake.

Once Jessica Scott eats the poisoned cupcake from Bitsy's bakery, Bitsy can't figure out who would put a poisonous flower on the cupcake that Jessica ate. Bitsy's bakery specialized in adding edible flowers as decorations, but she doesn't know how the foxglove had gotten there, since she gets all of her flowers from Emma's friend Liz.

Since Jessica was the director of Sunny Days Retirement Center, Emma decides to become a volunteer there, since Sylvia Brodsky, Sweet Nothings' bra measurer, has taken up residence. She's not too happy about it, but learns to adjust as she helps Emma clear Bitsy and Liz's name from murder.

Unfortunately, there are a few subplots that are brought up and then sort of tossed aside.

The first is at the trunk show, Jessica is talking about a patient who talks about a baby switching scheme that she was involved with while a nurse. This plot is brought up from time to time and is pretty much the driving force behind Emma's investigation.

For the second subplot (and this made me cringe) with Bitsy being accused of murder, business at her bakery starts to decline. Sure, it probably would happen, but, the business is a huge success to begin with, so, she should have some money in the bank for everyday expenses, right? Obviously not, since a few days go by and she's crying about having to take out a loan for that month's mortgage and is ruined.

About halfway through the book, Arabella's beau, Francis, a cop, is working undercover as a security guard at a bank. The banks in Paris, Tennessee have been targeted for robberies and Francis is held hostage during a bank robbery. This is another cringe worthy plot because if he was a hostage, in a bank, it would have been news. Nothing is really said about it and Arabella rushes home to watch the news coverage. The news coverage is never mentioned again.

There are just too many problems with this installment and I don't know why I put myself through the pain and agony of reading this.

Again, I was able to identify the killer when it was introduced and I was glad that there was a little less of Sweet Nothings appearing on every page. There were still too many references to it, but, it's the price you have to pay.


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