“The Poisoner’s Handbook,” by Deborah Blum tells the captivating tale of the evolution of the New York City medical examiner’s office between 1915 and 1936. During this period, the office was led by the first scientifically trained medical examiner, Charles Norris, who appointed the city’s first toxicologist, Alexander Gettler. These two recognized that poisoners were literally getting away with murder and set out to map the toxicology effects of various poisons, setting the forensic standards for the rest of the country.
Told through a series of murder investigations, the book presents a lively and suspenseful tale that foretells the current medical examiner role.
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