The Crystal Crypt

by Fiona Veitch Smith

Part of the Poppy Denby Investigates Series

Crime and Mystery Historical fiction Books of the Month

LoveReading Expert Review of The Crystal Crypt

This wonderfully evocative and vivacious 1920’s murder mystery features a female sleuth and reporter investigating a suspicious death.

Whoopee, isn’t this just the bee’s knees of a murder mystery! I’ll stop with the 1920’s slang now, but seriously, this really does rather beautifully conjure up the years after World War One. Sleuth and reporter Poppy investigates the death of a female scientist in Oxford. I have just adored every one of the Poppy Denby Investigates series which began with the Crime Writers’ Association Endeavour Historical Dagger Award shortlisted The Jazz Files, a wonderful historical mystery that I described as: “supplying oodles of 1920’s fizz and fun alongside a firm foundation from the suffragette movement and scars of the First World War”. These books could be classed as cosy as well as historical crime, but I’d say the cosy comes with a good twist of provocative nudges and digs. The Crystal Crypt is the sixth to feature Poppy, is it the last? Potentially, as a few of the loose ends from the series are rather nicely tied up. Poppy really does know her onions (sorry, sorry, definitely no more 1920’s sayings from me), she’s likeable, bright, and forward-thinking. The surrounding characters are fabulous too, though a favourite of mine has to be the wonderfully witty Rollo Rolandson. Fiona Veitch Smith encourages the plot to sing, while allowing the reader to investigate not only the crime, but also the social and political issues of the time. The Crystal Crypt is a wonderfully entertaining, vivid, yet thoughtful historical murder mystery that I can most definitely recommend.

Liz Robinson

The Crystal Crypt Synopsis

The 1920s most stylish sleuth returns in The Crystal Crypt for another thrilling murder mystery!

“But accidents can still happen… Perhaps there was something out of her control, something she couldn’t have foreseen…”

“Like someone plotting to kill her?”

Reporter sleuth Poppy Denby is asked to investigate the mysterious death of an up-and-coming female scientist in an Oxford laboratory known as the Crystal Crypt. The official verdict is that Dr June Leighton died in a tragic accident, but Dr Leighton's lab assistant believes it was murder. However, when Poppy discovers that the colleague has spent time in a mental institution and has an unresolved murder in her own past, Poppy wonders if she is being misled. But then, another female academic is attacked, and Poppy herself becomes a target.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781782643593
Publication date: 19th November 2021
Author: Fiona Veitch Smith
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 336 pages
Primary Genre Historical fiction
Other Genres:
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What To Read After The Crystal Crypt

A Corruption of Blood
Theatre of Marvels
The Rebel's Mark
The Key In The Lock

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781782643593
Publication date: 19/11/2021
Format: Paperback

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About Fiona Veitch Smith

Formerly a journalist, Fiona Veitch Smith is now an author of books for adults and children. She has also written theatre plays and screenplays. Her adult mystery series set in the 1920s, Poppy Denby Investigates, is published by Lion Fiction. The first book in the series, The Jazz Files, is a nominee for the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Endeavour Historical Dagger award, 2016. The second, The Kill Fee, was published in September 2016. For more on the Poppy Denby Investigates series including background material on the 1920s, film reels, period fashion and fabulous jazz recordings visit

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