Loading Prices..

ISBN10: 1594202435 ISBN13: 9781594202438 DDC: 614.1309747109041 Edition: Hardcover; 2010-02-18

Summary

Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Deborah Blum follows New York City's first forensic scientists to discover a fascinating Jazz Age story of chemistry and detection, poison and murder. Deborah Blum, writing with the high style and skill for suspense that is characteristic of the very best mystery fiction, shares the untold story of how poison rocked Jazz Age New York City. In The Poisoner's Handbook Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Drama unfolds case by case as the heroes of The Poisoner's Handbook-chief medical examiner Charles Norris and toxicologist Alexander Gettler-investigate a family mysteriously stricken bald, Barnum and Bailey's Famous Blue Man, factory workers with crumbling bones, a diner serving poisoned pies, and many others. Each case presents a deadly new puzzle and Norris and Gettler work with a creativity that rivals that of the most imaginative murderer, creating revolutionary experiments to tease out even the wiliest compounds from human tissue. Yet in the tricky game of toxins, even science can't always be trusted, as proven when one of Gettler's experiments erroneously sets free a suburban housewife later nicknamed "America's Lucretia Borgia" to continue her nefarious work. From the vantage of Norris and Gettler's laboratory in the infamous Bellevue Hospital it becomes clear that killers aren't the only toxic threat to New Yorkers. Modern life has created a kind of poison playground, and danger lurks around every corner. Automobiles choke the city streets with carbon monoxide; potent compounds, such as morphine, can be found on store shelves in products ranging from pesticides to cosmetics. Prohibition incites a chemist's war between bootleggers and government chemists while in Gotham's crowded speakeasies each round of cocktails becomes a game of Russian roulette. Norris and Gettler triumph over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice during a remarkably deadly time. A beguiling concoction that is equal parts true crime, twentieth-century history, and science thriller, The Poisoner's Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten New York.

Classification

  • Dewey Decimal: 614.1309747109041

Book Details

  • Physical Description: 6.2"x9.1"x1.2"; 1.2 lb; 336 pages
  • Edition Info: Hardcover; 2010-02-18

Subjects

Buying This Book

We query many merchants so that you can instantly compare prices and availability. You can even check historic prices and subscribe for notifications. For a manual check, clicking on a link will open a new window with a search for this book on the merchant's site of your choice.

  • Amazon.com by title or by ISBN - widest selection, reliable service, good prices
  • Abebooks.com by title or by ISBN - good source for rare and out-of-print books
  • Textbooks.com by title or by ISBN - large inventory of new & used textbooks
  • Alibris.com by title or by ISBN - their slogan is "books you thought you'd never find"
  • eCampus.com by title or by ISBN - they specialize in textbooks, used and new
  • BN.com by title or by ISBN - Barnes & Noble has a wide selection of new and used books