Book: Opium and Absinthe
Author: Lydia Kang
My Rating: 4 out of 5 bloodsucking stars
Bookworms, I’ve got a good historical fiction/mystery for you this week! A young woman becomes addicted to Laudanum after she suffers a horseback riding accident and the death of her sister back to back. It looks like her sister is one of many victims killed by a vampire! Tillie, a girl with a never ending appetite for knowledge, decides to solve the murders AND the question “Do Vampires really exist?” No big deal, right? Just solve a few serial murder cases, prove the existence or non existence of vampires, hide her ever growing addiction from the world, navigate her possible engagement, and try to break family traditions by pursuing a career.
I enjoyed Opium and Absinthe from start to finish! I thought Tillie was a dynamic character, because even though she was an addict I still rooted for her. Lydia Kang did a fantastic job with all the characters in this novel. I was invested in everyone from Tillie to her servant, Ada. She handled Tillie’s addiction with precision. It didn’t happen instantly. And ultimately, Tillie was the only one who could overcome it. I think so often in novels the addict overcomes because of their love interest, and while that’s sweet, it’s also an unhealthy/unrealistic idea. I appreciated that Tillie got clean for her own reasons that didn’t have much to do with romance.
The way she incorporated Dracula into this story was so fun! And tagging along with Tillie and Ian on their investigation gave off these cool vintage true crime vibes. Very reminiscent of Stalking Jack the Ripper. I loved it! I also found myself looking up some of the treatments mentioned in this book just to see if they really happened. Bayer Heroin?! Opium injections with dirty needles?! I think Kang’s experience in the medical field is what gave this story an extra shine.
My only complaint was the ending. I could tell it was going to be a quick wrap up before I even got to the end. And it wasn’t a bad ending by any means, I only wish there had been more. And is that really a bad problem to have at the end of a good book? Overall I think Opium and Absinthe can be a hit for lovers of mystery and historical fiction. It reminded me a lot of Stalking Jack the Ripper, so if you liked that one you’ll probably like this as well!
Krystle Goodman is a crazy cat lady, who loves to drink exorbitant amounts of coffee, and read a shocking amount of books. She lives in Benton with her husband Josh, her son Roman, and their two cats Roxanne and Abby. When she isn’t reading, you’ll find her cooking, painting, or watching true crime shows. Watch for Krystle’s book reviews every other Friday. Send fanmail to: [email protected]
See more of Krystle’s reviews at www.mysaline.com/krystle.