A is for Arsenic

A is for Arsenic
Title A is for Arsenic PDF eBook
Author Kathryn Harkup
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Pages 321
Release 2015-09-08
Genre Science
ISBN 147291130X

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Shortlisted for the BMA Book Awards and Macavity Awards 2016Fourteen novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because it's fiction doesn't mean it's all made-up ...Agatha Christie revelled in the use of poison to kill off unfortunate victims in her books; indeed, she employed it more than any other murder method, with the poison itself often being a central part of the novel. Her choice of deadly substances was far from random - the characteristics of each often provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. With gunshots or stabbings the cause of death is obvious, but this is not the case with poisons. How is it that some compounds prove so deadly, and in such tiny amounts?Christie's extensive chemical knowledge provides the backdrop for A is for Arsenic, in which Kathryn Harkup investigates the poisons used by the murderer in fourteen classic Agatha Christie mysteries. It looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, the cases that may have inspired Christie, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering and detecting these poisons, both at the time the novel was written and today. A is for Arsenic is a celebration of the use of science by the undisputed Queen of Crime.




A is for Arsenic

A is for Arsenic
Title A is for Arsenic PDF eBook
Author Kathryn Harkup
Publisher
Pages 404
Release 2016
Genre Large type books
ISBN 9781510025509

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"Agatha Christie used poison to kill her characters more often than any other murder method, with the poison itself being a central part of the novel, and her choice of deadly substances was far from random; the chemical and physiological characteristics of each poison provide vital clues to discovery of the murderer. Christie demonstrated her extensive chemical knowledge in many of her novels, but this is rarely appreciated by the reader. 'A is for Arsenic' looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering and detecting these poisons, both at the time the novel was written and today."--Back cover.




Poison Panic

Poison Panic
Title Poison Panic PDF eBook
Author Helen Barrell
Publisher Pen and Sword
Pages 199
Release 2016-08-31
Genre True Crime
ISBN 1473852080

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True crime that “will appeal to readers interested in gaining an insight into the lives of women accused of murder in the mid 19th century” (Essex Family Historian). For a few years in the 1840s, Essex was notorious in the minds of Victorians as a place where women stalked the winding country lanes looking for their next victim to poison with arsenic. Though that terrible image may not have much basis in truth, it was a symptom of an anxiety-filled time . . . The 1840s were also known as the “hungry ’40s,” when crop failures pushed up food prices and there was popular unrest across Europe. The decade culminated in a cholera epidemic in which tens of thousands of people in the British Isles died. It is perhaps no surprise that people living through that troubled decade were captivated by the stories of the “poisoners”: that death was down to “white powder” and the evil intentions of the human heart. Sarah Chesham, Mary May, and Hannah Southgate are the protagonists of this tale of how rural Essex, in a country saturated with arsenic, was touched by the tumultuous 1840s. “Barrell’s meticulous research and eye for detail recreate lurking threats, and these scandalous true stories are as compelling as any crime fiction.” —History of War “An intriguing read that brings a forgotten history to light and reveals past attitudes to women—and a national fear that gripped Victorian Britain.” —Family Tree Magazine “This book will fascinate not only historians of true crime and those with an interest in genealogy but any reader seeking a story that would make Agatha Christie proud.” —All About History




A Taste for Poison

A Taste for Poison
Title A Taste for Poison PDF eBook
Author Neil Bradbury, Ph.D.
Publisher St. Martin's Press
Pages 234
Release 2022-02-01
Genre True Crime
ISBN 1250270766

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“A fascinating tale of poisons and poisonous deeds which both educates and entertains.” --Kathy Reichs A brilliant blend of science and crime, A TASTE FOR POISON reveals how eleven notorious poisons affect the body--through the murders in which they were used. As any reader of murder mysteries can tell you, poison is one of the most enduring—and popular—weapons of choice for a scheming murderer. It can be slipped into a drink, smeared onto the tip of an arrow or the handle of a door, even filtered through the air we breathe. But how exactly do these poisons work to break our bodies down, and what can we learn from the damage they inflict? In a fascinating blend of popular science, medical history, and true crime, Dr. Neil Bradbury explores this most morbidly captivating method of murder from a cellular level. Alongside real-life accounts of murderers and their crimes—some notorious, some forgotten, some still unsolved—are the equally compelling stories of the poisons involved: eleven molecules of death that work their way through the human body and, paradoxically, illuminate the way in which our bodies function. Drawn from historical records and current news headlines, A Taste for Poison weaves together the tales of spurned lovers, shady scientists, medical professionals and political assassins to show how the precise systems of the body can be impaired to lethal effect through the use of poison. From the deadly origins of the gin & tonic cocktail to the arsenic-laced wallpaper in Napoleon’s bedroom, A Taste for Poison leads readers on a riveting tour of the intricate, complex systems that keep us alive—or don’t.




