A title like Pearls and Poison doesn’t leave much to the imagination on the murder weapon of choice but the question is how to get the job done.
With a gun you pull the trigger and bam it’s over. With a knife it’s slash and dash, but with poison the possibilities are endless. The big question is, where do you get it? You just don’t walk into Walgreens and ask which aisle has the cyanide. How much do you need? Which ones work the best? What do you mix it in?
So, like I always do when I have a question, I hit the Google and there it was…plants! With Pearls and Poisonset in Savannah there are lots and lots of plants year round. All I had to do was pick one, a not so healthy one. Decisions, decisions.
Everyone knows Poinsettia berries are a big no-no but I bet you didn’t know those lovely spring daffodils you adore can cause big problems. You may not die; you’ll just be so sick you wish you were dead.
I have a whole hedge of oleander in my back yard and one plant could probably wipe out my neighborhood. Good thing we never used the sticks to roast marshmallows!
Rhododendron, jasmine azaleas and wisteria, foxglove and columbine are so beautiful, the are the focal point of spring gardens and toxic to extreme. The victim gets deathly ill then a coma and then he kisses his butt goodbye. ( I used one of these in Pearls and Poison)
You can eat dandelions but yew is fatal and has no symptoms you just keel right over. Up one minute dead the next.
And then there’s Lantana, buttercups, periwinkle Vinci rose and hydrangeas. These are in every summer garden and pot and totally lethal. How can thing be so lovely and so deadly?
Never feed your dogs onions. Chokecherry is death to horses.
I did a ton of research for Pearls and Poison to get the right poison and figure out how to get the victim…who deserves to die…to drink it.
When doing this research I was invited to a dinner party and asked to bring ice cream instead of the salad. Gee, I wonder why?
I had a cleaning lady. All my poisonous plant books along with Deadly Doses, Armed and Dangerous andIntent to Killwere on my desk. She never came back. Life is not easy for a mystery writer.
I just planted an Angel Trumpet in my front yard. It’s one of the most deadly plants on earth but it’s so beautiful. Mine isn’t blooming yet but you can see how it’s going to turn out. Least the deer won’t eat this one.
Have a wonderful summer, everything’s in bloom and remember to enjoy your flowers...just don’t eat them.
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Pearls and Poison