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The Poisoner's Handbook
The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York | Deborah Blum
***PBS's AMERICAN EXPERIENCE released a film based on The Poisoner's Handbook in January 2014***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.
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Susanita
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The second part of the Start Here news podcast on Friday dealt with the ongoing work to identify remains from 9/11 at WTC. Not only are the workers in the ME‘s office using new identification techniques from worldwide experts, but also they‘re helping to invent new techniques with their tireless work. https://overcast.fm/+d8ClMreDs

In the same way, nearly 100 years ago, the doctors who first set up the NYC ME office invented new methods & skills.

tpixie Amazing 3w
43 likes1 comment
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MatchlessMarie
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Omg @KaylaD you are insane!! 👻 I kept pulling books out of your box like a magician pulling out hankies!! The Eek blanket is so soft and is going to be living on my couch for the foreseeable future. I can‘t smell right now because of covid, but Champagne Toast is one of my favorite BBW scents and I can‘t wait to enjoy it. Thank you so much for your generous package. Happy Halloween! #HauntedHollowSwap #HHS 🎩🪄📚

wanderinglynn Awesome! 🎃🧡 11mo
KaylaD Glad you like it!! And now you see I already read most of them so why not give them to someone who hasn‘t! Lol enjoy 11mo
MatchlessMarie @KaylaD I do not mind at all. I think it‘s a great idea! 11mo
67 likes3 comments
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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#scarathlon #photochallenge #poison @Linsy

Murder, inventing forensic medicine, Jazz age? Yes please.

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Shemac77
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Pickpick

A little dry in places but fascinating.

38 likes1 stack add
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Shemac77
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Evening reading.

23 likes1 stack add
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EchoCharlie
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At my parents and everyone is napping, so I just grabbed a book. Pretty sure this is actually my copy!

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K.Wielechowski
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Pickpick

This book was so fascinating! Blum covered the usual poisons (arsenic, cyanide, chloroform, radium, etc) but also covered more common things that were killers (lead, flammable gas, wood alcohol, and nicotine, etc). She also covered the beginnings of forensic toxicology and the men who fought for its legitimacy in sensationalized court cases.

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rachelsbrittain
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Pickpick

Pitched to her editor as "I could poison my husband, but won't," this book explores the history of poison through the development of toxicology and forensic medicine in New York City. An array of poisons from methyl alcohol to arsenic are explored through the eyes of medical examiner Charles Norris and toxicologist Alexander Gettler. Fascinating and not infrequently horrifying and exactly my cup of tea.

rachelsbrittain Obviously TW for lots of murder, but also a good bit of experimentation on dogs (usually resulting in their deaths-- this is a book about poisons after) which, while historically accurate and relevant to the stories being told here, may be pretty upsetting to animal lovers. Certainly was to me regardless of how much I enjoyed the book. 2y
Susanita We read the for book club a few years ago. I thought it was be dull and boring, but instead I found it fascinating (and yes, a bit macabre). 2y
51 likes2 comments
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rachelsbrittain
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1. The Poisoner's Handbook, These Violent Delights, and Party of Two

2. Taproot

3. Chai latte 🥰

#WeekendReads

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rachelsbrittain
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"Until the early nineteenth century few tools existed to detect a toxic substance in a corpse."

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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rachelsbrittain
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Reading and petting, two of my favorite things

wanderinglynn What a cute snuggle buddy! ❤️🐶 2y
61 likes1 comment
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Lyssa131330
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Yay! I know I should set my goal higher because I beat it early every year but I just like the confetti 😋🥳

Megabooks 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
3 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Linsy
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My #7booksin7days for yesterday! 🧪☠️💜

StaceyKondla Loved this book! Super interesting 💜 2y
67 likes1 comment
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Julsmarshall
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Pickpick

Fascinating, suspenseful and a little gross. Took me a while to finish this one but I did enjoy it. It has been on my bookshelf forever, happy to get it off my #MountTBR

jordanremington Hello there, how you doing today? 3y
68 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Julsmarshall
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Loving this! So fun to read in a hotel whose heyday was the same time period! #adolphushoteldallas #travellingreader

Susanita We read it in one of my book clubs. I thought it would be dull and boring, but I found it fascinating, albeit in a rather macabre way. 3y
68 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Julsmarshall
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Finally diving into this book at the airport. It‘s been on my #tbr forever! #MountTBR #travelingreader

vivastory This has been on my TBR FOREVER. I'm going to try to get to it next month. 3y
melissanorr I really enjoyed it so I hope you do too! 3y
55 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Laughterhp
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Here‘s my #weeklyforecast - All library books that I just picked up. All historical fiction/mystery and 1 nonfiction.

