Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy StewartNonfiction
This is a fascinating nonfiction book about mostly common plants--and how they can kill you!
All of the plants mentioned in the book are noxious and to be avoided. Some are downright deadly. It contains fascinating historical lore and criminal legend (which were my favorite parts), but also a healthy dose of medicine and science dished up in a way that was really interesting. Those topics are not usually interesting to me but the author presented it in a way that really kept me hooked. The illustrations were a nice touch, but I am going to be greedy and say I wished there were also full-color photographs to make identification of the plants easier. It was amazing to think that so little dosage of some tiny plants could be so fatal. This is definitely a book a mystery writer, or potential murderer, would want to read. It should be required reading for anyone planting a garden. It is more a gift or trivia book rather than for a serious researcher. Even if you're not a gardener, or potential murderer, this book is interesting and written in a way that could provide just pure fun and enjoyment. It is a book you will want to sip slowly, to savor.
At one time, much of this would have been common knowledge as people were more in tune and in contact with the natural world around them. Books like this are so important so that vital knowledge, and folklore, isn't lost.