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Miriam bat Isaac is an alchemist in first-century CE Roman-occupied Alexandria (Egypt). But the emperor, afraid that his currency will be devalued by those seeking to transmute common metals like copper into gold, has declared the punishment for practicing alchemy to be a grisly death. And so, Miriam starts out to trace the leak of an alchemical secret that surfaces in Caesarea.


Unfortunately, Judean terrorist have targeted her assassination. Can she and her deputy Phoebe discover who is responsible for the leak while eluding the assassins? Can Miriam at the same time protect a secret of her own?


No aspect of the trip is easy for Miriam, even sailing to Caesarea on her cousin Eli’s ship:


When we reached my quarters, I thanked Eli for dinner but in a tone cool enough to signal that the evening was over. He excused himself with a nod but only after an uncomfortable pause. I spun around toward my cabin door so quickly I could feel my skirt whip against my calves. Then, in a wash of relief, I listened to his lumbering footsteps fade into distant thuds. His cologne lingered though, as if painted on the walls.


But of course, the worst is yet to come, when Eli tells Miriam about the terrorists who are certain to target her as an outsider:


The latest menace to Roman stability may be the most dangerous, a splinter group emerging from the Zealots but one even they disavow for their sheer brutality. Called the Sicarii, this secret brotherhood of ruthless assassins is named for the short, curved daggers, the sicae, they conceal under their cloaks.


But the good news is you don’t have to read the Miriam bat Isaac novels in order. You can read The Deadliest Hate now. To watch the book trailer, click here.


To purchase your copy for only 99 cents during the first half of April, click here.

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