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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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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 1mo
brit91 Awwww😻 1mo
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! 😘 1mo
See All 6 Comments
Erofan Rudi is so cute! 😻 1mo
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 🤦 1mo
Erofan @kaysworld1 😹🐾 1mo
33 likes1 stack add6 comments
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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! 😁 1mo
Pedrocamacho Really enjoyed this book! 1mo
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 .... 3mo
kaysworld1 @Itchyfeetreader Thank you I love it all 🧡☠️ my skeleton is called Arthur! 3mo
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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! 3mo
Crazeedi I agree! I enjoyed this totally! 3mo
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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 :) 4mo
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! 4mo
Crazeedi I really enjoyed this one too!! 4mo
Mitch @Crazeedi love it when you discover something randomly and it turns into a winner! 4mo
Crazeedi @Mitch me too! Stella fortuna was a recent one for me 4mo
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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! ☠ 4mo
melissanorr I really enjoyed that one! 4mo
Jee_HookedOnBookz Same here! Mood reader haha 4mo
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iread2much This is one of my favorite books! 4mo
Mitch @iread2much I‘m really enjoying it far... I stumbled upon it by accident! 4mo
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! 4mo
Mitch @LauraJ I can imagine it created quite a discussion! 4mo
Jee_HookedOnBookz @Mitch omg me too! 😂😂😂Then I'll be checking on my physical and virtual shelves! 😂😂 4mo
Jee_HookedOnBookz Oh wow this book sounds really good too! Stacked! 4mo
Jee_HookedOnBookz Oops not stacked. Bought 😅 4mo
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! 4mo
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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.

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esurient
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"No, I did not eat the plant. I promise. Now, pet me."

#culprit #catsoflitsy

TheSpineView 😂 6mo
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. 6mo
Clare-Dragonfly Scary! I‘m glad you had the white clover! 6mo
esurient @Clare-Dragonfly Cats! Stop giving me more grey hairs. 6mo
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 12mo
vivastory This has been on my nonfiction TBR FORE 12mo
See All 18 Comments
TrishB Good pick👍🏻 12mo
Kalalalatja @vivastory best hashtag 😂😂 12mo
Kalalalatja And this book does sound interesting! 12mo
Cinfhen Hahaha @vivastory I‘m just plain spazzy🤪#8thumbs 12mo
Cathythoughts Sounds really good 👍🏻❤️ 12mo
MStew I have had my eye on this😄 12mo
TracyReadsBooks I remember enjoying this book when I read it—thought it was very interesting. I, too, would recommend it. 12mo
SkeletonKey Loved this book! PBS did a great documentary based on it as well. 12mo
emilyhaldi I have this book stacked!! I wonder where I first saw it 🤔 thanks for thinking of me 🤗 12mo
Mdargusch Sounds fascinating! ☠️ 12mo
Cathythoughts I‘ll Be Gone In The Dark is excellent... will be interested to hear your thoughts on it 👍🏻🖤 12mo
Linsy I LOVED this book!! 12mo
Cinfhen Hope to get to it sooner than later @Linsy 12mo
Reviewsbylola I read this one but I think I found it kind of dry. It‘s been awhile though. 12mo
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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. 🎼🎷🎺

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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! 1y
Crazeedi Great book! 1y
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!!!! 1y
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 1y
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 😻😻😻 1y
64 likes4 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... 2y
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!

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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. ☹️ 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I hope you feel better soon ❤️❤️ 2y
jfalkens Hope you feel better soon xxx 2y
RainyDayReading I loved this book! 2y
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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! 2y
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. 2y
jenniferw88 @mabell YES! She's in there twice! 2y
mabell Oh good! "America's Lucrezia Borgia" I listen to that episode every Halloween ? 2y
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jenniferw88
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I'd be interested to see this park!

Pogue That is such a good book 2y
Pamwurtzler Me too! 2y
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jenniferw88
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🤤🤤🤤

silentrequiem I loved this book 2y
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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kathytrithardt
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"It became so common eliminating perceived difficulties, such as a wealthy parent who stayed alive too long, that the French nicknamed the metallic element arsenic 'poudre de succession', the inheritance powder."
I know what I am calling it from now on.

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kathytrithardt
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Time to start what I think will be a fascinating read.

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jenniferw88
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🎶 #IfIWereARichMan 🎶 ... I would buy all of the paperback books for next year's challenges and a few extra ones for research purposes! #MelodiousMusicals @CrowCAH

TrishB Don't press buy by mistake on that one 😀 2y
jenniferw88 @TrishB I very quickly pressed 'save for later' on all the books after I took this screenshot! 😂 2y
rabbitprincess This was a good one! 2y
CrowCAH That sounds like a great use of funds! 💰😁 2y
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Nitpickyabouttrains
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Pickpick

Super interesting book about the start of forensic medicine in the United States. I liked how it was set up both by poison and by time.

