Belladonna by Adalyn Grace

The basics

Title: Belladonna


Series: Belladonna #1

- Belladonna (2022)
- Foxglove (2023)
- Wisteria (2024)

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Goodreads Summary:

For as long as Signa Farrow has been alive, the people in her life have fallen like stars...

Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being – and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy.

Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger, and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.

Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer, though, is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful – and more irresistible – than she ever dared imagine.

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in Belladonna by Adalyn Grace to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel. If you need help remembering what happened in Belladonna then you’re in the right place.

What happened in Belladonna?

  • Death has always followed Signa. When Signa was a baby, her mother took her to a party, and everyone at the party died apart from the baby. This was Signa’s first encounter with Death.
  • Signa was then passed from relative to relative, starting with her grandmother. Her grandmother died, but she loved Signa. The other relatives weren’t so loving. 
  • Eventually Signa ended up living with her Aunt Magda, who wasn’t a very nice woman.
  • Signa has been experimenting with different poisons. She discovered a while ago that she wouldn’t die, but if she did take the poison then she could possibly summon Death himself. She also learns that if she touches things after consuming the poison, that thing will die.
  • Signa makes a poison tea, and Aunt Magda gets mad. Death does show up and talks to Signa a little. Signa pushes Aunt Magda away and she dies. This is the first person Signa has actually murdered.
  • Aunt Magda is now a very angry spirit. Thankfully for Signa, she’s about to get out of the house and go and live with another relative.
  • Someone called Sylas comes in a carriage to collect Signa and take her to Thorn Grove. Sylas tells Signa that Lillian Hawthorne is dead, and her daughter Blythe Hawthorne is sick, which is why Sylas is the one collecting her.
  • Signa and Sylas get the train to the manor. Signa hasn’t been on a train before so is a bit on edge. She and Sylas bicker a bit. 
  • Signa’s uncle Elijah throws a party the night she arrives. Not for her arrival or anything, but because he keeps throwing parties now that his wife is dead. Bit weird.
  • Signa hears coughing and comes across her sickly cousin, Blythe. She’s not very nice. Signa talks to her a little but Blythe is kind of unbearable. It also seems like she’s dying because she keeps coughing up blood.
  • The spirit of Lillian shows itself to Signa and tells her to go to the gardens where her body is buried.
  • Signa heads to the stables to get a horse, which Sylas sorts out for her. The two of them head off and Signa leaves Sylas behind to head to the garden.
  • Death greets Signa and Signa realises she can use the same powers as Death has. She’s able to walk through walls, and she attempts to get through the garden wall but she gets stuck halfway. Death mocks her a little but in the end helps her through.
  • Signa is greeted again by the spirit of Lillian. Signa takes the opportunity to ask Lillian some questions. Lillian answers a few before she becomes very distressed. Signa learns that Lillian was murdered, although neither Lillian nor Death seem to know who was behind it. Signa vows to find the murderer before they can kill again, as she thinks they’ll be targeting Blythe next.
  • Death tells Signa that by killing Aunt Magda, Signa saved another life instead. Blythe was the life she saved.
  • Signa learns that Elijah is set to inherit quite a lot of money from his father. His business isn’t doing well, and he seems to have some issues with his brother, Byron. Charlotte and Diana give Signa all the gossip.
  • Marjorie the governess starts giving Signa lessons such as how to walk like a lady and how to play the piano.
  • Percy and Signa go to spend some time with Blythe. Signa tries some of Blythe’s medicine and realises someone has been spiking Blythe’s tea with belladonna. Apparently this medicine is prescribed by a doctor. Signa advises Blythe to stop taking it while she investigates.
  • Signa speaks to Elaine, Blythe’s maid. Signa tells her of her family home, Foxglove, and Elaine chats a bit about her responsibilities for looking after both Signa and Blythe.
  • Sylas and Signa go to Grey’s to investigate. They overhear Byron and Marjorie talking. They learn that Marjorie and Elijah used to be in some sort of relationship. Byron suggests Marjorie seduces Elijah again to get him to pass the business onto Percy. Marjorie argues and it sounds as though Byron and Lillian were together.
  • Marjorie and Byron leave and Signa and Sylas find a note from Lillian asking Elijah to pass the business onto Percy as expected.
  • Signa speaks to Death, who says he has never known of someone who shares his powers before. Death admits to killing the family members who abused Signa.
  • There’s an argument among the HAwthorne family when Grey’s runs out of food. Percy offers to order more, but Elijah doesn’t want him doing it and instead instructs him to continue dancing with Signa.
  • Signa starts testing Blythe’s food for poison.
  • Blythe advises Signa not to marry or her fortune will fall under the control of her potential husband, who will always carry more influence than her. Blythe herself doesn’t want to marry.
  • Signa and Sylas head to the library to research antidotes. Signa comes across the spirit of the ex-librarian, Thaddeus, who is lovely. He died while reading, and is tethered to this realm because he wants to read every book in the library, except they keep bringing more so his mission is never complete. Mood.
  • Thaddeus points Signa in the right direction and she’s able to read about the antidote to atropine. 
  • Signa and Percy head into town to go to the apothecary. The doctor advises that Blythe doesn’t have company that day because she’s getting worse and hallucinating. Her tongue is starting to develop the same sores her mother’s did. Marjorie agrees with the doctor but Elijah points out that he gave the same advice for Lillian and she still ended up dead.
