A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie (Paperback)
  • A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie (Paperback)
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A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie (Paperback)

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£11.99
Paperback 320 Pages
Published: 03/11/2016
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Shortlisted for the BMA Book Awards and Macavity Awards 2016

Fourteen novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because it's fiction doesn’t mean it's all made-up ...

Agatha Christie revelled in the use of poison to kill off unfortunate victims in her books; indeed, she employed it more than any other murder method, with the poison itself often being a central part of the novel. Her choice of deadly substances was far from random – the characteristics of each often provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. With gunshots or stabbings the cause of death is obvious, but this is not the case with poisons. How is it that some compounds prove so deadly, and in such tiny amounts?

Christie's extensive chemical knowledge provides the backdrop for A is for Arsenic, in which Kathryn Harkup investigates the poisons used by the murderer in fourteen classic Agatha Christie mysteries. It looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, the cases that may have inspired Christie, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering and detecting these poisons, both at the time the novel was written and today. A is for Arsenic is a celebration of the use of science by the undisputed Queen of Crime.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781472911322
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 230 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie has lethal charm. Harkup leads every chapter with a literary quote, then proceeds to tell us what the poison is, how and under what circumstances it kills, some real-life instances of its use and what role it plays in the Christie plot ... good fun. - The Washington Post

This book is fascinating, and anyone who is interested in the myriad painful and unpleasant ways in which people can be killed will relish it. - The Times

Harkup superbly captures the texture of Christie's books, the sunshine and the surreptitious villainy. - Daily Mail

A cracking compendium of Christie's poisonings ... A Is For Arsenic will appeal to any fan of Christie's work, but as a potted history of poisons, antidotes and medicines it has much wider reach than that. - BBC Focus

Fact and fun packed, A is for Arsenic looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with th body, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering and detecting these poisons. - Agatha Christie Website

An enjoyable, alphabetical overview of the renowned mystery writer's frequent weapon of choice. - Washington Independent Review of Books

A knockout analysis of poisons used in Christie's novels and short stories … Each chapter gives riveting information on the poison's chemical makeup, how it kills, whether there's an antidote, its history and its use in Christie's works and in real life ... This is an absolutely bravura chemical compound. - Booklist

If you are coming to Agatha Christie's work for the first time, an avid fan, have an interest in crime or toxicology, or just like being taken on an adventure through time, A is for Arsenic is a must read. - Chemistry World

A killing read that combines scientific expertise with fan-based knowledge. - Saga

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“Bought as a present.”

My partner had read a library copy, and wanted a permanent copy for reference. It was well received.

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 72

“Something for everyone”

I heard about this book on a Podcast and thought it sounded great. I wasn’t disappointed. The mix of toxicology, biology, historical murders and how Agatha Christie used these poisons in her writing is remarkable.... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

“Brilliant”

An absolute must for any Christie enthusiast. I refer to it regularly in my Christie studies. Dr Harkup is a real expert in her field and this book is my absolute go to.

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

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