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Quirkybooknerd
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"Beach read" means different things to different people. Now this is what I call a beach read ??☠️?

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wen4blu
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Kid: Sorry Mom, not eating dinner.
Me: What? Why?
Kid: You're cooking and listening to a book about poisons.
Me: It's not a recipe book!!
Kid: Hum.....ok.....but Dad has to take the first bite.

tpixie Lol! 2y
Ruri_kaichou 🤣🤣 2y
Lmstraubie 😂😂😂 2y
See All 7 Comments
britt_brooke 😆 2y
kspenmoll 🙌😂😂 2y
MamaGina Smart kid!🤓 2y
readinginthedark 😂❤️ 2y
66 likes1 stack add7 comments
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drbethandherkindle
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Pickpick

And with this return, I have finished #LitsyAtoZ‼️‼️This has been such fun-thanks for organizing @BookishMarginalia

Wife Wonderful!🌹 2y
LauraBrook 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 2y
Hooked_on_books Nice job! 2y
37 likes3 comments
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drbethandherkindle
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I hope this 800 number isn't important for someone…especially since I lost it #libraryfinds

LeahBergen Poison Control hotline? 😂 2y
drbethandherkindle @LeahBergen "Help, wood alcohol made my 1920s party get a little too real" ?? 2y
37 likes2 comments
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Dolly
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Pickpick

Runs the gamut of well known poisons, poisoners, famous deaths due to poisoning. Interesting read if that's your thing.

Libby1 Looks like something Flavia would like! Have you read this series? 2y
vivastory There was a pbs special, last I checked it was on Netflix 2y
Dolly I've read two in that series. Entertaining. @Libby1 🙂 2y
Dolly PBS special on poisons or Flavia? @vivastory 2y
35 likes5 comments
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tracy_anne8
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My #bookhaul from City Lights Bookstore.

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bloodylovely
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Powell's used book trade-in haul! 💖

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azulaco
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Pickpick

Let me say first, thank God for the FDA! This book will give you a new appreciation of how many dangerous products used to be sold in the US with few regulations, and how many people ended up dead or permanently disabled as a result of ingesting those products. Also an interesting look at the beginnings of serious forensic science in the US. Good read for the mix of science (chemistry), consumer products history, and true crime. Very readable.

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azulaco
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Uh...pretty sure the author is conflating two famous speakeasy hostesses here. There was Texas Guinan, and then there was Belle Livingstone. Oops. Factchecking fail. Now I have to wonder about the rest of the factual content in this book.

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azulaco
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Horrifying description of the effects of mustard gas in WWI. I knew it was bad, but somehow I missed the information before now that the active ingredient causing the damage was sulfuric acid. 😟

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azulaco
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When you discover a library e-book that you forgot about...oops. The Poisoner's Handbook just moved to the top of my #MarchTBR list. I have 8 days to finish it - ample if I don't get distracted. I hope to do a couple of deep dives into my TBR stack this month, too. (i.e. The Night Circus, Super Sad True Love Story) #marchintoreading

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Heatheringheights
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Flashback to summer reading in McNally Jackson's in Nolita. I was probably reading The Poisoner's Handbook at the time. It was great: NYC, prohibition, politics, POISON! #indiebookstores #nonfiction

JazzFeathers Hey, that book sounds great :) 3y
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kristenm
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Pickpick

I love spooky and dark non-fiction reads but the best is The Poisoner's Handbook! #AllHallowsRead

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Thenovellife
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Pickpick

Was this really a nonfiction book?!? Wow! Felt like I was reading a fast-paced thriller whose weapon of choice was every poison imaginable! Highly recommended!

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Sarahr875
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Two of my favorite nonfiction books. I feel like the Devil in the White City movie will never really happen, and that makes me sad. And the Netflix documentary titled The Poisoner's Handbook is very disappointing so don't watch it, read it!! #nonfictionlove #somethingforsept

Hollie The Devil in the White City movie should totally happen. It's so film worthy! 3y
Sarahr875 @Hollie I agree!! They keep saying its "in the works" and then I hear nothing again for months. It kills me! 3y
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iread2much
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Pickpick

A wonderful book; I can't recommend it highly enough. One man wrote THE book on how to determine if someone had been poisoned, and that book is still in use 100 years later. His story, and that of his lab, is one of determination, good science, and mystery. An adventure and a well written history

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