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15 Reviews
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4 star:
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2 star:
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars better than a novel
The Inheritor's Powder is a thrilling and suspenseful true murder mystery which is unfolded with a teasing pace. The rich grandfather of a Kent farming family dies in agonizing pain after drinking his morning coffee and several other members of the family fall ill after drinking from the same coffee pot. Suspicion falls on the grandson, Young John, but the lad seems an...
Published 18 months ago by The Knife Woman

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deja vu
This book takes the reader on a well paced trip around the history of arsenic, the early struggles of forensic science to detect poisons and a notorious murder case. It reads very well and is almost always interesting. My reason for giving less than four stars is that parts of the book, especially chapters 15 and 16 seemed very familiar to me. The author does mention J...
Published 13 months ago by KAW


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3.0 out of 5 stars Some of the explanations were fascinating but it could not be called an easy read. Of course I might be a little ..., 9 Sep 2014
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I found this book a little hard going. Some of the explanations were fascinating but it could not be called an easy read. Of course I might be a little hard on Sandra Hempel but you pays your money and takes your choice.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much padding, 16 Jan 2014
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Martynrb (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
I read this book on the strength of the good reviews, but having done so I'm very surprised it has been rated so highly. The poisoning case in question is fairly interesting, but there clearly just isn't a great deal of material on it, which has caused the author to keep deviating into all sorts of general historical topics.

At its worst, we get one paragraph relating to the case, followed by many pages, sometimes the rest of a chapter, on some other subject, be it poisons, local history, the history of coroners' courts or whatever. Though interesting in their own way, these things should be short footnotes rather than constituting the bulk of the book as they do - to the point where its easy to lose track of the central case.

UPDATE: Since writing the above, out of curiosity I delved into the glowing reviews and found that in the case of many of them, especially the early ones, it was the only review those individuals had ever left on Amazon. Which is interesting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Inheritor's Powder: A Cautionary Tale of Poison, Betrayal and Greed (Kindle Edition)
Cracking story, and well written.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much detail., 20 Oct 2013
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G. S. Davis (Holt, Norfolk, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I heard about this book when listening to the first episode of Book of the Week on Radio 4 whilst driving to a walk. I was intrigued by the title so I bought the book. However I found some of the detail hard to absorb and although I did eventually finish the book it didn't seem to have a proper beginning, middle, and end, and tended to go off at significant tangents.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 4 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Inheritor's Powder: A Cautionary Tale of Poison, Betrayal and Greed (Kindle Edition)
An interesting look at the history of arsenic poisoning during a specific period. The structure is based around a notorious case in Plumstead and the the writer gradually reveals details of this case and uses them as a hook to hang upon which to handother details and case.Unfortunately, for me, the Bodle case was not sufficiently interesting or surprising to carry the rest of the book and I would have preferred a more straightforward structure.
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