EST. May 2000 (AD)


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Murdered for Mandrake Essence: the Seamy Side of Aromatherapy

By Elizabeth Hanes


The case might have gone unsolved for hours had I not spied a business card lying near Marcia's cold, dead feet. I picked it up. "Emily's Incense and Aromatherapy" it read. A clue!

"Dust this for fingerprints," I said casually to the detective in charge.

Unnecessary, he said. They had a suspect already in custody.

Emily Prendergrast confessed to the crime. Jealous of Marcia's continuing success in the lucrative aromatherapy market, Emily decided to confront her and clear the air. Everything went well until Marcia called Emily a "stupid little turd" with the "olfactory sensitivity of a pigeon." Apparently that's when Emily lost it and bashed Marcia in the skull with the canister. Scared, Emily grabbed an armful of Marcia's aromatherapy supplies, including the secret ingredient, essence of mandrake, and ran out the door.

I think this tale speaks for itself as a caution against the dangers of "work at home" schemes and the evils of aromatherapy. Just to be on the safe side, however, I'm planning 20 hours of prison interviews with Emily Prendergrast, excerpts of which will air exclusively on my news magazine, and will pen a best-selling book to be titled "The Evils of Aromatherapy." Watch for it in the spring of 2002!

©2001 Elizabeth Hanes