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!