Jan's Reviews > The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in February, 2012

Can a book about poison be fun? Sure it can, if you're morbid like me.

Each chapter of Blum's book is about a different kind of poison. You learn how each poison kills, what the symptoms are, and what your body looks like on the inside after you're killed by it. She also provides very detailed descriptions of how chemists test body tissues for various poisons, which was interesting. She intersperses all of this with details of real poisoning cases, in addition to an analyses of how Prohibition affected the citizens of the U.S. Oh yeah, and she also details the birth of modern forensic science. Phew!

It sounds like a lot for such a relatively short book, but it seems to fit together nicely and it's all pretty interesting. I thought this book was a great deal more accessible than the other Blum book I've read (Ghost Hunters). It was short and to the point. I sped through it pretty quick. My only complaint is that I would have liked to read about MORE poisoning cases, but I'm just morbid like that.

If you like Mary Roach or non-fiction books about disease or murder, you'll probably like this one.
3 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Poisoner's Handbook.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.