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Las Cruces author publishes ‘Eye of Newt, Skin of Toad’


By Mike Cook

Las Cruces Bulletin

“Eye of Newt, Skin of Toad” is the latest in Las Cruces author Fenton R. Kay’s O’Flaithearta Biological Consultants mystery series.

In this book, which was published in 2021, “a musician is found dead in an archaeological site pit in a Las Vegas park. The man was attending a Wiccan celebration at a power center in the park. An autopsy reveals he died of toad poisoning. A shady casino owner is found executed in a canyon in the Red Rock National Conservation Area (near) Las Vegas. The casino owner owed the musician money. An Ayahuasca shaman seems to be connected to both of the men. The herbster, an authority on desert amphibians, is hired by the Las Vegas Metro Department to help determine what kind of toad provided the poison. Herb finds himself in Peru’s Amazon Forest collecting skin swabs from poison dart frogs and is nearly murdered.”

Kay is a biologist with more than 50 years of experience. He has a Ph.D. in biology from New Mexico State University and a master’s of science and a bachelor’s of science, both from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He retired from Zia Engineering & Environmental Consulting, LLC of Las Cruces in 2011 and self-published his first book in 2019.

Kay will be one of the featured authors, selling and signing copies of his books, at the Las Cruces Writers Group’s Book Lovers Book Signing and Sale, 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6, in the Good Samaritan Society Social Center, 3011 Buena Vida Circle in Las Cruces.

Kay’s other books are “Bear Market: An O'Flaithearta Biological Consultants Mystery,” “Le Cochon Volant: The Flying Pig,” “The Jaguar Drum,” “The Old Courthouse: Carol Montgomery  No. 1” and “Chipmunk Jumped Over Him: A Coming of Age Story,”

Kay’s books are available on amazon.com.