The Poisoner's Handbook:
Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York
Science journalist Deborah Blum's book illuminates the careers of two pioneers in early 20th Century New York: the chief medical examiner, Dr. Charles Norris, and toxicologist, Alexander Gettler. A fascinating account of how they used science to discover the ways various poisons killed their victims.
Author Deborah Blum's list of favorite poisons include:
- Carbon Monoxide - nice and efficient
- Arsenic - so common, called “the inheritance powder”
- Radium - makes bones radioactive for years
- Nicotine - first plant poison scientists detected
- Chloroform - home invasion robbery favorite
- Mercury - needs to be mixed with other chemicals
- Cyanide - one teasponn = death in a few minutes
- Aconite - the "saliva of Cerberus"
- Silver Nitrate - turns you blue
- Thallium - tasteless, odorless, but causes alopecia