Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus)
Spring and Easter come clothed in the bright yellow of fluffy chicks and daffodils. While chicks are harmless, daffodils aren’t. You shouldn’t place daffodils into the same vase as other flowers, my grandmother always told me. It’s because they kill other plants. So if daffodils kill other plants with their toxic sap, couldn’t they be used as a means of murder in a crime novel?
Snow Rose or Black Hellebore (Helleborus niger). The Black Hellebore is named after the colour of its thick roots – also its most poisonous part. It is better known by its other name, “Snow or Christmas Rose”, because of the white flowers that bloom in the middle of winter (November to February).
Picture this: we are in Schwerte in Germany’s Ruhr valley, it’s Saturday night and 300 boisterous crime fiction fans are packed into one half of a refurbished industrial building (the other half is a restaurant). It’s AIEP's International Kriminacht, a big-ticket event (€25 a head) put together by Jutta Motz, Swiss crime writer and AIEP member.
In conjunction with the November 2014 cover feature of World Literature Today - which will focus on central European literature since the fall of the Berlin Wall - the editors of WLT invited 25 writers to nominate one book that most influenced their own writing or ways of seeing the world - from anywhere in the world - and to add a brief statement explaining their choice. Now, it’s your turn to help choose the best of the best. Read through the longlist, then during the readers’ poll.