Death By Shakespeare

Death By Shakespeare
Title Death By Shakespeare PDF eBook
Author Kathryn Harkup
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Pages 369
Release 2020-03-05
Genre Science
ISBN 1472958241

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William Shakespeare found dozens of different ways to kill off his characters, and audiences today still enjoy the same reactions – shock, sadness, fear – that they did more than 400 years ago when these plays were first performed. But how realistic are these deaths, and did Shakespeare have the knowledge to back them up? In the Bard's day death was a part of everyday life. Plague, pestilence and public executions were a common occurrence, and the chances of seeing a dead or dying body on the way home from the theatre were high. It was also a time of important scientific progress. Shakespeare kept pace with anatomical and medical advances, and he included the latest scientific discoveries in his work, from blood circulation to treatments for syphilis. He certainly didn't shy away from portraying the reality of death on stage, from the brutal to the mundane, and the spectacular to the silly. Elizabethan London provides the backdrop for Death by Shakespeare, as Kathryn Harkup turns her discerning scientific eye to the Bard and the varied and creative ways his characters die. Was death by snakebite as serene as Shakespeare makes out? Could lack of sleep have killed Lady Macbeth? Can you really murder someone by pouring poison in their ear? Kathryn investigates what actual events may have inspired Shakespeare, what the accepted scientific knowledge of the time was, and how Elizabethan audiences would have responded to these death scenes. Death by Shakespeare will tell you all this and more in a rollercoaster of Elizabethan carnage, poison, swordplay and bloodshed, with an occasional death by bear-mauling for good measure.




The Poisoner's Handbook

The Poisoner's Handbook
Title The Poisoner's Handbook PDF eBook
Author Deborah Blum
Publisher Penguin
Pages 336
Release 2011-01-25
Genre Medical
ISBN 1101524898

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Equal parts true crime, twentieth-century history, and science thriller, The Poisoner's Handbook is "a vicious, page-turning story that reads more like Raymond Chandler than Madame Curie." —The New York Observer “The Poisoner’s Handbook breathes deadly life into the Roaring Twenties.” —Financial Times “Reads like science fiction, complete with suspense, mystery and foolhardy guys in lab coats tipping test tubes of mysterious chemicals into their own mouths.” —NPR: What We're Reading A fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner's Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten era. In early twentieth-century New York, poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Science had no place in the Tammany Hall-controlled coroner's office, and corruption ran rampant. However, with the appointment of chief medical examiner Charles Norris in 1918, the poison game changed forever. Together with toxicologist Alexander Gettler, the duo set the justice system on fire with their trailblazing scientific detective work, triumphing over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice. In 2014, PBS's AMERICAN EXPERIENCE released a film based on The Poisoner's Handbook.




I Saw Him Die

I Saw Him Die
Title I Saw Him Die PDF eBook
Author Andrew Wilson
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Pages 400
Release 2020-07-21
Genre Fiction
ISBN 1501197576

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“Fiendishly well-plotted, hugely entertaining.” —Lucy Foley, bestselling author of The Hunting Party In this classic whodunit filled with red herrings and double-crosses, the Queen of Crime returns in the role of sleuth as she investigates a mysterious death in the Scottish Highlands. Bestselling novelist and part-time undercover sleuth Agatha Christie is looking forward to a bit of well-deserved rest and relaxation when her longtime friend John Davison pleads with her to help him protect a retired British agent turned hotelier who has been receiving threatening letters. Together they travel to Dallach Lodge, a beautiful estate on Scotland’s picturesque Isle of Skye. There they insert themselves among the hotel’s illustrious guests, including members of the owner’s family, a leading lady of the theater, a brilliant botanist, a local doctor, and two sisters who coauthor romance novels. After a pleasant first evening, Agatha thinks it unlikely that any of them are capable of evil, much less murder. But early the next morning, the sound of a gunshot rings out and the hotel owner is found dead in the arms of his nephew. At first, it appears to be a simple hunting accident, but as Agatha digs deeper, she discovers that each and every one of the residents has a reason for wanting the late proprietor dead.