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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kissing Can Kill You

Did you know that kissing could kill you?

Really, it can. So how can you use this in your mystery novel? Say your bad guy is harassing the heroine. He killed her best friend and she wants to get even with him. He’s allergic to shrimp. Maybe she knows it and maybe she doesn’t. He follows her to a seafood restaurant where the steam from cooking the shrimp lingers in the air. Even that will affect a person with shrimp allergies. It’s toxic to him and he struggles for his breath. The ambulance doesn’t arrive on time. Bingo, he’s dead.
Or say an abused woman’s boyfriend won’t let her alone. She knows he’s allergic to shrimp. She eats the shrimp and the oil lingers on her lips. He grabs her and kisses her, but instead of telling him not to, she lets him kiss her. His allergy is severe and in minutes he could be dead. She waits five minutes before calling for an ambulance. He’s dead by the time they arrive.

What should she have done if she really wanted to save him? She would brush her teeth several times, rinse her mouth three or four times and then scrub her lips. The oil from the shrimp would remain on her lips which would be passed on to the kisser and kill him. In addition, she would have to wash her hands many times in order rid all traces of the shrimp from her body.

However, if she wanted him to die, she would simply tell the police she didn’t know what happened to him, and when they discovered the shrimp allergy, she’d say she had no idea he was allergic to the shrimp or that it would harm the man.

As for the adults in the stories, they knew they had those allergies, but if they were determined to destroy the person who followed them to the restaurant or to kiss a person who didn’t want kissed, then they got the kiss of death. 

Think of the possibilities to kill off someone this way. Kiss that man and watch him croak. Who would ever guess that’s what he died from? 

Or the person who’s allergic to bees and doesn’t have one of the pens to inject can die off pretty fast, too.

Recently on the local news it was reported children at a certain elementary school won’t be allowed to bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school, or anything else that contains peanuts. Why? Because some children are allergic to peanuts. The school announced the police will bring in dogs to sniff for peanut butter.

Of course we don’t want a child to die, but I think it’s ludicrous to make P&J sandwiches outlawed. These are hard times and people struggling sometimes find P&J sandwiches are all they can afford to feed the kids for lunch. And not everyone is eligible for the free or reduced lunches, especially if it was recently they lost their jobs. Another reason to make the kids P&J sandwiches is because some kids are darned fussy and that’s the only sandwich they want to eat. 

I do feel bad for the child or children at schools who have this problem. I also find it strange that when I was growing up no one I ever met had an allergy to peanuts. What is put into the peanuts today that wasn’t there before?


E. B. Davis said...

I've read a lot of books and can't think of one that uses food allergies as a murder scenario, so good thinking, Dee.

On the peanut allergy, I don't remember anyone having this allergy when I grew up either. The only thing that I can think of is that we aren't adapting as well to our environment as we used to because we are no longer an agrarian society. Our bodies now consider natural substances to be foreign. Makes you wonder if air purifiers are doing more harm than good, at least to normal, heathy people. Let's face it. Our society over compensates. People in earlier times didn't clean or wash as much as we do, mask their body odors (of course we are more crowded now)or fight nature like we now do.

Warren Bull said...

I agree with EB. There are more resistant strains of infection as more soaps add antibacterial ingredients. Perhaps the peanut sniffing dogs could also be trained to sniff out plastic squirt guns and other dangerous things banned from schools.

Dee Hendershot Gatrell said...

LOL, Warren. You never know. I think we've gone over the top on a lot of things.
FL is considering allowing students at or colleges and universities to carry guns on campus Now that's over the top. I have been an educational advisor for many moons and there are times we get students who are mentally unbalanced. I'd hate to sit across from them and have them get ticked off and shoot me!

Warren Bull said...

My wife works in an academic setting and it is not only the students who are unbalanced.

Pauline Alldred said...

I remember learning in a biology course that humans started kissing because they needed the salt. Apparently kissing couples exchange salt. I would never have thought of that but then that might be because I already eat too much salt.

I realize immunizations are necessary but they often give artificial and passive immunity. When people developed immunity by getting measles, mumps, etc, their systems developed active immunity. There's a relationship between immunity and allergies. And I agree, we're over-sanitized. Doctors have to act apologetic if you have an outpatient procedure and they tell you not to put an antibiotic on the wound. Wow, just leave it open to air.

Dee Hendershot Gatrell said...

Honey sometimes works better on a wound than other meds. My friend's neighbor had a wound on her leg that wouldn't heal. Her daughter finally dressed it with honey and it healed.

I don't think that will work on my husband's skin cancer surgeries though. He's in a lot of pain today.

Anonymous said...

This is a great post, Dee. I love the idea of food allergies as a death sentence.

EB - a peanut allergy was used to kill someone in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code...though it wasn't administered by a kiss.

E. B. Davis said...

I'm not a Dan Brown fan. After reading the first two chapters of the Da Vinci Code, I put the book down. Rewriting history to me is a cheat.