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The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

4 Ratings: 5.0
A book by Deborah Blum

Amazon Exclusive: Author Deborah Blum's Top Ten Poisons      On a recent radio show, I heard myself telling the host "And carbon monoxide is such a good poison.” We both started laughing--there’s just something about … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Mysteries
Author: Deborah Blum
Genre: Professional & Technical, History, Nonfiction
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
4 reviews about The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the...
review by . January 01, 2010
"The Poisoner's Handbook" starts out my 2010 reading list with--not the bang of a shoot-'em-up murder mystery, but the studied malice aforethought of the poisoner's mind. Blum's history is based on the careers of long-time New York City Medical Examiner Charles Norris and his toxicologist sidekick Alexander Gettler, who together defined and documented the field of forensic medicine in fertile field of New York City during the years beginning with with World War I.    The phrase …
review by . August 07, 2010
With all the books I receive for review (and given that I have a library a block away from my house), I rarely *buy* a book any more.  But on a recent trip, I wandered into a bookstore and had a particular title jump out at me... The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum.  I found this book fascinating on multiple counts, and I had a hard time putting it down.      Contents:   The Poison Game; …
review by . August 02, 2010
In the early 1900s New York, like any sprawling city, exhibited the best and the worst of human behavior. Some of New York's worst came under the lax scrutiny of the elected coroners, not always the sober and honest guardians of the public that they should have been. Poisoners, among other criminals, were often able to walk away scot-free because the devious ways of poison were poorly understood.    In 1918 the city established its first true medical examiner system, and the …
review by . April 06, 2010
"The Poisoner's Handbook" is the perfect mix of history, true crime, and biography. This well-written and very readable book was an eye-opener. While it covered interesting and unique criminal murder cases, it also described cases of poisoning due to ignorance about the toxicity of various newly discovered elements and chemical compounds. I don't think I'll ever look at the world the same way again.    The book covered the period between 1915 to 1937, starting with Norris and …
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