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A is for Arsenic
A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie | Kathryn Harkup
Agatha Christie's detailed plotting is what makes her books so compelling. Christie used poison to kill her characters more often than any other murder method, with the poison itself being a central part of the novel, and her choice of deadly substances was far from random; the chemical and physiological characteristics of each poison provide vital clues to discovery of the murderer. With gunshots or stabbings the cause of death is obvious, but not so with poisons. How is it that some compounds prove so deadly, and in such tiny amounts?Christie demonstrated her extensive chemical knowledge (much of it gleaned from her working in a chemists during both world wars) in many of her novels, but this is rarely appreciated by the reader. A is for Arsenic celebrates the use of science in Christie's work. Written by Christie fan and research chemist Kathryn Harkup, each chapter takes a different novel and investigates the poison (or poisons) the murderer used. A is for Arsenic looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering and detecting these poisons, both at the time the novel was written and today. This book is published as part of the 125th anniversary celebration of Christie's birth.Fourteen novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because its fiction doesn't mean its all made-up ...
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Lizpixie
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#BookMailPt1 I have over a week of mail to get through, so bear with me. The most dangerous thing to my budget is that Booktopia now has Afterpay(online layby) but it makes it easier to pay them off instead of a lump sum. This book I had to add to my Dame Agatha collection, I actually bought it for my #cupidgoespostal before seeing she has it already. Win for me! Written by a scientist, she talks about the poisons used by Dame Agatha & company.

LeahBergen This is a fun one to page through .👍🏻 5mo
LibrarianRyan How was the Last Magician? Have you sent it to the next person yet? 5mo
BookishMarginalia That edition looks gorgeous! 5mo
69 likes1 stack add3 comments
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erzascarletbookgasm
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I think no author knows as much poisons as Dame Agatha Christie did. 🤔 #septemberdanes #poison

This book was a gift from @batsy , which I hope won‘t have to wait for me too long.

BarbaraBB I just poster about the same as you did 😉 11mo
erzascarletbookgasm @BarbaraBB We went for different poisons, though 😉 11mo
Kalalalatja I had a feeling Dame Agatha would be a popular choice today 😉 11mo
See All 10 Comments
batsy Ha, this book was made for this prompt 😄💜 11mo
JazzFeathers What an awesome deco cover 😍 11mo
tammysue Love that cover 😍 11mo
Mdargusch Sounds so interesting! ☠️ 11mo
Reviewsbylola ☠️☠️☠️ 11mo
Cinfhen I think @LeahBergen posted this book a while back...looks awesome 😍 11mo
LeahBergen @Cinfhen You are correct! 😄 11mo
96 likes4 stack adds10 comments
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JessNevertheless
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As expected, not a great reading month for me with only 6 books, but 3 of them were #litsyclassics so that's good at least. Looking forward to more reading in September! #augustwrapup #stats

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JessNevertheless
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Pickpick

Been in a bit of a book slump and this is exactly what I needed. Science, history, mystery, and Agatha! The author does a really great job of explaining the chemistry behind the poisons which I thought was really fascinating (I'm a chemist though so may be biased) Would highly recommend!

RavenLovelyReads That looks perfect! 11mo
Cathythoughts Lovely post 👍🏻❤️ 11mo
69 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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erzascarletbookgasm
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My lovely friend @batsy ordered me a book. This is straight from my TBR wishlist. Thanks so much, Suba! ❤️🤗

batsy My pleasure 😘❤️ 12mo
99 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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SaraRosett
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neet_reads
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A bargain to add to my Agatha Christie shelves 🎉🎉

erzascarletbookgasm 😍👍 14mo
32 likes1 comment
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Craftylikefox
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Hey all the #Agathachristie fans! This when I first started reading Christie. My stack has easily doubled since then. I am curious
1. What was your first Christie book?
2. Which is your favorite?
3. Have you read any of the books inspired by/retelling?

