Just a reminder that our read of A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup begins on Tuesday, May 1st.
While it's obvious that those that love Agatha Christie's books are going to be drawn to this book, don't be fooled into thinking it isn't really a science book. The science is real and though the author discusses these poisons in the context of AC's usage of them in books, she does not skimp on the chemistry.
As Boomsbury describes it:
Fourteen Agatha Christie novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because it's fiction doesn’t mean it's all made-up ...
Agatha Christie used poison to kill her characters more often than any other crime fiction writer. The poison was a central part of the novel, and her choice of deadly substances was far from random; the chemical and physiological characteristics of each poison provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. Christie demonstrated her extensive chemical knowledge (much of it gleaned by working in a pharmacy during both world wars) in many of her novels, but this is rarely appreciated by the reader.
Written by former research chemist Kathryn Harkup, each chapter takes a different novel and investigates the poison used by the murderer. Fact- and fun-packed, A is for Arsenic looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering, and detecting these poisons, both when Christie was writing and today.
There are even a few diagrams and equations - but not too many.
Anyone is free to join us, as always. Huggins loves a good crowd and a good discussion over the relative merits of cyanide over strychnine.
Looking forward to May day!
I somehow forgot exactly what happened from the sixth murder onward.
The epilogue was good, especially with this narrator - Dan Stevens' voice and the character's cold and calculating nature made my skin crawl. I could buy most of the "here's how I did it" explanations, but I'm still not convinced that the fifth murder would have been possible.
This is Agatha Christie's foray into a historical fiction murder mystery. It takes places around 2000 BCE, and it got off to a rough start. Renisenb comes off as too simple for words at the start and there seems to be a fair dose of authorial judgement going on when believing in the many Egyptian gods comes up, but eventually good old Aggie gets into her groove and the family drama and doubts become interesting. I was totally off-base with my guess for the murderer, however.
We're halfway through; obviously things can't just end like that and it isn't over. I wonder what the final body count will be?
I wish for once I could make use of a sick day to get some reading done, rather than read for a bit and then nap for several hours. It's a bit annoying. I know, I know, the napping is probably good for me. And anything is better than being fuzzy-headed like I was yesterday.