“The Poisoner’s Handbook” – Deborah Blum

Even though this is non-fiction, it’s a nice follow-up if you’re into the Alan Bradley collection reviewed earlier on this blog.

Blum has a flair for the dramatic and for weaving a lovely story out of the mundane. For all you CSI fans out there, this is how it was done in the beginning. It was wonderfully refreshing to hear about flasks, bunsen burners, and scientific methodology again (I’m totally revealing my age here!).

I liked the way Blum organized the book — chronologically, from the creation of the Medical Examiner’s position in New York, with cases illustrating the advances and politics of the office along the way. There were very few times when I was lost in Blum’s explanations of the composition and expression of poisons. I was educated in a pleasant and enticing way!

I am so thrilled by my overall experience with this book — its structure, its content, its delivery — that I’m about to embark upon more Blum work, “Love at Goon Park” and “Ghost Hunters.”

Stay tuned!

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