Craftylikefox My first book was And Then There Was None. It is probably still my favorite with Cards on the Table a close second. I Still have so many to read! 14mo
Sophoclessweetheart I‘m a big Agatha Christie fan and my first Christie was And Then There Were None. My favourites are Death on the Nile and Death on Clouds though. I have an Agatha Christie inspired mystery called Woman on the Orient Express but I haven‘t read it yet. I‘m working on sorting out an Agatha Christie swap, would you be interested? 🤭🖤 14mo
Craftylikefox @Sorceryandswords I would definitely be interested in an Agatha Christie Swap! I will have to add Death on Clouds to my list! 14mo
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Sophoclessweetheart It‘s so so good! 😍 And that‘s excellent news! 👏😁 14mo
amyrohn My first was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd as assigned reading in 6th grade. Favorites are definitely Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None! 14mo
Craftylikefox @amyrohn I Love Murder on The Orient Express! Did you see the new movie! Kenneth Branagh may be my favorite Poirot. I heard he will be doing Death on the Nile! 14mo
amyrohn @Craftylikefox I did!! I really like it, plus I'm a Kenneth Branagh fan as well 14mo
mabell 1. Interestingly, I don't think it was a Marple or Poirot. I think it was N or M. 2. I have lots of favorites! One is The Secret of Chimneys 3. I don't think so. I'm not usually into expanding beyond canon 😂 14mo
Craftylikefox @Mabel I will have to put The Secret of Chimneys higher on my list to read! I understand not wanting to read beyond canon. It makes me nervous and I don‘t want them to do it terribly 14mo
QuietlyLaura 1. My first Agatha Christie was Murder On The Orient Express which I read as a teen. 2. I can‘t pick a favorite! 3. I‘ve read Black Coffee which is one of her plays but turned into a novel. I‘ve also read Woman On The Orient Express and really liked it. 14mo
amb 1. And Then There Were None, read when I was 12 and 2. It's still my favorite. 3. I think all books with a twist ending got the idea from here, but I'm partial to Christie, so I may be giving credit where it's not due 14mo
Craftylikefox @QuietlyLaura I have just read a small portion of her writings I know as I read more it will just get harder to pick a favorite 14mo
Craftylikefox @amb I feel like Agatha Christie probably inspired a lot of writers! 14mo
41 likes13 comments
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jenniferw88
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You know you are seriously considering writing as a career when you start collecting research books!

Sarah83 Great choices 😎 1y
Lova From those titles it looks like you may be considering other things! 😂 1y
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LeahBergen
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#ChemicalHeart

Digitalis is a poison that is often used to treat certain heart conditions and plays a starring role 😉 in a few Agatha Christie stories.

Check out the above exchange between Lady Astor and Churchill. 😂😂

#MarchIntoOz

BookMaven407 😂 1y
LauraBeth 😂😂 1y
AlaMich I remember stumbling across mentions of digitalis a few times as a kid (probably in AC novels) and being fascinated that it came from the foxglove, which is so lovely. ☠️☠️☠️ 1y
See All 11 Comments
saresmoore Love it! 1y
Leftcoastzen This on my huge TBR. 1y
BarbaraBB So English! Love it! 1y
DebinHawaii Good one!! 😆👍 1y
DivineDiana Hilarious! 😂 1y
rubyslippersreads 🤣🤣🤣 1y
Moray_Reads I enjoyed Harkup's Making the Monster earlier this week. I'll have to pick this one up too 1y
UwannaPublishme 😂😂😂 1y
130 likes2 stack adds11 comments
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LeahBergen
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This would be a helpful little guide for a #criminal . 😉

#FierceFeb

rubyslippersreads That cover! 😍😍😍 1y
rohit-sawant Oh, that's fabulous! 1y
Lcsmcat Amazing cover! 1y
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Bookmarkie Very art deco. I ❤️ 1y
batsy I added this and forgot all about it! Would love to read it. Beautiful cover. She seems to have another one coming out on the scientific background of Frankenstein 🤗 1y
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads @rohit-sawant @Lcsmcat @Bookmarkie Yes, cover love was a BIG part of my purchasing this book. 😆 1y
LeahBergen @batsy Ooo! I added that one so fast that I just stubbed my stacking finger. 😆 1y
rabbitprincess @batsy Excellent! Thanks for sharing that! 😄 1y
batsy Me too! 😆 @rabbitprincess My pleasure! 1y
readordierachel So pretty! 1y
Cinfhen Gorgeous edition ❤️🙌🏻😍 1y
Cathythoughts 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 1y
Sarah83 😍😍😍 1y
DeborahSmall Gorgeous ❤️ 1y
elkeo_TheBookDragon Gorgeous cover! Wow. 1y
LeahBergen @ReadOrDieRachel @Cinfhen @Cathythoughts @Sarah83 @DeborahSmall @elkeo Yeah, someone knew what they were doing with this cover. 😍 1y
Sarah83 Definitely 1y
125 likes4 stack adds17 comments
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shanaqui
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Perhaps not the most reassuring read when you have a terrible cough and your (doctor) mother gives you something to "shut you up"... ?

