The Poisoner's Handbook
Deborah Blum, writing with the high style and skill for suspense that is characteristic of the very best mystery fiction, shares the untold story of how poison rocked Jazz Age New York City. In The Poisoner's Handbook Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime.
Drama unfolds case by case as the heroes of The Poisoner's Handbook—chief medical examiner Charles Norris and toxicologist Alexander Gettler—investigate a family mysteriously stricken bald, Barnum and Bailey's Famous Blue Man, factory workers with crumbling bones, a diner serving poisoned pies, and many others. Each case presents a deadly new puzzle and Norris and Gettler work with a creativity that rivals that of the most imaginative murderer, creating revolutionary experiments to tease out even the wiliest compounds from human tissue. Yet in the tricky game of toxins, even science can't always be trusted, as proven when one of Gettler's experiments erroneously sets free a suburban housewife later nicknamed "America's Lucretia Borgia" to continue her nefarious work.
From the vantage of Norris and Gettler's laboratory in the infamous Bellevue Hospital it becomes clear that killers aren't the only toxic threat to New Yorkers. Modern life has created a kind of poison playground, and danger lurks around every corner. Automobiles choke the city streets with carbon monoxide; potent compounds, such as morphine, can be found on store shelves in products ranging from pesticides to cosmetics. Prohibition incites a chemist's war between bootleggers and government chemists while in Gotham's crowded speakeasies each round of cocktails becomes a game of Russian roulette. Norris and Gettler triumph over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice during a remarkably deadly time. A beguiling concoction that is equal parts true crime, twentieth-century history, and science thriller, The Poisoner's Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten New York.
Baker & Taylor
Chronicles the story of New York City's first forensic scientists to describe Jazz Age poisoning cases, including a family's inexplicable balding, Barnum and Bailey's Blue Man, and the crumbling bones of factory workers.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of
The untold story of how poison rocked Jazz Age New York City. A pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Chief medical examiner Charles Norris and toxicologist Alexander Gettler investigate a family mysteriously stricken bald, factory workers with crumbling bones, a diner serving poisoned pies, and many others. Each case presents a deadly new puzzle and Norris and Gettler createrevolutionary experiments to tease out even the wiliest compounds from human tissue. From the vantage of their laboratory it also becomes clear that murderers aren't the only toxic threat--modern life has created a kind of poison playground, and danger lurks around every corner.
murder and the birth of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York
From the critics
AgeAdd Age Suitability
There are no ages for this title yet.
SummaryAdd a Summary
There are no summaries for this title yet.
NoticesAdd a Notice
There are no notices for this title yet.
QuotesAdd a Quote
There are no quotes for this title yet.
VideosAdd a Video
Deborah Blum: science, journalism and women
Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer-prize winning science writer and has been a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA since 1997. She was relaxing at the divine Raffles Hotel in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates prior to speaking at the inaugural conference of Arab women scientists in September 2009, organised by the Arab Science and Technology Forum, and is busy organising the programme for the world's biggest get-together of science journalists in Cairo in 2011, under the umbrella of the World Federation of Science Journalists.
Buy It Now
Support your library, keep it forever!View Purchase Options Learn more about this program
Hello! We noticed you have the following items in your cart right now:
If you'd still like to purchase the items you have in your cart, you can do that now.
You'll be able to purchase your eBook after you have checked out your current cart.
To continue with your eBook purchase immediately, you can clear your cart by clicking below.
All items will be removed from your cart.
I'd like to keep browsing! I'll decide later.