"Rich atmospherics and a Dickensian portrayal of the underbelly of Victorian London elevate Thomson’s superb whodunit above most other historical debuts. Thomson excels in evoking the claustrophobic feel of the back alleys Jem must tread in search of the truth."
– Publishers Weekly (starred)
"After a while the Grand Guignol effects start to get under your skin—unless that’s just the leeches crawling out of their jar."
– New York Times Book Review
"A debut mystery chock full of mysterious doings, riveting historical detail, and so many horrifying anecdotes about the state of medicine in the mid-1800s that you can almost feel the evil miasma rising from the pages."
– Kirkus Reviews
"This outstanding debut historical enthralls with its meticulously researched details of 19th-century hospitals; the result is a dismal portrait of unrelenting bleakness that will make readers grateful to be living in the 21st century. This is Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, brought to life!"
– Library Journal (starred)
"E. S. Thomson mixes the perfect potion for a dark and mysterious read."
– Daily Record (UK)
"A beautifully dark portrait of Victorian London that Charles Dickens would feel right at home in. With macabre portrayals of anatomy, science, and death, this Dickensian crime novel is not to be missed, especially if you’re missing Showtime’s Penny Dreadful and are looking to fill the loss."
– Criminal Element
"Beloved Poison vividly portrays the sad state of mid-nineteenth-century medicine. Jem makes a sympathetic narrator, and the mystery is puzzling enough to keep readers entertained."
"Thomson’s sure-handed first novel, set in 1850s London, displays a graphic descriptive style and dark humor similar to D. E. Meredith’s The Devil’s Ribbon, and injects a fascinating abundance of unusual period details about medical practice, as in Lawrence Goldstone’s The Anatomy of Deception."
"Beloved Poison introduces a major talent. An absorbing read on many levels, sure to enthrall readers and leave them anxious for her next book."
– New York Journal of Books
"The narrative is excellent and the story utterly enthralling – quite simply a page-turner!"
– Historical Novels Review