In August of 1844, a man named Leonard Reed takes violently ill at his home near Heathsville, Illinois, and four days later he is dead. The cause? Arsenic poisoning.
The suspect? His wife, Betsey.
The chief witnesses against her? A hired girl, Eveline Deal, and the local apothecary, James Logan. The evidence? Eveline claims she saw Betsey put a pinch of white powder in Leonard’s coffee.
Betsey Reed, a woman who dabbles in herbal healing, is known about town as a witch. As the gossip and the circumstantial evidence mount, Betsey finds herself under the shadow of a trial—and a noose.
A historical crime inspired by the true story of Betsey Reed, for fans of The Trial of Lizzie Borden and The Good Sister, Lee Martin’s latest weaves a tale of a pinch of white powder, a scorched paper, a community hungry for a villain, and a young girl’s first taste of revenge—but above all, of the contradictions and imperfections of the human heart.