Fascinating stuff, though. I love that it explains biochemically how each poison works. It's not just an analysis of Christie's work, at all. (BTW, it also doesn't spoil the stories!)

LauraBrook I‘m sorry you‘re still sick! Hope this book helps a little. (And I‘m happy to know the stories aren‘t spoiled in here.) 2y
shanaqui @LauraBrook Thanks! It's really just a cough now... And the side effects of the meds to try and stop the cough! 2y
8 likes2 comments
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Leftcoastzen
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Is there anything better than a sale at one of your local indies?If you get to Scottsdale ,AZ.check out the Poisoned Pen! Mystery specialist with first and rare editions as well, also official Diana Gabaldon hangout, they have events for her and signed books in stock usually.

ferskner One of my favorite bookstores! Makes me miss home. 2y
batsy Great haul! I have the ebook of Harkup but the book is so pretty. 2y
Leftcoastzen @batsy knew I wanted to read Harkup but that cover made me have to have it😁 2y
Leftcoastzen @ferskner Well I hope you get back to visit sometime.Good bookstores make a trip even better! 2y
20 likes4 comments
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Librarybelle
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#RaiseYourGlass ...or, erhm, I mean, better check it for arsenic. And, if you smell bitter almonds, and know it's not almond milk, maybe there's cyanide.

As a mystery lover, and a fan of Agatha Christie, this book is perfect. Learn about the poisons one can find in Christie's books. I'll drink to that...or maybe not... #augustgrrrl

Cinfhen What a fun book! The cover is gorgeous 💕 2y
bobregina Sounds good! 2y
Librarybelle I have not it the whole way through, @Cinfhen @bobregina , but it's one of those fun reference books. Great for a mystery lover! 2y
See All 6 Comments
QuietlyLaura Don't forget mushrooms! 2y
Librarybelle Yes, @ReadsWithTea ! No wonder there were taste testers for the nobility 😉 2y
Lmstraubie Great cover! 2y
62 likes4 stack adds6 comments
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BekaReid
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@LiteraryinLititz are you familiar with this book? I came across it a couple weeks back but haven't checked it out yet.

LiteraryinLititz No, I haven't heard of it before now! I will definitely look into it! 2y
9 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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jenniferw88
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Pickpick

First thought for #Poison. I want to write my own mystery novels, hence the post it notes - the book is a good introduction to the more familiar poisons Dame Agatha used. #90sinJuly @Cinfhen @Robothugs

5 ⭐

SilversReviews Love her books. 2y
Cinfhen Didn't know you were an aspiring author?! Cool 2y
mtns_of_books I loved this book too. 2y
99 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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erzascarletbookgasm
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The Queen of Crime we know, has written many creative ways of murder in her books, but no method was used as many and as impressively as death by #poison. All the titles featured here involved death by poisoning! ☠️
#90sinjuly @Cinfhen @Robothugs

Robothugs Nicely done! 2y
KarenUK 🙌🙌👍 2y
bobregina 🍷🌡⚰️ I love her! 2y
Cinfhen 🏆💕🙌🏻excellent 2y
kezzlou85 I love Agatha Christie. I have most of them that my mum collected over the years before she died and now they're mine. Reminds me of her whenever I pick one up. X 2y
53 likes5 comments
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Grrlbrarian
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#bookhaul, Toronto edition. I must have been in a mood for dastardly deeds and murder most foul! Made it to Indigo and Ben McNally. Not pictured: Meddling Kids, which Ben McN did not have 😢 I'll snap that up on my Kindle instead!

