A Message In Poison

A Dr. Lily Robinson Novel • Book 3

Sparks fly as Dr. Lily Robinson, the brilliant academic pathologist and covert assassin for the U.S. Government, investigates two seemingly unrelated deaths alongside her lover, Agent Jean Paul Marchand, and Washington, D.C. Medical Examiner Dr. Logan Pelletier.

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A U.S. Senator and the president of a developing nation are found dead in their beds. As governments thousands of miles apart react to the fallout and begin their investigations, no one claims responsibility, and no motives are clear. Yet, the cause of death implies a link between the two—one that only a mind versed in poisons and politics can decipher. With her personal relationships teetering on the brink and her loved ones facing foreign threats, Lily must unravel the mystery and uncover a plot more calculating than anyone could imagine—but it may be too late.

A Message in Poison, the third book in the Dr. Lily Robinson series ( after The Queen of All Poisons and The Power of Poison), continues with twists and turns as Dr. Lily Robinson travels the globe, stares down death, and finds herself at “another crossroad, another choice between life real or imagined.”

4.7
Based on 37 Reviews
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S Holmes
May 20, 2022

5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling mystery/thriller

The storyline in A Message in Poison includes tantalizing references to the events and characters featured in the previous two books of the trilogy. While some readers might prefer to read the books in order, I found this story so well written that it easily stands on its own. The author skillfully integrates her in-depth expertise in toxicology and all things medical into a well-researched landscape of global politics and covert operations. The author does a brilliant job of building multidimensional characters whose worldviews are the result of early influences and cataclysmic events that ultimately led them to their chosen paths. From the earliest chapters, it’s clear that Dr. Robinson is burdened by her own experiences and her complex—and seemingly contradictory—professions. She struggles with the knowledge that the secrets she carries would, if revealed, likely prove as deadly as the poisons that have become the tools of her trade in the covert anti-terrorism unit. As the story progresses, she recognizes the dangerous consequences should her two worlds collide. Can she find the right path for herself and for those she loves? BJ Magnani delivers a well-plotted mystery that will have you on the edge of your seat and keep you reading far into the night. Highly recommend!

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David J George
April 28, 2022

5.0 out of 5 stars Intimacy, Intrigue, Toxic Geopolitics, Murder, and Motherhood

“A Message in Poison” is a spy novel about Russian interference with the United States obtaining scarce minerals required for advanced electronic technology used in military defense systems, renewable energy sources, and consumer products that include electric cars, smart phones, and hundreds of devices that utilize electronic chips. When the US is in the final stages of formalizing a supply agreement with a developing country having a rich source of a particular critical mineral, the two key individuals for finalizing the agreement unexpectedly die. They were elderly. One was the president of the country, the other was a senior US Senator. With new leadership in the country, there is a reconsideration of the agreement, and an opportunity for Russia to exert its influence to obtain exclusive rights to the critical mineral supply. The opportunistic value of the deaths for Russia doesn’t slide by the eyes of US watchdog agencies, and a covert team is assigned to investigate weather the deaths were in fact due to natural causes, or a product of professionals who arrange “convenient” deaths. The team has skills, knowledge, and resources that allow it to operate throughout the world. And, it has wide latitude for dealing with and neutralizing problems that pose a threat to the US. Dr Lily Robinson is a member of the investigating team. (It is through her eyes that the story is told.) She is an accomplished academic physician who works in a major medical center, and unbeknownst to her colleagues, serves as a secret government agent on a team that “looks into” sensitive matters involving national security, and may require actions beyond anything that can be documented or otherwise acknowledged. She has two medical specialities: pathology and toxicology. Both are especially suited for investigating (or arranging) deaths that appear to have resulted from natural causes. Dr Robinson has a truckload of past. Her family history is intertwined with her secret spy world. She saves lives and she kills. She has stable romantic relationships as well as transient encounters. She is always dressed to be noticed and admired. She has command of a vast amount of knowledge, is often rewarded by her keen instincts, and is capable of accomplishing most any goal in either of the two worlds where she works. Readers can choose wether to see this novel as a spy story about the geopolitical aspects of rare minerals, or a story about the personal and secret agent lives of an accomplished, attractive female physician. I choose the latter. There is a puzzling change in Dr Robinsons behavior and attitude during the story that becomes a concern for her associates. This appears to be a reflection of the increasing stress imposed by her intense complicated life. This was very interesting and adds considerable depth to the story. The story takes place in several countries. There are many details about medical matters and poisons. Descriptions of characters, places, actions, and feelings are well done. Clearly, the author is very familiar with foreign travel, and the food, customs, etc., of countries where Dr Robinson finds herself. The story flows at a nice clip, providing forensic challenges, lessons in intimacy, and leaves space for reader speculation. Being a toxicologist, I liked reading about the poisons and the clever ways utilized to administer them. There is covert poisoning as well as poisonings up close and personal in instances of self defense. A number of poisons make their appearance in the novel with the toxic scorpion having the staring role. The book was a stimulus for me to look deeper into the uses and sources of rare earth minerals, and gave me a better insight into the implications of the Russia-Ukraine crises relative to the US supply of these minerals from Russia. The economic sanctions imposed on Russia will likely disrupt the US supply line for these critical elements for a time. I enjoyed the book very much and highly recommend it to other readers.

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