Devil's Breath - Jill Johnson
Reclusive botanist Professor Eustacia Rose turns sleuth when her neighbour is abducted and is drawn into a world of intrigue where people are as toxic as the plants she studies.
Eustacia Rose is a Professor of Botanical Toxicology who lives alone in London with only her extensive collection of poisonous plants for company. She tends to her garden with meticulous care. Her life is quiet. Her schedule never changes. Until the day she hears a scream and the temptation to investigate proves irresistible.
Through her telescope, Professor Rose is drawn into the life of an extraordinarily beautiful neighbour, Simone, and nicknames the men who visit her after poisonous plants according to the toxic effect they have on Simone. But who are these four men? And why does Eustacia Rose recognize one of them?
Just as she preserves her secret garden, she feels inexplicably compelled to protect her neighbour. But when her precious garden is vandalized and someone close to Simone is murdered with a toxin derived from a rare poisonous plant, Eustacia finds herself implicated in the crime and decides to take matters into her own hands . . .
Jill Johnson has lived in South-East Asia, Europe and New Zealand. She obtained a B.A. Degree in Landscape Design. She has previously owned an editorial cartoon gallery, a comic shop and has been involved in a graphic novel publishing house. She is a Faber Academy graduate and now lives in Brighton with her children. Jill's writing is inspired by her Māori heritage.