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The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York Hardcover – 18 Feb 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Non Basic Stock Line; First Edition edition (18 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594202435
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594202438
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.9 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 680,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The Poisoner's Handbook Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Blum follows New York City's first forensic scientists to discover a fascinating Jazz Age story of chemistry and detection, poison and murder. Full description

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. David Edwards on 4 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unexpectedly this is a page turner of a book. A fairly wide range of poisons are discussed and their 'use' and later methods of detection described. But the human side of the stories are absolutely fascinationg. The book can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in this topic. And she does not shy away thankfully, from a bit of chemistry. I would not usually read a book like this and only did so on a friend's recommendation. Am I glad I did. It discusses nasty human nature - murder I suppose - the birth of forensics (in America: I must explain and they did not have the lead at the time and the new methods lead to the capture and disposal of very unpleasent criminals who previously escaped the law. They do not deserve our pity as they watched others sometimes slowly and painfully dying by their hands. Read and be fascinated.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Aurora on 2 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating book. It follows the history of forensic toxicology in the US, and sets out how new poisons came to prominance and how tests were devised to detect them and legislation brought in to control them. The book is divided into chapters on the seperate poisons, detailing each poison and its (mis)use and reactions of the medical examiners.
Well written, accessable and engaging, I heartily recommended this book.
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The Poisoner’s Handbook

Not, as the title suggests, a book defining methods of eliminating your nearest and dearest, but an account of how in the early part of the 20th century, a nascent forensic team investigated intentional and non-intentional deaths by poisoning in the city of New York. This is an extremely informative and well-researched book, written in a style akin to a crime novel leaving the reader wanting more at the end of each chapter. In essence the story of two scientists, one a pathologist the other a chemist, both committed to establishing forensics as an essential tool of criminal investigation whilst hindered by an indifferent and hostile bureaucracy. The narrative covers premeditated murders using arsenic, accidental poisonings initially perceived as criminal and corporate negligence resulting in the deaths of workers from substances such as radium. An easy and interesting read deserving a high rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike on 7 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my wife who has an interest in Forensic Medicine.
After a quick flick through, I ended up reading it, before I gave it to her.

An excellent read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Astonished! on 22 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book reads more like a detective novel than a history book. It is a very interesting look at the birth and development of forensic pathology. There are lots of interesting stories that give a good flavour of the times in which they are set.

Highly recomended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dominic on 14 Jun 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After seeing the documentry I purchased the book for my daughter who is a forensic toxicologist she gave it a big thumbs up and several of her colegue want to read it.a book not just for those in that field but anyone interested in the birth of forensics
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