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The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New YorkThe Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Okay, you have to understand something about me. I love chemistry. I love chemistry so much that they invented an Advanced Chemistry class at our high school for me and my friend Cindy. And I was the lab assistant for the science teachers--it was my job to prepare all the equipment, and the solutions. I don't know if it's still true, but then the science closet was full of very high concentrations of chemicals and boxes of distilled water. I made up the solutions used in all the classes except for some of the Regents chemistry experiments. I still get nostalgic remembering the difference between molal and molar concentrations. I sometimes dream of having my own titration setup. And all those lovely bottles of really dangerous substances to play with. *sigh*

Did I mention, I love chemistry.

So this book was like handing a bottle of bourbon to an alcoholic who has been "dry" for thirty years. The author talks about chemical formulas and the properties of elements, and the processes of attachments of elements in the human body and how they interact with body processes. And then there are lots of interesting murders. And patent medicines that kill people. And speak-easies. And closed minded, corrupt public officials.

What's not to like!?!

And best of all? The science is solid, and the protagonists (to the degree there are any) are real people, who did real good.

Highly recommended but be warned--it's a very science-geeky book!



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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
wldrose
Apr. 8th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
it is sciance geeky but i is well done in the new journalisam style bringing life to news be it old or fresh

I think it would be a great base for a TV show perhaps with a touch of steam punk sorta CSI historic

ash
patrikia
Apr. 11th, 2011 08:51 am (UTC)
Hah! Should have read the comments first! Great minds and all that... ;-)
herooftheage
Apr. 9th, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
meirwen
Apr. 9th, 2011 08:45 am (UTC)
Oh, that's wonderful! Thank you.
matthew_g
Apr. 10th, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
I was deeply tempted by the audiobook even when it was sight unseen (unheard?) but I'm very glad to hear it was a good read :)
patrikia
Apr. 11th, 2011 08:51 am (UTC)
I absolutely LOVED this book. All I kept thinking while I was reading it was what a great TV series it would make...
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )