A is for Arsenic

The Poisons of Agatha Christie

Author: Kathryn Harkup

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472911296

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 6925

Shortlisted for the BMA Book Awards and Macavity Awards 2016 Fourteen 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

The Poisons of Agatha Christie

Author: Kathryn Harkup

Publisher: Bloomsbury Sigma

ISBN: 9781472911322

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 9111

Fourteen novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because it's fiction doesn't mean it's all made-up . . . Agatha Christie reveled 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

The Poisons of Agatha Christie

Author: Kathryn Harkup

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 147291130X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 288

View: 1328

Fourteen Agatha Christie novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because it's fiction doesn't mean it's entirely made up . . .

Making the Monster

The Science Behind Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Author: Kathryn Harkup

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472933753

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 4173

The year 1818 saw the publication of one of the most influential science-fiction stories of all time. Frankenstein: Or, Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley had a huge impact on gothic horror and science-fiction genres, and her creation has become part of our everyday culture, from cartoons to Hallowe'en costumes. Even the name 'Frankenstein' has become a by-word for evil scientists and dangerous experiments. How did a teenager with no formal education come up with the idea for an extraordinary novel such as Frankenstein? Clues are dotted throughout Georgian science and popular culture. The years before the book's publication saw huge advances in our understanding of the natural sciences, in areas such as electricity and physiology, for example. Sensational science demonstrations caught the imagination of the general public, while the newspapers were full of lurid tales of murderers and resurrectionists. Making the Monster explores the scientific background behind Mary Shelley's book. Is there any science fact behind the science fiction? And how might a real-life Victor Frankenstein have gone about creating his monster? From tales of volcanic eruptions, artificial life and chemical revolutions, to experimental surgery, 'monsters' and electrical experiments on human cadavers, Kathryn Harkup examines the science and scientists that influenced Shelley, and inspired her most famous creation.

Agatha Christie's True Crime Inspirations

Author: Mike Holgate

Publisher: The History Press

ISBN: 0752475924

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 128

View: 8504

The true scandals, crimes, and murders that inspired the works of the Queen of Crime, and affected those around her Fact proves far stranger than fiction in this collection of events that either influenced the works of the world’s most popular mystery writer or affected the lives of many famous personalities involved in her long career. These include the exploits of Jack the Ripper, which inspired the serial killings in The ABC Murders; the kidnapping in Murder on the Orient Express was based on a family tragedy that befell aviator Charles Lindbergh; The Mirror Cracked was dedicated to the Miss Marple actress Margaret Rutherford, whose father was committed to an asylum for murder, and Hercule Poirot actor Peter Ustinov was interviewing Indira Gandi when the Indian leader was assassinated. The twist in the plot for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was suggested by Lord Mountbatten; while his son-in-law Lord Brabourne produced a series of star-studded Christie film adaptations before the two men became victims of an IRA bomb attack. There are also examples of how her books themselves became the unknowing inspiration for real life crimes, or how people reading them have been inspired to solve crimes.

The Elements of Murder

A History of Poison

Author: John Emsley

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780192806000

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 418

View: 6507

A fascinating account of the five most toxic elements describes the lethal chemical properties of arsenic, antimony, lead, mercury, and thallium, as well as their use in some of the most famous murder cases in history, with profiles of such deadly poisoners as Mary Ann Cotton, Michael Swango, and Saddam Hussein and a look at modern-day environmental catastrophes.

The Poisoner's Handbook

Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

Author: Deborah Blum

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101524898

Category: Medical

Page: 336

View: 5994

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) 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.

Poison Is Not Polite

Author: Robin Stevens

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1481422170

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 336

View: 7390

A tea party takes a poisonous turn leaving Daisy and Hazel with a new mystery to solve in this “first-rate whodunit, reminiscent of a game of Clue [that’s] terrific preparation for the works of Agatha Christie” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). Schoolgirl detectives Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are at Daisy’s home, Fallingford, for the holidays. Daisy’s glamorous mother is throwing a tea party for Daisy’s birthday, and the whole family is invited, from eccentric Aunt Saskia to dashing Uncle Felix. But it soon becomes clear that this party isn’t about Daisy after all—and she is furious. But Daisy’s anger falls to the wayside when one of their guests falls seriously and mysteriously ill—and everything points to poison. It’s up to Daisy and Hazel to find out what’s really going on. With wild storms preventing everyone from leaving, or the police from arriving, Fallingford suddenly feels like a very dangerous place to be. Not a single person present is what they seem—and everyone has a secret or two. And when someone very close to Daisy begins to act suspiciously, the Detective Society does everything they can to reveal the truth…no matter the consequences. Previously published as Arsenic for Tea in the UK.