Plus not shown, my current audio listen The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie

Cinfhen I almost purchased Poisoner‘s Handbook on Audible this week! I hear it‘s excellent 3y
phatsallylee Interested to see what your thoughts are for the poisoner's handbook. It's currently sitting on my bookshelf waiting it's turn! 3y
49 likes2 comments
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LauraJ
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This is one of my favorite books. Highly recommended! ☠️
#teamstoker #scarathlon #chillingphotochallenge

BeansPage 🧟‍♀️ 3y
46 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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fandom_hellspawn99
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kaysworld1
Pickpick

The last 2 chapters are unnecessary I think but overall a good book.
I new a lot about poisons from studying them so nothing new but it was nice to read the affects of certain ones in detail.

I got this in a book swap from @Itchyfeetreader thank you 💖

#readingmyownbook #poisonershandbook #reading #books

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kaysworld1
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Were having a moment 😍 while binge watching #Lucifer #prime 🐈🐾

#bondingtime #lucifer #books #reading #catsoflitsy

kaysworld1 @Erofan Have you received any packages yet hun? X 3y
brit91 Awwww😻 3y
Erofan @kaysworld1 I haven't gotten anything yet. Tomorrow I'll go to the post office, check and send you a parcel - a gift from Masha! 😘 3y
See All 6 Comments
Erofan Rudi is so cute! 😻 3y
kaysworld1 @Erofan don't worry I'm sure it will turn up eventually, spectacularly late. Rudi is a LAL charmer at the moment he is running around the flat very vocal 🤦 3y
Erofan @kaysworld1 😹🐾 3y
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CoffeeK8
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Pickpick

I really liked this book, it was a great overview of some of the worst poisoners in the US and those who helped to bring them to justice. #audiobooks

thereadingowlvina I enjoyed this too! 😁 3y
Pedrocamacho Really enjoyed this book! 3y
42 likes2 comments
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StaceyKondla
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Pickpick

This book was fascinating! If you have interest in forensic medicine or prohibition New York, you will enjoy this. Of course, the murders and deaths were real people and the stories are tragic. The evolution of forensic medicine is compelling. Highly recommended.

24 likes2 stack adds
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StaceyKondla
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As much as I love reading manuscripts and working, I took a break this weekend to recharge my brain and creativity. I love kids books so much, but took a night away, binged an adult apocalypse novel, and now I‘m diving into this non-fiction audiobook. Tomorrow it‘s back to the kids projects feeling renewed and enthusiastic 💕

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kaysworld1
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Finally my working day is over and I can open my #summersantagoespostal package from @Itchyfeetreader 😍 I love it.
Icelandic murders, Russia controversy and feminism oh let's not forget the poison! 😆🕵️‍♀️😏
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@BookishMarginalia I forgot the tag 🤦 thank you 🌸

Itchyfeetreader Glad you liked - I was all on the real crime kick and the. I saw you had women‘s hour on your wish list and I loved that when I reads it last year so .... 3y
kaysworld1 @Itchyfeetreader Thank you I love it all 🧡☠️ my skeleton is called Arthur! 3y
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Clare-Dragonfly
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book! It tells the story of a few men who made enormous strides in forensic medicine and toxicology. There is just enough detail to be fascinating and not enough to be confusing to me as a layperson, and it doesn‘t get too gruesome.

gradcat I remember reading very good things about this book. Nice review! 3y
Crazeedi I agree! I enjoyed this totally! 3y
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Mitch
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Pickpick

Charles Norris would be so proud of todays CSI's! He worked in the face of political, economic & cultural opposition to bring to light the dangers behind the 'wonder' discoveries of the early twentieth century. He brought professionalism, respect & scientific credibility to the world of forensic medicine. Told with just the right amount of fact, science, context and human interest I was pulled along and learnt so much as I went!

