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Miriam pinpoints the provenance of an alchemical document by the quality of its papyrus

Papyrus is a thin paper-like material made from the triangular stem of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, a wetland sedge once growing abundantly along Egypt’s Nile Delta. The plants grow in tall stands in the full sun of flooded swamps and along the lakes of Africa, Madagascar, and the Mediterranean countries.

In The Deadliest Hate, Miriam takes a panel of papyrus lifted from a scroll of alchemical recipes to determine whether the document was stolen. Her expert tells her that “the panel, judging by its smoothness, is made from the finest center-cut, Egyptian papyrus, probably from one of the factories along [Alexandria’s] Lake Mareotis that serves an elite clientele, definitely not from the huge papyrus beds growing here [near Caesarea] by the Jordan.”

Now all she has to do is trap the thief. Unfortunately, he’s also a killer who will stop at nothing to keep the scroll’s provenance a secret.

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