Archive for March, 2010

The Poisoner’s Handbook

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum is a wonderful work of poison, prohibition, and politics set in 1920’s New York. It is CSI:roaring 20’s.

This book presents a fascinating view of the birth of forensic medicine and the genesis of the modern medical examiner role. It is not a dry recitation of historical facts though. Ms. Blum presents the reader with a mini-mystery in each chapter based on a type of poison. It is a device that keeps the narrative moving through the years while allowing her to develop the characters and personalities of the persons who changed the way we deal with death.

Read it in one sitting or pick it up for a chapter every couple of days, in either case you will find this book education without any pain.