Fridameetslucy I just bought this as a gift fir my daughter but I‘m reading it before I send it along :) 3y
Mitch @Fridameetslucy I picked it up in Strand! A random purchase and I really enjoyed it! It doesn‘t dwell on any one thing too long to get too heavy or boring! 3y
Crazeedi I really enjoyed this one too!! 3y
Mitch @Crazeedi love it when you discover something randomly and it turns into a winner! 3y
Crazeedi @Mitch me too! Stella fortuna was a recent one for me 3y
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Mitch
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I‘m a real mood reader - I can never choose my books too far in advance ..... Tonight I‘m ready for some chemical stories. It‘s been that kinda day! 🤣

LauraJ One of my book club's favorites! ☠ 3y
melissanorr I really enjoyed that one! 3y
Jee_HookedOnBookz Same here! Mood reader haha 3y
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iread2much This is one of my favorite books! 3y
Mitch @iread2much I‘m really enjoying it far... I stumbled upon it by accident! 3y
Mitch @Jee_HookedOnBookz I know! As I get to the last 50pages or so of a book I start thinking about what I‘m in the mood for next! 3y
Mitch @LauraJ I can imagine it created quite a discussion! 3y
Jee_HookedOnBookz @Mitch omg me too! 😂😂😂Then I'll be checking on my physical and virtual shelves! 😂😂 3y
Jee_HookedOnBookz Oh wow this book sounds really good too! Stacked! 3y
Jee_HookedOnBookz Oops not stacked. Bought 😅 3y
iread2much @Mitch so did I, I bought it my first year of undergrad, as Boarders Books was closing. It was a sale book and it looked really cool and I loved it. It was the first non-fiction book I ever bought to read for fun and I‘ve not stopped since. 😄 i hope you love it! 3y
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thereadingowlvina
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Pickpick

Both entertaining and fact-filled, this tells the story of two scientists - chief medical examiner Charles Norris & toxicologist Alexander Gettler - in the early 20th century New York, who laid the groundwork for forensic medicine which was pivotal for both forensic science & future generations.

Rating: 5🌟

Full review at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2820212802

#MayMadness #NewToYouAuthor
@Clwojick @RadicalReader @TheReadingMermaid

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Pedrocamacho
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Pickpick

This is a fantastic read. Forever burned into my memory will be the countless Americans who died from methyl alcohol poisoning before and during Prohibition.

7 likes1 stack add
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esurient
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"No, I did not eat the plant. I promise. Now, pet me."

#culprit #catsoflitsy

TheSpineView 😂 4y
16 likes1 comment
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esurient
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This remnant of mostly denuded stems is the reason I spent $60 to consult with a 24-hour pet poisoning hotline. The verdict? Not poisonous to cats.

Specifically, this plant, commercially marketed as 'shamrock', is Trifolium repens, white clover, a common yard plant.

Also commercially marketed as 'shamrock' is Oxalis montana, wood sorrel, which can be poisonous to cats.

Figuring out which was which took some doing. #catsoflitsy

esurient For even more specifics, wood sorrel is considered only mildly to moderately poisonous, causing mostly gastrointestinal distress, but, in large doses, can cause renal failure. How much counts as a 'large dose'? No idea. 4y
Clare-Dragonfly Scary! I‘m glad you had the white clover! 4y
esurient @Clare-Dragonfly Cats! Stop giving me more grey hairs. 4y
13 likes3 comments
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tomgirl571
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Started this gem this morning. It's for one of my book clubs. 100% right up my alley 🙄

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Cinfhen
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#SeptemberDanes I can‘t remember which Litten recommended this book to me, but it sounds fascinating. A NF that apparently reads like fiction mixing Jazz Age, NYC early/mid 1900‘s and the beginnings of forensic discovery. “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.” (From publisher) 🔬🚬☠️

Cinfhen This might appeal to you @emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola 4y
vivastory This has been on my nonfiction TBR FORE 4y
See All 18 Comments
TrishB Good pick👍🏻 4y
Kalalalatja @vivastory best hashtag 😂😂 4y
Kalalalatja And this book does sound interesting! 4y
Cinfhen Hahaha @vivastory I‘m just plain spazzy🤪#8thumbs 4y
Cathythoughts Sounds really good 👍🏻❤️ 4y
MStew I have had my eye on this😄 4y
TracyReadsBooks I remember enjoying this book when I read it—thought it was very interesting. I, too, would recommend it. 4y
SkeletonKey Loved this book! PBS did a great documentary based on it as well. 4y
emilyhaldi I have this book stacked!! I wonder where I first saw it 🤔 thanks for thinking of me 🤗 4y
Mdargusch Sounds fascinating! ☠️ 4y
Cathythoughts I‘ll Be Gone In The Dark is excellent... will be interested to hear your thoughts on it 👍🏻🖤 4y
Linsy I LOVED this book!! 4y
Cinfhen Hope to get to it sooner than later @Linsy 4y
Reviewsbylola I read this one but I think I found it kind of dry. It‘s been awhile though. 4y
112 likes8 stack adds18 comments
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JPeterson
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Happy Wednesday! 🐪

I‘m pretty jazzed (yea, yea... I‘ll see myself out 😉) to start this on audio. 🎼🎷🎺

65 likes1 stack add
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jpmcwisemorgan
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#LitsyPSA: This one is a $1.99 ebook and I thought Litten #murderinos might be interested.

