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Miriam often refers to the comfort of Phoebe’s lavender-scented embrace. In THE DEADLIEST SPORT, Miriam tells of Phoebe’s Shabbat visits to her home. Crossing the threshold of her atrium and cutting short her trill of delight, Phoebe opens her arms to gather Miriam into her lavender-scented bosom and swallow her up in the folds of her body.

In THE DEADLIEST THIEF, when Miriam fears that Phoebe is dead, she moans: What’s happened to my Phoebe, my intrepid scout, co-conspirator, and stubbornly girlish best friend? Can it be that she’ll never again entertain me with her extravagant tales of Alexandria’s famous and infamous—embellished, of course, with her flair for theatrics— reprove me for failing to follow Roman fashion trends, or comfort me in her lavender-scented embrace?

Aside from its cultivation as an ornamental plant and a source of its essential oil, lavender is used as a culinary herb, whether as a spice or condiment in pastas, salads and dressings, and desserts. And its buds are used in teas.

So, when you read a Miriam bat Isaac Mystery, keep a cup of lavender tea handy. For the tea, just boil a cup of water, place 4 teaspoons of fresh lavender buds into a tea ball, add the tea ball to the water, and let it steep for 10 minutes. And just as easy, to get hold of a Miriam bat Isaac Mystery, just click here.

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