Once again, Agatha Christie’s friend and housekeeper, Phyllida Bright, is plunged into the centre of a mystery in need of solving.

When the Detection Club, with big-name author members including G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Agatha, arrives at the village of Listleigh near Agatha and Max’s Mallowan Hall, they have no idea they’ll be involved in a real life murder mystery.

The Detection Club is in Listleigh to support a Murder Fete to benefit a local orphanage and they’ll award an international publishing contract to one of the local mystery club writers as part of a writing contest.

At a cocktail party where all the writers have gathered, one guest succumbs after drinking a poisoned cocktail meant for Alastair Whittlesby, president of the local writers’ club…and the writer many expect to win the contest and coveted publishing contract. There are plenty of locals who have a reason to loathe the intolerable Whittlesby. But who disliked him enough to want him dead?

Phyllida steps up to discover who the murderer is, but it’s a real challenge given all the suspects are experts at creating murders on paper. Who is willing to kill in real life…and more than once as the victims begin to add up? And is Phyllida on the kill list?

Author Colleen Cambridge has created another intriguing mystery for the feisty Phyllida to solve…one that would engage all the little grey cells of Phyllida’s preferred fictional detective, Hercule Poirot. There are plenty of potential killers, and the story abounds with twists, turns and challenges to keep the reader engaged.

A Trace of Poison is another winning read from the talented Colleen Cambridge.

5 stars