She s a brilliant alchemist with a talent for solving mysteries. Miriam bat Isaac is a budding scholar in first-century CE Alexandria, though her dreams seem doomed. Who in her household or among her father s Shabbat guests stole the scrolls containing the Alchemical League s valuable formulas? Perhaps the thief was even her frantic father, on the cusp of financial ruin, eager for Miriam to end her dalliance with a handsome jeweler and marry into an honorable and wealthy family. Or her rebellious brother, intent on raising money to travel to Capua so he can enroll in the Roman Empire s most renowned gladiator school. Or her faint-hearted fiancé, who begrudges her preoccupation with alchemy and yearns for their forthcoming marriage?And how did the thief manage to steal them? Miriam is not only faced with a baffling puzzle, but, to recover the scrolls, she must stalk the culprit through the sinister alleys of Alexandria s claustrophobic underbelly. The Romans who keep a harsh watch over her Jewish community are trouble enough. Miriam is based on the true personage of Maria Hebrea, the legendary founder of Western alchemy, who developed the concepts and apparatus alchemists and chemists would use for 1500 years.
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- Editorial: BELLEBOOKS
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