Strong Poison

Author: Dorothy L. Sayers

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061043508

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 1088

When her fiance+a7 is murdered, mystery novelist Harriet Vane becomes the chief suspect due to her expert knowledge on poison, but Lord Peter Wimsey, prompted by his love for Harriet, vows to clear her name. Reprint.

The Secret Poisoner

A Century of Murder

Author: Linda Stratmann

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300219547

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 3845

Murder by poison alarmed, enthralled, and in many ways encapsulated the Victorian age. Linda Stratmann’s dark and splendid social history reveals the nineteenth century as a gruesome battleground where poisoners went head-to-head with authorities who strove to detect poisons, control their availability, and bring the guilty to justice. She corrects many misconceptions about particular poisons and documents how the evolution of issues such as marital rights and the legal protection of children impacted poisonings. Combining archival research with a novelist’s eye, Stratmann charts the era’s inexorable rise of poison cases both shocking and sad.

Wicked Bugs

The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects

Author: Amy Stewart

Publisher: Algonquin Books

ISBN: 9781616200633

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 4007

In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes—creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world’s most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the “bookworms” that devour libraries, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary powers of six- and eight-legged creatures. With wit, style, and exacting research, Stewart has uncovered the most terrifying and titillating stories of bugs gone wild. It’s an A to Z of insect enemies, interspersed with sections that explore bugs with kinky sex lives (“She’s Just Not That Into You”), creatures lurking in the cupboard (“Fear No Weevil”), insects eating your tomatoes (“Gardener’s Dirty Dozen”), and phobias that feed our (sometimes) irrational responses to bugs (“Have No Fear”). Intricate and strangely beautiful etchings and drawings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs capture diabolical bugs of all shapes and sizes in this mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue that begins—but doesn’t end—in your own backyard.

The Arsenic Century

How Victorian Britain was Poisoned at Home, Work, and Play

Author: James C. Whorton

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191623431

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 1063

Arsenic is rightly infamous as the poison of choice for Victorian murderers. Yet the great majority of fatalities from arsenic in the nineteenth century came not from intentional poisoning, but from accident. Kept in many homes for the purpose of poisoning rats, the white powder was easily mistaken for sugar or flour and often incorporated into the family dinner. It was also widely present in green dyes, used to tint everything from candles and candies to curtains, wallpaper, and clothing (it was arsenic in old lace that was the danger). Whether at home amidst arsenical curtains and wallpapers, at work manufacturing these products, or at play swirling about the papered, curtained ballroom in arsenical gowns and gloves, no one was beyond the poison's reach. Drawing on the medical, legal, and popular literature of the time, The Arsenic Century paints a vivid picture of its wide-ranging and insidious presence in Victorian daily life, weaving together the history of its emergence as a nearly inescapable household hazard with the sordid story of its frequent employment as a tool of murder and suicide. And ultimately, as the final chapter suggests, arsenic in Victorian Britain was very much the pilot episode for a series of environmental poisoning dramas that grew ever more common during the twentieth century and still has no end in sight.

Curtain Up

Agatha Christie: A Life in the Theatre

Author: Julius Green

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062416316

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 624

View: 5687

From the producer of numerous Agatha Christie stage plays comes the first book to examine the world’s bestselling mystery writer’s career and work as a playwright, published to commemorate her 125th birthday. Agatha Christie has long been revered around the world for her mysteries and the indelible characters she created, Miss Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot. In addition to her contributions as a novelist, this gifted writer was also an acclaimed playwright. Offering a unique, in-depth look at her work for the stage, Curtain Up analyzes her plays and features excerpts from Agatha Christie’s correspondences, notebooks, and several unpublished and unperformed scripts quoted from for the first time. Meticulously researched, peppered with groundbreaking discoveries—including a details discussion of her only play to premiere in America—Curtain Up sheds new light on Christie’s artistry and adds a fascinating layer to her remarkable story.

