A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie

By Kathryn Harkup
  • Crime
  • Mystery
  • Non-Fiction
  • Thriller

This book is a must for any aficionado of crime novels, particularly of course, those of the Queen of Crime. Kathryn Harkup is a chemist so the accounts of the origins and uses of the poisons are very detailed, but don’t let that put you off. The history and nature of each individual poison is truly fascinating. You will never look at your garden or potting shed in the same way again! Harkup discusses some of Christie’s plots as well as several real-life murder cases. Christie took inspiration from contemporary and historical crime reports and there is even the possibility that a crime may have been copied from one of her plots. She trained as an apothecary’s assistant in 1917 and kept up to date with pharmaceutical developments throughout her writing career. Harkup has cast her professional eye over Christie’s plotting and her technical knowledge and apparently Christie rarely made a mistake in her uses of her chosen poison. The book contains a handy glossary of Christie’s novels with the poison that was used in each one, along with diagrams of the chemical composition of each poison. One to prompt a re-read of your favourite Christie murder story…

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