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This Old Rag, Part I

Lucia Antonia was wearing a peplos when she fell to her death.

The peplos was a long tube with the top edge folded down about halfway, so the top of the tube was now draped below the waist, and the bottom was at the ankle. The garment was then gathered about the waist and the folded top edge was pinned over the shoulders. The folded-down top of the cloth provided the appearance of a second piece of clothing.

Miriam tells you all about it in “The Fire,” one of nine stories in the latest Miriam bat Isaac book, The Deadliest Deceptions, to be released this fall:

On the upstairs landing of her Alexandria townhouse, twenty-eight-year-old Lucia Antonina tripped on the hem of her floaty peplos, a draped, ankle-length tubular garment open on one side. She plummeted down the sweeping staircase, past the walls veneered in red marble; the copiously gilded, carved balustrades smelling of fresh polish; and the marble pedestals supporting busts of the Greek poets. Her Herodian oil lamp, casting an apron of light that hardly scratched the darkness, escaped from her hand. Careening down the stairs, she heard it shatter against the lip of the bottom step. Its fragments soared through the air before the flame ignited the oil-soaked, oriental rug at the base of the staircase.

So begins the story, but Miriam has questions: Was Lucia alone that evening? If so, why was she dressed for entertaining? And if not, why didn’t someone come to her aid? The case is baffling, but you can be her deputy. To check on the release date for The Deadliest Deceptions and choose another while you’re waiting, just click here.


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