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Pretty or Pretty Deadly?

In his 1957 hit song, All Shook Up, Elvis Presley speaks of his girlfriend as his “buttercup.” I guess his songwriters didn’t know that the buttercup and all other members of the genus Ranunculus are poisonous.

So, what does this have to do with Miriam bat Isaac? In The Deadliest Fever, Miriam’s fourth adventure, she is faced with determining whether a sea captain died of a heart attack in that sleazy waterfront inn, The Pegasus. (See my blog of December 9, 2014.)

Or was he deliberately poisoned with one drop too many of a tincture of black hellebore, a toxin derived from a close relative of the buttercup. Used in minute amounts as a sedative, black hellebore in larger doses causes heart failure.

The Deadliest Fever will be out soon after The Deadliest Sport, which is coming in 2017. Still, time is short. While Miriam investigates the captain’s death, she must recover the jewels from a spectacular set of heists in two splendid cities. As shrewd as she is, even she cannot imagine the level of treachery. And so, she’s going to need your help.

In the meantime, prepare yourself to be useful. Read the earlier books, The Deadliest Lie, The Deadliest Hate, and when you can, The Deadliest Sport. But stay safe. Don’t eat a buttercup or any of its botanical cousins.

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