Wednesday, April 13, 2016

26+ Ways to Kill: K is for Kidney Beans or Knout

Welcome! Since I write culinary mysteries, “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time” deals with food topics and with mysteries. This month I am sharing ways to kill people—in your mysteries, of course—and some tips on getting away with it! To avoid the pronoun problem, I’ll use heesh (he or she), shis (his or hers), and shim (him or her) throughout the entries. Tune in for murder and mayhem.

Since I did knife yesterday, with the jambiya, I moved onto other options.

You could have your killer use a kebbie. A kebbie is a shepherd’s crook. This would be another blunt force trauma death. I know that kebbies aren’t part of the décor of city apartments, but that would be part of the fun, don’t you know. Imagine the M.E. trying to figure out what the blunt object might have been. Imagine how your killer would return the kebbie to the farm and remove it from the search jurisdiction of the police. On the other hand, your victim could be a collector of walking sticks and the like so that the weapon is left in plain sight, though cleaned up.

Another blunt force object is a knitch, a bundle of wood tied together. I think that would be a bit awkward, but in the heat of the moment, your killer might snatch up whatever is handy to whack the victim. Nasty face after that blow! It’s hard to lift finger prints from raw, rough wood.

But the real star today, and maybe the star of this month’s killer methods is Kidney Beans. Raw or under-cooked kidney beans, that is. They contain relatively high amounts of phytohaemagglutnin. Who knew?

Raw kidney beans are toxic and might be difficult for the killer to get shis victim to ingest. But kidney beans cooked at a very low temperature are five times more toxic than the raw kidney beans. Check the temperature on your slow cooker. Old ones are not as hot as the new ones. Kidney beans have to be boiling for at least ten minutes. Cooking at a temperature of 80C/176F can kill you. Think how easy it would be for a wife to kill her husband by using an original slow cooker! She can admit to cooking the raw kidney beans she fed him, but she can claim ignorance of the toxicity of low-temp cooked kidney beans. No jury would convict her!  I kind of love this one!

On a bloodier note, killing with a Knout, a flog or scourge, is another one of those up close and personal ones. Often the knout had knotted ends for each strand or a metal piece might be attached to at least some of them. Some religious engaged in self-flagellation as penance for supposed sins. I don’t know of any who died from the knout used, but it might be worth exploring. Old monk, self-flagellator, is found dead. Who would suspect murder?

But more likely, it seems to me this would be a killing for ritual or hereticism. Or you might have a sociopath who uses a knout as his signature method.

In the past, however, flogging with a knout was not an uncommon punishment for slaves or others. We know you can kill if you go on long enough and/or hit vital areas again and again to wreak internal damage. This is a very painful way to die, and I would think your killer would have to either a sociopath or a very strong stomach.

Whatever have I found for killing with L words? Stop by to find out tomorrow.

If you take time to share this post on social media, I would be most grateful. 

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#Mystery writer need ideas to kill? K is for Kidney Beans or Knout. Many killer tips this month #atozchallenge

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Blogging from A to Z Challenge offers a wide range of topics. If you want to kill someone (in books of course), check out killing by Kidney Beans or Knout on “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time” at
Check out Sharon Arthur Moore’s culinary mystery, Mission Impastable  


  1. I've heard of the kidney bean one before. It's actually a good reminder about cooking them in a slow cooker. I've got a fairly new one, but I'm not sure if it would get hot enough. Maybe I'll just stick to cooking black beans in it instead.

    Cheers - Ellen |

  2. I know, Ellen, beans are good for you, except when they're not! You could check the temp, or notice if food boils on high setting. If so, you're hot enough.

  3. This was scary but interesting. I am loving this series!

    1. Thanks for continuing to visit, Cathy. Priming the pump for interesting murders is fun!

  4. The Kidney bean info is good to know and might explain why intuitively I am not a fan.

    1. LOL Or, it could be another side effect, yes? Thanks for dropping by again!