  • The healer at the apothecary thinks Percy is up to something dodgy and doesn’t like him. She gives Signa the berries that she needs, and says they should induce vomiting. 
  • Signa and Percy bump into Charlotte and Eliza in town. Eliza introduces her cousin, Everett, who once met Signa’s mother. Eliza says Signa will be debuting this season, so all the guys will be wanting her. Charlotte becomes sad because she needs to find a good match, as her family needs money and to get over a scandal and she’s the only child. 
  • Signa returns to the manor and gives Blythe the antidote. Blythe seems to recover a little. Marjorie notices Signa helping Blythe and wants to know what she did.
  • Signa speaks to Death and he tells her he thinks she might be a reaper. He helps her use her powers a little. Then they get it on. 
  • Someone sets the library on fire. Thaddeus possesses Signa because he’s so distressed. Death arrives and gets Thaddeus out. He asks Thaddeus who did this but the spirit is too upset to give a proper answer. Signa goes to get help.
  • The fire is put out and most of the books are saved. Death doesn’t think Thaddeus will stay long now.
  • Christmas arrives and Blythe, Percy, and Signa go out in the snow. Signa and Blythe return to Blythe’s room and Blythe gives Signa a gift for the upcoming Christmas ball. 
  • The night of the ball arrives quickly. Signa dances with Everett. 
  • Death arrives and Signa dances with him. Afterwards, Marjorie finds Signa and takes her back to the ball. There’s a speech, and then Percy collapses into the Christmas tree. He has been poisoned. 
  • Signa is able to give Percy the last of the antidote to save him. Elijah realises his family is being targeted. 
  • Signa enters her spirit state using her Death powers. She reads Marjorie’s journal which talks about Lillian having eyes everywhere and praying for the children, and Marjorie wanting to be a family or something. Marjorie is clearly in love with Elijah and has been forever. 
  • Signa returns to her room to find Death waiting for her. He tells her Blythe is dying.
  • Signa runs to Blythe’s room. She tells everyone Marjorie is behind the poisoning. Signa tells Death not to take Blythe yet. She sends him to take the life of someone else.
  • Elijah makes Marjorie show him her hands, which are stained with belladonna beneath her gloves. Elijah kicks her out of Thorn Grove. Marjorie warns Signa that she knows nothing.
  • Death tells Signa about the afterlife. He says some spirits wait in the afterlife for their loved ones, whereas others choose to be reborn as someone else. Death speaks of Rima, Signa’s mother, who constantly pesters Death with questions about her daughter. It’s quite sweet.
  • Death and Signa get it on in the forest. 
  • Signa and Elijah confront Byron the next day at breakfast. Byron promises he had nothing to do with the poisonings. He wants to buy Elijah’s business, but that’s all.
  • It comes to light that Marjorie had a child out of wedlock. Percy is Marjorie and Elijah’s son. It’s incredibly unlikely that Marjorie would have ever poisoned him.
  • Signa and the others rush to Percy’s room because Death tells Signa something has happened. Percy seems to have seen the spirit of his mother, whereas the others think he’s having hallucinations.
  • Signa argues with Sylas at the stables and heads into the woods alone. She comes across CHarlotte, who gives her some bark to chew on to help her feel better. Charlotte says she has seen Percy visiting his mother’s garden occasionally. 
  • Signa spots fire in the distance and goes running. The garden is on fire. Sylas is already there and he tries to get Signa to leave, but Lillian has tethered Signa to the garden. 
  • Signa finds Percy, who is setting Lillian’s grave alight. Percy reveals he is upset about being found to be a bastard. It turns out he poisoned himself, knowing that Signa had some antidote left. He also set fire to the library to try to pretend to be the hero, but Signa saved the library instead. 
  • Signa allows Lillian to possess her so she can speak to her son. Lillian asks Percy why he did it. He says she wasn’t the one who was supposed to die. He had been trying to kill Marjorie to protect himself and the rest of the family. Lillian drank the tea instead though and Percy had to keep poisoning her to kill her off.
  • Percy tries to kill Signa but he stabs her in the shoulder instead when Sylas shoves her out of the way.
  • Lillian leaves Signa’s body. 
  • Percy tries to stab Signa again but Sylas intervenes and grabs the knife. Sylas reveals himself to be Death.
  • Death tells Signa to make a choice. She can either let Percy run, or kill him and give his remaining years to Blythe. She sets Gundry, the hellhound on him. 
  • Lillian says her goodbyes to Elijah and she’s finally able to move on. 
  • Death explains himself a bit. Sylas was invisible to everyone but Signa. He wants to be with her forever and Signa promises neither of them will be alone again. 
  • Blythe slowly recovers and Signa watches her become stronger.
  • Marjorie returns to gather her things. It turns out she learnt of what her son was doing just before Blythe took a turn for the worst. She took the fall for him initially. 
  • Everyone thinks Percy ran off. The Hawthornes let a lot of their staff go in the hope that whoever was poisoning the children leaves too.
  • Death warns that it will now be harder for him and Signa to see each other, now that Blythe is healing the veil between the worlds is healing too. They can still communicate through Signa’s thoughts though.
  • Signa attends another party and Everett attends. He introduces Signa to his father, Julius Wakefield, the Duke of Berness. Julius now owns Grey’s and is partnered with Byron.
  • Everett asks Signa to dance again and they’re interrupted by Blythe’s arrival.
  • Julius is poisoned. Death shows up to take his spirit. Fate also arrives and tells Signa she has another murder to solve. Excellent.

That’s what happened in Belladonna! Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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