K.M. Pohlkamp will discuss Locusta, the world's first serial killer from Gaul and poisoner of Emperor Claudius. Locusta was the inspiration for her novel, Apricots and Wolfsbane ($16), which follows the career of a female poison assassin in Tudor England.
K.M. Pohlkamp is a blessed wife, proud mother of two young children, and a flight controller for NASA in Mission Control. A Cheesehead by birth, she now resides in Texas and writes to maintain her sanity.
Lavinia Maud craves the moment the last wisps of life leave her victim's bodiesto behold the effects of her own poison creations. Believing confession erases the sin of murder, her morbid desires are in unity with faith, though she could never justify her skill to the magistrate she loves. At the start of the 16th century in Tudor England, Lavinia's marks grow from tavern drunks to nobility, but rising prestige brings increased risk. When the magistrate suspects her ruse, he pressures the priest into breaking her confessional seal, pitting Lavinia's instincts as an assassin against the tenets of love and faith. She balances revenge with her struggle to develop a tasteless poison and avoid the wrath of her ruthless patron. With her ideals in conflict, Lavinia must decide which will satisfy her heart: love, faith, or murderbut the betrayals are just beginning.