Pick Your Poison: The Sweet, Sometimes Lethal Sides of Your Produce: Kate Lebo’s The Book of Difficult Fruit is reviewed in the New York Times Book Review

I’ve been thinking about how to murder a man with cherry pits. Pie, definitely. I’d pit a few pounds of cherries, then smash the pits and mix with vodka into an almondlike, but poisonous, extract. The chemical compounds in the pits would react with his stomach acid to create bootleg cyanide. It’d take, I estimate, three whole pies for me to pull this off, but still. As Kate Lebo explores in “The Book of Difficult Fruit,” within the plant kingdom, there lurk so many potential killers.

My cherry obsession aside, this darkly funny encyclopedia-memoir-essay collection is not a witch’s guide to killing your man. Each chapter takes on a different prickly, stinky, tricky, troublesome fruit — its history and usage in herbalism, its flavor and appeal, its dangers and difficulties — and ends with recipes. “In this book, fruit is not the smooth-skinned, bright-hued, waxed and edible ovary of the grocery store,” Lebo writes in the introduction (waxed ovary!): “What nurtures and what harms are entangled.” I turned the page so fast I got a paper cut.

Click here to read the full review.