Lucinda Bromley has had a rough time lately. Her father committed suicide and then her fiance was poisoned and she was accused of the crime, mostly because she is an expert on plants and poisons. She is a member of the Arcane Society, a secret society where most of the members have "talents" of some sort. Lucinda's talent is with botany. She can smell individual plants even in very small quantities and can tell if a person has been poisoned just by touching their skin, a talent that the local police will use from time to time. When a wealthy man dies suddenly she is called upon to use her talent and discovers that he has been poisoned. She also discovers that, along with the poisons, there is evidence that her very rare fern, which had been stolen, has been used. Fearful of once again being accused of murder, she keeps the evidence of her fern secret and turns to a private investigator named Caleb Jones who is also a member of the Arcane Society.
Amanda Quick is a pen name for Jayne Ann Krentz. She writes some of her Arcane Society books as JAK and some as Amanda Quick, the name she uses for those set in the Victorian Era. I started to read the novel just prior to this one but found it way too profane, just too much graphic sex. Apparently the books she writes as Amanda Quick are toned down, much cleaner. The language in this one was fairly clean, some profanity but not too bad, not much violence either but still too sexy to call it clean. I wouldn't want either my 16 or 19 year old daughters to read it. I am kind of on the fence whether or not to call it PG-16 but I guess because I don't want my daughters to read it I should call it R. I did like the book, it was a fun quick read with some interesting characters.