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A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie
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Book Club 2017 > July 2017 - A is for Arsenic

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message 1: by Betsy, co-mod (new) - rated it 3 stars

Betsy | 1703 comments Mod
For July 2017 we will be reading A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup.

Please use this thread to post questions, comments, and reviews, at any time.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 272 comments I'm liking it so far.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 368 comments Just got it from the library.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 368 comments All I can say is that Harkup seems to know both her poisons and her Agatha Christie. Enjoying it so far.


message 5: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Jul 06, 2017 05:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 272 comments This book is making me paranoid about eating and drinking....

; P


message 6: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 106 comments aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "This book is making me paranoid about eating and drinking....

; P"


Kings and Queens used to have food tasters for this very purpose. Mithradates used to make his enemies taste his food for him.


Nancy Mills (nancyfaym) | 405 comments This book makes one want to fire the cook, butler and the entire kitchen staff, in which case one would have to prepare one's OWN tea ... and forsake the comfort and convenience of pots of chocolate on a silver tray served in bed of a morning....(*gasp*) the horror of it all....


message 9: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Jul 08, 2017 12:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 272 comments I have my hot chocolate at night. Last night for the first time in my sixty+ years, I thought about how easily the powder (Ovaltine) could be poisoned, and which of Christie's favorites would work. The book explained Christie's plots of how, maybe, it was done to kill characters. For me, it couldn't be the bitter-tasting ones....Or the ones not soluble in water....hmmmmm. Then, I thought about how my husband likes gardening and has a number of bug-killing poisons, and how marriage has good days and bad days....But he doesn't read much.

Then I hesitatingly sipped my Ovaltine. Was my tongue burning? Ooooooh. It had gone totally cold!

Let's not do murder mystery books of poisons again.

Kidding! Kind of...

: )


message 10: by Betsy, co-mod (new) - rated it 3 stars

Betsy | 1703 comments Mod
One of the things I'm finding interesting is how many of the poisons are or were previously also used to treat illness or as antidotes to other poisons. Of course, I'm only about a third through the book, but it seems that most of them so far have been used therapeutically. I guess it's all in the details, where a few milligrams make a world of difference.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 272 comments Betsy wrote: "One of the things I'm finding interesting is how many of the poisons are or were previously also used to treat illness or as antidotes to other poisons. Of course, I'm only about a third through th..."

That poisons were often used therapeutically in the past surprised me too!


Nancy Mills (nancyfaym) | 405 comments My vet administered arsenic to a racehorse who had a poor appetite. Yes, it worked. I don't know the dosage or exactly what form it was in, other than he injected it. She never seemed to suffer ill effects.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 368 comments Just finished it and I found it fascinating.


CrazyUnicorn | 17 comments I agree Susanna. This book is really fascinating. I read it a while back and I loved it.


Charise | 54 comments I have just finished reading this book and have found the chemistry involved quite interesting. The only extra information I would have appreciated would have been illustrations of the plants.


message 16: by Betsy, co-mod (new) - rated it 3 stars

Betsy | 1703 comments Mod
I finished this a few days ago. I enjoyed it, but also felt slightly disappointed. Like, is that all? Also, it reminded me of The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, which we read in the group a few years ago. Here is my review.


Courtney (conservio) | 93 comments I enjoyed the book and poisons have always fascinated me. I particularly enjoyed the real life cases and the history of the poisons. My favorite element is now phosphorus.

It was a bit of a slow read though. It took me a few weeks to get through it and I sometimes had to force myself to read it.


Avarla | 8 comments It started out fun, especially since I love to find out about substances and their effect on human bodies. It did get very slow over time, though. I'm not sure weather it was the ever-same way of what is it, where was it used, real life cases, Agatha, but after about half of it, it seemed very predictable. Not one of my favourites, unfortunately.


Nancy Mills (nancyfaym) | 405 comments I loved it. I agree with Courtney ... Phosphorus is my favorite too. Nothing like the satisfaction of see glow-in-the-dark ectoplasm emitted when your victim burps.
I was particularly impressed with Dame Agatha's background in pharmaceutical science. I did review this book but have not figured out how to share that review ... anybody?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 368 comments I was amused by the case of real-life poisoning that was caught, because the nurse had been reading The Pale Horse, and suggested it was thallium poisoning. (And she was right.)


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 272 comments Nancy wrote: "I loved it. I agree with Courtney ... Phosphorus is my favorite too. Nothing like the satisfaction of see glow-in-the-dark ectoplasm emitted when your victim burps.
I was particularly impressed wi..."


Surf to the page where your review is. Select, highlight and copy command the address at the top of your browser (the web page address should be in a box showing a little lock with the words 'goodreads.com......) Surf back here to this web page. Select the command 'Paste' the copied address into a comment box.

A common mistake is to go the the book description, where the listing of all your friends reviews and yours are. Some people copy that web page, which will not work the same for me, for example, because all I will see if I click the link is the book's description and my friends. You need to click 'see review' under your review if you see that command, which will take you to the EXACT web page where ONLY YOUR review is shown. That is the web page you need to copy from your browser's address for your review.


Nazima Nasrullah | 23 comments Halfway through the book. Reading this book i realised i should be thankful to God that me and my siblings are unharmed. As kids We ate a lot of atropa fruits, they are very attractive and compelling one can't resist from eating them. Let's see what more surprises this book unravels.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 272 comments Nazima wrote: "Halfway through the book. Reading this book i realised i should be thankful to God that me and my siblings are unharmed. As kids We ate a lot of atropa fruits, they are very attractive and compelli..."

Wow!


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