Friday, October 27, 2023


By Caroline Clemmons

Have you stocked up on candy for the trick or treaters? We’re waiting so we won’t be tempted to eat it all before Halloween. <G> As we get closer to Halloween, scary tales make the rounds. Axe killers, a knife in the back, a garotte around the throat, and poison. Like the poison apple in Snow White, through the ages poison has been a favorite tool of murderers, especially women killers. The gentler, weaker sex didn’t need to swing a heavy axe or club when they could subtly poison their victim.

I’m a fan of Agatha Christie, among other classic mystery writers. Since she worked as a pharmacist, she was a master of poisons. Her books are well written and hold up even though some were written ninety years ago. I primarily write romance, but there is usually danger in the books I write. In fact, I’ve used poison several times. There is romance in my mysteries with one exception, ALMOST HOME a contemporary mystery that's a tiny bit edgier than my other books and it includes bad language. Not words I would ever use, but they suit the characters. That book gives the impression of a romance to come.

The first book in which I used poison was BRAZOS BRIDE, the first book in the Men of Stone Mountain series. I love the people in this series—and they do seem like real people to me. Clever and beautiful Hope Montoya has realized she is being poisoned by someone in her own home. She suspects her late mother was poisoned by the same person who has now targeted her. Who would do such a thing and why? Too weak to fight alone, she enlists Micah Stone to help her. He's been in love with her since he met her. With Micah, his two brothers and two aunts join them to protect her. The two lovable aunts are inspired by my mom, Mae, and her sister, Elizabeth.

The buy link for BRAZOS BRIDE is  My books are also enrolled in Kindle Unlimited and available in print.

The next book that included poison was the second book in that series, HIGH STAKES BRIDE. In that book, the heroine uses mild poison to escape from a horrible man. Alice Price is a lovable woman, one who makes a lot of mistakes—like dying her hair green when aiming for brown. (I once dyed my youngest daughter’s hair lavender when aiming for blonde. She still loves me in spite of it.) Alice is lucky enough to link up with Zach Stone. This is one of my favorites of the books I’ve written. Alice is not stupid—quite the opposite—but she makes a lot of klutzy mistakes. The buy link at Amazon is

The third book in the Men of Stone Mountain series, BLUEBONNET BRIDE, is also the third book in which poison was used as a murder weapon, but not by the heroine. Rosalyn Vandagraf was innocent, even though a crooked trial had convicted her. What she considers a miracle lets her escape being hanged  and take her young daughter with her. She travels to what must be the end of the earth and sets herself up as a seamstress. She’s terrified when Sheriff Joel Stone takes a special interest in her and her daughter. This really is the best selling of the three books. I think it’s because of the cover. Joel Stone and his family help solve the mystery of who poisoned Rosalyn’s husband. The buy link is

Another book that includes poison is a contemporary cozy mystery, DEATH IN THE GARDEN. Heroine Heather must use all her resources to save a family friend/employee from being tried for murder. Fortunately, the new detective in town is willing to help her. Heather has taken over management of the family garden store and landscape business from her grandfather, but Grandad keeps a close eye on her. I may be biased but I thought this book was humorous and a good story. The buy link is

Stay safe and keep reading!


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