February 20, 2006
"The Elements of Murder" by John Emsley
I am a big fan of murder mysteries and CSI (Las Vegas only, not Miami or New York). Poison plays a role in both. The alchemists of old (including Roger Bacon and Thomas Acquinas!) were looking for the Philosopher's Stone to turn base metal into gold, the Elixer of Life for longevity, and the Alkahest to dissolve anything. Their experiments with toxic elements lead to some accidental self-poisoning, the science of chemistry and some dandy ways for Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh and P. D. James to poison people. Forensic science has made poison a less useful murder weapon, but toxic elements are still all around around us. This is non-technical science accompanied by fascinating histories of people who have been murdered with thallium, lead, antimony. mercury and arsenic.
Barb K, reference
Posted by jnardine at February 20, 2006 11:38 AM
Oh! This sounds very interesting, especially the histories. One of my friends is a mystery-thriller writer who lives to find new ways to torture (ahem, kill) her characters. I'll have to share this title with her.
Posted by: krheiser at February 27, 2006 02:32 PMLogin to leave a comment. Create a new account.