By Eileen Harris, Mystery, 305 pages
Cover art by Richard Stroud
Magic can't resist making an appearance when antiques, forgery, murder, and betrayal come together in a small Pennsylvania town, putting Alicia and her friends in grave danger.
We were nearly halfway up the stairs when I heard Lawrence groan. I turned to see what had happened. He was deathly white, and while I watched, he sank down on the closest step. He was sweating heavily and clutching his stomach. He didn't seem coherent enough to answer any questions, so I ducked into my room and called for an ambulance. They only took about ten minutes to arrive, but it was horrible to wait. Lawrence was obviously in great pain, but couldn't tell me what was wrong.
The ride to the hospital took an eternity. They wouldn't let me ride in the ambulance, and I was so afraid of what would happen before he arrived. I was shaking and behind the wheel of a car was the last place I should have been, but as the ambulance tore through the streets with the siren blaring, I was right behind them.
I ran from the parking lot into the emergency room just in time to see them take Lawrence through a set of swinging doors where I couldn't follow. I slumped into a chair, and for the next two hours I sat in a waiting room with dull green walls and hard metal chairs. I never moved while I waited. My mind was busy begging Lawrence to hold on.
Since I was the only one waiting, when I saw an exhausted-looking man dressed in scrubs walk into the room, I took a deep breath and hurried to his side.
He said, “Are you the relative who brought Lawrence Hall in tonight?”
Afraid they wouldn't tell me anything if I confessed to not being a relative, I just nodded.
“Mr. Hall is a very sick man. He's been poisoned, and we think he must have eaten poisonous mushrooms. Our tests indicate they were probably green-spored lepiota.”