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Morr_Books
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this audiobook. I loved how the author took real murder-by-poison events from 1915-1936 to discuss different poisons & forensic science. I thought it would be solely about cyanide & arsenic, but it included so many other poisons as well. As someone who has many family members that have graduated from Rice University, I was captivated by the section that discussed William Rice's murdered by chloroform. True crimers will love this.

Weaponxgirl Yes, I loved this book when I read it this year! 4y
Crazeedi Great book! 4y
51 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Susanita
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1. Usually blue but today it‘s RED ❤️🏒
2. Queer Eye
3. Tagged book had me looking up all kinds of random facts.
4. 🎶I like mine with lettuce and tomatoes, Heinz 57 and French fried potatoes🎶 ...or just mustard.
5. Baseball, reading, hand bells, family time, me time.
#friyayintro

MirrorMask Season 2 of Queer Eye starts next week!!!! 4y
29 likes1 comment
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Weaponxgirl
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Pickpick

Bessie smith was a hard drinker during the time period so felt like the perfect listen #booksandvinyl this book is great! The birth of toxicology in 1920s New York. Amazing, the backdrop of prohibition , wow. This reads like a novel and has so many stories that will shock you and make you go through every emotion. A story of an indestructible homeless alcoholic had me laughing despite myself. More in comments

Weaponxgirl Poisoned, ran over, had water poured on him in the freezing weather. He kept getting back up. The heart is about two scientists who made the science up as needed to do their jobs properly and help the police do their jobs properly. It's inspiring to read about what they were up against. Honestly, give this a go. Also it's fun to watch people's faces when you say your reading about poison 4y
40 likes1 comment
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Brie
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Pickpick

A tantalizing concoction of true crime, chemistry, and jazz age New York. Blum charts toxicology‘s early origins, exploring the pioneering work of chief medical examiner Charles Norris and toxicologist Alexander Gettler as they fight against the city‘s crime and corruption. Each chapter loosely focuses on a different poison, such as arsenic, thallium, and radium. Well researched and reads like a novel.

rubyslippersreads 😻😻😻 4y
64 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Susanita
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Did a young Newark socialite poison the #puddings she fed her little brother? Why did a healthy couple drop dead in their Brooklyn apartment? What‘s so bad about wood alcohol anyway? This macabre and disturbing but fascinating book explores such questions and more! Also, an administration that favors #politics over #science ... because surely that sort of thing doesn‘t happen these days. More in comments.
#MarchMunchies #mysterybookclub

Susanita Here‘s another look at Prohibition, which figures prominently in the book: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2018/01/01/episode-14-of-th... 5y
36 likes1 comment
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Julsmarshall
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danimgill
Pickpick

This was such a cool, engaging look at the start of forensic medicine in the US and all the crazy things poisons do to people on both a personal and an industrial scale. Definitely worth a read for true crime and history fans!

36 likes1 stack add
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danimgill
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I‘ve been under the weather for a few days but at least on this last day of my New Hampshire weekend I feel well enough to finish up this fascinating read in front of the fire as the bf cooks us breakfast 🔥🍳💕

Redwritinghood Glad you‘re feeling better. I hope you weren‘t sick on a vacation. ☹️ 5y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I hope you feel better soon ❤️❤️ 5y
jfalkens Hope you feel better soon xxx 5y
RainyDayReading I loved this book! 5y
65 likes5 comments
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jenniferw88
Pickpick

Some interesting tidbits in here... and definitely a book that I can use when I eventually start writing!

CogsOfEncouragement I‘m reading Strong Poison now. An author is in quite a bit of trouble, mostly due to her knowledge of arsenic! 5y
mabell Was Fanny Creighton's story included? I really enjoyed the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast about her, and I believe they discussed this book. 5y
jenniferw88 @mabell YES! She's in there twice! 5y
mabell Oh good! "America's Lucrezia Borgia" I listen to that episode every Halloween ? 5y
85 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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jenniferw88
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I'd be interested to see this park!

Pogue That is such a good book 5y
Pamwurtzler Me too! 5y
86 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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jenniferw88
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🤤🤤🤤

silentrequiem I loved this book 5y
88 likes1 comment
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kathytrithardt
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That moment when you find the reading prompt in the book. #nonfictionnovember2017 #substance

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