HowDunit - The Book of Poisons

Author: Serita Stevens,Anne Bannon

Publisher: Writer's Digest Books

ISBN: N.A

Category: Reference

Page: 320

View: 762

Discover Deadly Doses to Kill Off Characters The readers of your crime and mystery stories should be trying to figure out "whodunit"—not wondering why your facts don't make sense. If you want to kill off characters with something poisonous, you need to know how a villain would gain access to such a poison, how it would be administered, and what the effects on the victim would be. Book of Poisons can help you figure out all of the details of proper poisoning. This thorough guide catalogs the classic poisons, household poisons, poisonous animals and plants, poisons used in wars, and more. With information on toxicity, reaction time, effects and symptoms, and antidotes and treatments, you'll know exactly what your villain needs to succeed and exactly what could foil his plans. You'll also find: information about how real toxicologists uncover poisoning crimes a history of famous poisoners advice on how you can create your own fictional poison case histories that give examples of when the poisons listed were used in literature, movies, and real life With alphabetical organization and appendices that cross-reference by symptoms, form, administration, and other methods, you'll be able to find the perfect poisons to fit your plot. Plus, a glossary of medical terms makes decoding symptoms and treatments easy for the writer with no medical background. Book of Poisons is the comprehensive reference you need to create deaths by poison without stopping readers dead in their tracks over misguided facts.

Poison Panic

Arsenic deaths in 1840s Essex

Author: Helen Barrell

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 1473852080

Category: True Crime

Page: 224

View: 2272

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. It’s a terrible image – and also one that doesn’t seem to have much basis in truth – but this was a time of great anxiety. 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.

Come, Tell Me How You Live

An Archaeological Memoir

Author: Agatha Christie

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 9780007487196

Category:

Page: 208

View: 8587

Agatha Christie's personal memoirs about her travels to Syria and Iraq in the 1930s with her archaeologist husband Max Mallowan, where she worked on the digs and wrote some of her most evocative novels. Think you know Agatha Christie? Think again! To the world she was Agatha Christie, legendary author of bestselling whodunits. But in the 1930s she wore a different hat, travelling with her husband, renowned archaeologist Max Mallowan, as he investigated the buried ruins and ancient wonders of Syria and Iraq. When friends asked what this strange 'other life' was like, she decided to answer their questions by writing down her adventures in this eye-opening book. Described by the author as a 'meandering chronicle of life on an archaeological dig', Come, Tell Me How You Live is Agatha Christie's very personal memoir of her time spent in this breathtaking corner of the globe, living among the working men in tents in the desert where recorded human history began. Acclaimed as 'a pure pleasure to read', it is an altogether remarkable and increasingly poignant narrative, a fascinating, vibrant and vivid portrait of everyday life in a world now long since vanished.

The World of Agatha Christie

The Facts and Fiction of the World's Greatest Crime Writer

Author: Martin Fido

Publisher: Carlton Books Limited

ISBN: 9781780971810

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 128

View: 3786

The year 1921 saw the publication of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, a murder mystery with a protagonist by the name of Hercule Poirot. It was the first of more than 60 crime novels by Agatha Christie. Christie was a private person, yet her life had its share of mysteries--including a 1926 disappearance that made headlines around the world. Highly illustrated, The World of Agatha Christie is the perfect companion to the work of the most popular mystery writer who ever lived.

Partners in Crime (Tommy & Tuppence)

Author: Agatha Christie

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0007422679

Category: Fiction

Page: 352

View: 6157

Agatha Christie’s complete Tommy and Tuppence short story collection, reissued with a striking cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.

An Autobiography

Author: Agatha Christie

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062006592

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 576

View: 8181

The autobiography of the queen of mystery, Agatha Christie.

The Inheritor's Powder: A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Science

Author: Sandra Hempel

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393240460

Category: True Crime

Page: 352

View: 8298

“Fascinating . . . one of history’s most important poisons—and most important murders.”—Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner’s Handbook In the first half of the nineteenth century, an epidemic swept Europe: arsenic poisoning. Available at any corner shop for a few pence, arsenic was so frequently used by potential beneficiaries of wills that it was nicknamed “the inheritor’s powder.” But it was difficult to prove that a victim had been poisoned, let alone to identify the contaminated food or drink since arsenic was tasteless. Then came a riveting case. On the morning of Saturday, November 2, 1833, the Bodle household sat down to their morning breakfast. That evening, the local doctor John Butler received an urgent summons: the family and their servants had collapsed and were seriously ill. Three days later, after lingering in agony, wealthy George Bodle died in his bed at his farmhouse in Plumstead, leaving behind several heirs, including a son and grandson—both of whom were not on the best of terms with the family patriarch. The investigation, which gained international attention, brought together a colorful cast of characters: bickering relatives; a drunken, bumbling policeman; and James Marsh, an unknown but brilliant chemist who, assigned the Bodle case, attempted to create a test that could accurately pinpoint the presence of arsenic. In doing so, however, he would cause as many problems as he solved. Were innocent men and women now going to the gallows? And would George Bodle’s killer be found? Incisive and wryly entertaining, science writer Sandra Hempel brings to life a gripping story of domestic infighting, wayward police behavior, a slice of Victorian history, stories of poisonings, and an unforgettable foray into the origins of forensic science.