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The Poisonous Solicitor
The Poisonous Solicitor: The True Story of a 1920s Murder Mystery | Stephen Bates
3 posts | 1 read | 8 to read
A brilliant narrative investigation into the 1920s case that inspired Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers and Margery Allingham. In 1922, Major Herbert Armstrong, a Hay-on-Wye solicitor, was found guilty of, and executed for, poisoning his wife, Katharine, with arsenic. Armstrong's case has all the ingredients of a classic murder mystery, from a plot by Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers (indeed some aspects of his story appear in Sayers' Unnatural Death). It is a near-perfect whodunnit. One hundred years later, Agatha Award-shortlisted Stephen Bates examines and retells the story of the case, evoking the period and atmosphere of the early 1920s, a time of newspaper sensationalism, hypocrisy and sanctimonious morality.
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It‘s a good Monday mail day!

The tagged book is completely @Mitch ‘s fault. 😉

StayCurious That magazine looks interesting! 2mo
rabbitprincess Haha the guy on the book cover looks like he‘s staring at the couple on the magazine 👀 2mo
LeahBergen @StayCurious It‘s a favourite! I‘ve had a subscription for years. 😊 2mo
See All 8 Comments
LeahBergen @rabbitprincess Disapprovingly! 😆 2mo
batsy I love the way these covers look next to each other 😍 2mo
Cathythoughts Great covers together ! Yes I see disapproval too 😁 2mo
LeahBergen @batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, you two! 😘😘 2mo
Mitch 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 2mo
77 likes8 comments
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Bates does a great job of taking us to the 1920s with modern sensibilities & understandings to examine not just the guilt & innocence of Herbert Armstrong but the fairness of the legal process & the impact this trial had on the public thirst for sensational reporting & the newly emerging genre of cosy crime (& amateur detectives with puzzle solving skills!) It was a little repetitive in places but a compelling read that threw up lots of questions!

55 likes2 stack adds
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Just starting this tonight - it seems to vibe well with the book I‘ve just finished - which was the first in a fictional detective series featuring Josephine Tey.

LeahBergen Oh, interesting! This case also inspired another book which I recently read and really enjoyed 3mo
LeahBergen Oh oh. You just “made” me order this one. 🤣 3mo
Mitch @LeahBergen 🤣🤣🤣 3mo
charl08 Sold! Sounds like my bag. 3mo
Leftcoastzen Wow, looks good! 3mo
67 likes5 stack adds5 comments