Rachbb3 Nice! 2y
RealBooks4ever I'm reading Meddling kids right now and it's 🍌👖!! 😜 2y
53 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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JPeterson
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Not even an hour home from vacation, and the mailman delivers my (physical) book order from Amazon Prime day! #bookmail

68 likes2 stack adds
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Conservio
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Hanging out at the DMV... #waiting

5 likes1 stack add
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Conservio
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Look at how my favorite reading place as bloomed! I have wasps and a butterfly for company #heronhaven #wetland #nature #insectsareyourfriends

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Conservio
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My goodreads group "science and inquiry" is reading this for July. #poison #groups #nonfiction

jenniferw88 I enjoyed it - I am trying to write my own crime novels though! 2y
4 likes1 comment
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AprilMae
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I love my new A notebook!!! ❤📚 And (not pictured because I had to hide it from my cat since it makes noise) my super awesome black cat pen!!!😻✏Thanks again @CrowCAH

JoeStalksBeck Whoa!❤️❤️❤️ 2y
CrowCAH You're very welcome! ? I just love the "letter" books and have several "C" ones myself. The cat pen did sound very tempting for a kitty ?!!! 2y
18 likes2 comments
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helgagrace
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I love this concept!

Riveted_Reader_Melissa The original LitzyAtoZ 👍 3y
TheLondonBookworm 😍😍😍😍 3y
See All 6 Comments
Kristy_K This book's on my tbr for this year. I agree with you about the concept; it's what drew my attention. 😀 3y
Gina Wow very creative! 3y
Dragon I was just watching a TV movie that had a murder by nicotine based on Agatha Christie's novel. 🐉 3y
105 likes8 stack adds6 comments
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Ja_Mez
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Pickpick

A deep and engaging read, I now know so much more about poisons than I did before. This book in no way spoils the mysteries from Agatha Christie's works, but only enhances them that'll make you scramble to read her works. Definitely one of my favorite reads from the year.

Check out my full review here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1401135001

4 likes1 stack add
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Libretto_Reviews
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FOR ALL THE GEEKS OUT THERE. There is a book that is a collection of Christie's poisons explained by the chemical and medical point of view 😍
If you love science and #crimefiction this is for you🤓

5 likes2 stack adds
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Ja_Mez
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Real life inspires fiction inspires real life.

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autumnprivett
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Pickpick

This book made my nerdy heart happy. Harkup is a scientist and does an excellent job of explaining the minute workings of the different poisons. For each, she gives a history, shares real life cases, and explains how Christie used the poison in her stories. She is carefulow to not give away any plot spoilers and if she does, she gives you ample warning. I also loved how she wove in pop-science facts like how Cyanide is used in making Cyanotypes.

charl08 Stunning cover. 3y
LeahBergen Ooooo! That's pretty! 3y
Suetara Gorgeous cover!! 3y
See All 7 Comments
LilMamaMastro Well, there isn't a "to own" option so I had to just "to read"? 3y
Lidia Sounds interesting 😊 3y
catiewithac I loved this book! But I love everything Agatha! 3y
Boghunden That's quite a book! ☺️ 3y
130 likes28 stack adds7 comments
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autumnprivett
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Started this one over the weekend and I am loving it! It's a great mix of Christie facts and hardcore science. ⚗️🕵️‍♀️

BeththeBookDragon Sounds awesome! 3y
LeahBergen Cool!! 3y
105 likes22 stack adds2 comments
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RachelWeber
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No *your* library records are a cause for concern.

Grrlbrarian 😆 3y
19 likes1 comment
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Loralie
Pickpick

I love Agatha Christie books & this is a super interesting companion to that. I love how she includes examples from Christie books for every poison.

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Loralie
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Such a beautiful cover!

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JHgotham

"Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy." -Paracelsus

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JHgotham
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Welcome to the dark side 🙌

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Carol
Pickpick

A must-read for any Agatha Christie fan, it's a mix of chemistry, history, and Christie plots w/a dash of wry humor. Also recommend for those who loved Blum's The Poisoner's Handbook, which has stuck with me through the years. I still recommend Blum & I will likewise be recommending Harkup! ☠📕⚗🔬

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Carol
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Can we all just take a minute and appreciate both the glorious Art Deco stylized chapter headings, as well as the gruesome depiction of death by strychnine.

13 likes1 stack add
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Carol
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Airport reading, my favorite competitive sport. PHX to SEA and shuttle home took me a third of the way through this magnificent beauty who has been chilling on my TBR since fall publishing.

Carol @balletbookworm since you just read a Poirot this could be relevant to your interests. 3y
10 likes1 comment