On Dec 4th 2023, Nish Kumar, Laura Smyth, Ben Miller and Kerry Godliman joined Sara Cox on the BBC’s Between the Covers Book Club to review new books, including Devil’s Breath by Pontas author Jill Johnson. If you’re in the UK, you can watch the full episode here.
Here’s what they said about Devil’s Breath:
“I know nothing about plants or botany but it’s absolutely not an obstacle to enjoying it - the thing that really stands out is the character of Professor Rose and the way that she is drawn by the author. That was the hook for me, I was very compelled by the central character.” – Nish Kumar
“I loved the toxicology and was fascinated! I started to become very plant aware, even to the extent that I started watering plants at home!” – Ben Miller
“It was a real page-turner. I love a bit of domestic drama.” – Laura Smyth
After the broadcast, the Devil’s Breath hardcover edition jumped to the #15 spot on Amazon UK’s Mystery, Thriller & Suspense bestseller list! The book is also very visible on the Amazon 'Most Wished For' lists! (books most often added to Wishlists and Registries daily): In the specific Mystery, Thriller & Suspense category the Devil's Breath hardback is currently at #3, and the paperback is at #12! The paperback edition of Devil's Breath will be published in 2024.
Devil’s Breath was published by Black & White Publishing/Bonnier UK in July 2023 and the novel will also be published in June 2024 in the US with Poisoned Pen Press/Sourcebooks under the title The Woman in the Garden.
Translation rights have been sold into French (Michel Lafon), Polish (Znak), Russian (AST, in a two-book deal) and Czech (Grada/Metafora). All other translation rights are currently available.
Devil’s Breath follows Eustacia Rose, 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.
The second installment in the Eustacia Rose series, Hell’s Bells, will be published by Black & White Publishing in 2024.
For more information about the above title, please contact Carla Briner (email@example.com).