The poisoner's handbook: murder and the birth of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York

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Publisher:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Pub. Date:
2010.
Language:
English
Lexile measure:
1190L
Description
Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Deborah Blum follows New York City's first forensic scientists to discover a fascinating Jazz Age story of chemistry and detection, poison and murder. Deborah Blum, writing with the high style and skill for suspense that is characteristic of the very best mystery fiction, shares the untold story of how poison rocked Jazz Age New York City. In The Poisoner's Handbook Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Drama unfolds case by case as the heroes of The Poisoner's Handbook --chief medical examiner Charles Norris and toxicologist Alexander Gettler--investigate a family mysteriously stricken bald, Barnum and Bailey's Famous Blue Man, factory workers with crumbling bones, a diner serving poisoned pies, and many others. Each case presents a deadly new puzzle and Norris and Gettler work with a creativity that rivals that of the most imaginative murderer, creating revolutionary experiments to tease out even the wiliest compounds from human tissue. Yet in the tricky game of toxins, even science can't always be trusted, as proven when one of Gettler's experiments erroneously sets free a suburban housewife later nicknamed "America's Lucretia Borgia" to continue her nefarious work. From the vantage of Norris and Gettler's laboratory in the infamous Bellevue Hospital it becomes clear that killers aren't the only toxic threat to New Yorkers. Modern life has created a kind of poison playground, and danger lurks around every corner. Automobiles choke the city streets with carbon monoxide; potent compounds, such as morphine, can be found on store shelves in products ranging from pesticides to cosmetics. Prohibition incites a chemist's war between bootleggers and government chemists while in Gotham's crowded speakeasies each round of cocktails becomes a game of Russian roulette. Norris and Gettler triumph over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice during a remarkably deadly time. A beguiling concoction that is equal parts true crime, twentieth-century history, and science thriller, The Poisoner's Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten New York.
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ISBN:
9781594202438
014311882
9781400195503
9780143118824
Lexile measure:
1190L
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 3b76f0cb-6589-5a42-92dc-5d1710ca4986
Grouping Title poisoner s handbook murder and the birth of forensic medicine in jazz age new york
Grouping Author blum deborah
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-04-24 22:34:02PM
Last Indexed 2019-05-18 23:04:11PM

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display_description The untold story of how poison rocked Jazz Age New York City. A pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Chief medical examiner Charles Norris and toxicologist Alexander Gettler investigate a family mysteriously stricken bald, factory workers with crumbling bones, a diner serving poisoned pies, and many others. Each case presents a deadly new puzzle and Norris and Gettler create revolutionary experiments to tease out even the wiliest compounds from human tissue. From the vantage of their laboratory it also becomes clear that murderers aren't the only toxic threat--modern life has created a kind of poison playground, and danger lurks around every corner.
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subject_facet Forensic sciences -- New York (State) -- History, Forensic toxicology -- New York (State) -- History, New York (N.Y.) -- History -- 20th century, Poisoning -- New York (State) -- History, True crime stories
title_display The poisoner's handbook : murder and the birth of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York
title_full The poisoner's handbook : murder and the birth of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York / Deborah Blum, The poisoner's handbook : murder and the birth of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York [electronic resource] / Deborah Blum
title_short The poisoner's handbook :
title_sub murder and the birth of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York
topic_facet Forensic sciences, Forensic toxicology, History, Poisoning, True crime stories