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Plutarch, whose life coincided roughly with Miriam bat Isaac’s, wrote that the asp that killed Cleopatra and her handmaidens was likely an Egyptian cobra (Naja haje). Moreover, he claimed Cleopatra determined its venom to be relatively painless by experimenting on condemned prisoners. Some scholars, however, question whether she actually used this species because its venom acts slowly and being a large snake, one of the largest cobras in Africa, its average length running between 3 and 6 feet, it would have been hard to conceal in a basket of figs.

But whether or not Cleopatra used an Egyptian cobra, Miriam encounters one unexpectedly in Chapter 28 of THE DEADLIEST HATE, due for release this September:

After the clatter, I heard a hiss, and then a coppery-red Egyptian cobra about three feet long, probably bewildered by the unfamiliar light, undulated laterally through the smithereens of the smashed urn before sidewinding toward me on the smooth marble floor.

Miriam has to act quickly. Will you be there to help her?

Aren’t sure you can make it to Caesarea? Check out the Coming Soon page.

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