I’m a writer, and poet, as well as being the editor of the local newsletter for the town close to where I live, Mallala. Some of my writing is nonfiction, some poetry (quite a bit of that), but most recently the type of writing that I’m been putting a lot of my time into, is writing a cosy murder mystery.
And as a person with a bit of an interest in gardening, as well dogs, (hence this blog), the idea of poisons that people can find in their own home, for the purpose of killing people is interesting. I have to stress, this is for the purpose of my cosy murder mystery writing only.
The town where my murder mysteries take place is a made up place, Talloola, but based it is loosely based on Mallala. This connection between plants and poisons, and killing with things a person has easy access to, seems to be an obvious thing to look into, for the purpose of those murder mysteries I’m looking to write.
I’ve begun work on the first book, “Hot Winds At Talloola”, and I’ve come up with titles of I think it was twenty possible books, with a little bit about what each book might be about. I’ve also written some words for book the second book. I can’t remember what the title for that one is going to be – I’m trying to concentrate on the actual writing of the first one.
So why am I here, writing this blog post? Hmm, a good question, that one. Putting off the writing today, will make me work harder at actually writing tomorrow? It’s an idea, but not a very sensible one, not really. Tomorrow is going to have its own distractions. Each day does.
I’ve blogged on my actual writer blog about this procrastination thing, here. Since I wrote that post, and put it up on my writer blog I’ve certainly added a good deal more words to the first of my cosy murder mysteries. Those twenty-five minutes of writing don’t happen every single day, but they could, and I will work harder at making sure they do happen.
Today, after I’ve finished this particular post about the poisons that might be growing in the yards of residents of Talloola, that will be a good time to get my twenty-five minutes of writing the novel, so that is what I plan to do. But thinking about the novel, and in fact the whole series I have planned, one of the poisons I know of is available quite close to the town of Talloola.
And what is this deadly plant, this source of plantly poison? The ‘killer’ plant is Castor Oil plant, the seeds of which contain ricin. I have seen many of these plants along the train track that goes though Mallala, and if there was a murderer in the town of Talloola, they would have ready access to ricin …
Another readily available potential killer is the well known, and widely grown Oleander (Nerium) plant. This plant is commonly found in front and back gardens, and I know I’ve seen it growing in several places in Mallala, and in fact there was such a plant in my own front yard when I was young. The plant has long slim leaves, and brightly coloured flowers. All parts of the plant are poisonous if eaten … I don’t know what they taste like, but perhaps Talloola residents should watch out with salads brought to community events, if they have people there who would like to see them dead …
And apparently the Peppercorn tree is another one that is, or can be dangerous. I didn’t know this before I started looking at it today. I just thought it was and extremely successful, and attractive weed that is growing in many places around where I live.
We certainly have many of these weeds/trees growing at our place, both large trees, and tiny seedlings. The birds and or the wind spread the seeds, and they pop up all over, wherever there is a bit of dirt, that gets water on it. The pink fruit and feathery leaves as well as the drooping habit of the branches makes for an attractive tree, but they will take over, which is why they are deemed to be leaves.
The berries are poisonous, and my cause vomiting and diahhroea, and the sap from the branches may cause dermatitis in some people, and when the tree is flowering, it may cause respiratory irritation, sinus congestion and headache in some people too. Overall, not a pretty plant in the nasty things it may do to a person.
So there’s a few plants that you wouldn’t want to see in your dinner dish, but who knows whether they may show up at a Talloola Community group dinner some time …