Extended Audio Sample

Download The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Poisoners Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Deborah Blum
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (6,744 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Deborah Blum Narrator: Coleen Marlo Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2010 ISBN:
Coming Soon! We're adding audiobooks daily and hope to make this one available for download very soon. Submit your vote below to let us know you really crave this title!
Vote this up! This audiobook has 1 votes

Deborah Blum, writing with the high style and skill for suspense that is characteristic of the very best mystery fiction, shares the untold story of how poison rocked Jazz Age New York City.

In The Poisoner's Handbook, Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime.

Drama unfolds case by case as the heroes of The Poisoner's Handbook---chief medical examiner Charles Norris and toxicologist Alexander Gettler---investigate a family mysteriously stricken bald, Barnum and Bailey's Famous Blue Man, factory workers with crumbling bones, a diner serving poisoned pies, and many others. Each case presents a deadly new puzzle, and Norris and Gettler work with a creativity that rivals that of the most imaginative murderer, creating revolutionary experiments to tease out even the wiliest compounds from human tissue. Yet in the tricky game of toxins, even science can't always be trusted, as proven when one of Gettler's experiments erroneously sets free a suburban housewife later nicknamed America's Lucretia Borgia to continue her nefarious work.

From the vantage of Norris and Gettler's laboratory in the infamous Bellevue Hospital it becomes clear that killers aren't the only toxic threat to New Yorkers. Modern life has created a kind of poison playground, and danger lurks around every corner. Automobiles choke the city streets with carbon monoxide, while potent compounds such as morphine can be found on store shelves in products ranging from pesticides to cosmetics. Prohibition incites a chemist's war between bootleggers and government chemists, while in Gotham's crowded speakeasies each round of cocktails becomes a game of Russian roulette. Norris and Gettler triumph over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensi... Download and start listening now!

BK_TANT_001272

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelsey | 2/7/2014

    " Fascinating. This was a very interesting, crazy, and morbid read. I recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 2/1/2014

    " After reading "The Poisoner's handbook" by Deborah Blum I now have a greater understanding of early forensic science. In the late 1890s and early 1900s Forensic science was new to America and not very well understood. This was why many places such as New York had many people without medical backgrounds occupy the Coroner position. This led to many deaths going without certificates and mis-diagnosed. This led to increased crime rates and the victims families losing a lot of money. In the case of Mors he confessed to killing many nursery home patients before it was their time to die. Yet, without his confession they never would have known that most of the nursery home deaths were intentional. This all changed when the mayor of New York City was forced to hire a coroner with a medical background. He hired Charles Norris a very qualified doctor and he was able to set up an entire staff with experienced scientist Alex Gettler. In my opinion, this was when many more poison discoveries were made and crime rates decreased. I recommend this book to anyone that is interested in medicine, poisons, or forensic science overall. I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 1/27/2014

    " I was pleasantly surprised with this book. The history of the ME office in NYC is a quick and worthwhile read for all tastes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelly | 1/17/2014

    " Book #22 for 2013 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 12/22/2013

    " outstanding read! A must-have for behavioral pharmacology folks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karlin | 12/9/2013

    " Very intersting book about the NY Medical Examiner from PA who help found forensic science based on murders by poison and industrial pollutants in NY "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelli | 11/28/2013

    " don't read a lot of nonfiction, but this read like a suspense novel but was also very interesting. a fascinating history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emerson French | 11/25/2013

    " Overall an excellent read. The descriptions of alpha particles and so forth as "bundles of protons and neutrons" can get a little old if you've had any chemistry at all, but the history is fascinating. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 11/18/2013

    " Reminds me of 'Devil in the White City'. Set in NYC in the early 1900's. Historical fiction for CSI fans. Each chapter focuses on one poison, suspicious death investigations, and forensic advances. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris | 3/16/2013

    " I usually like science writing and history of science stuff, but I'd need a stronger stomach to get through this one--too much explicit talk of forensic technique. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kyle | 10/25/2012

    " An amazingly well-written account of the birth of forensic medicine. Goes in-depth on the chemistry and toxicology of numerous common poisons without getting so technical as to put off non-chemistry folks. Very accessible, very entertaining. I'll be looking for more of her work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seth | 8/23/2012

    " If you are interested in learning about the beginning of the forensic science in the US then this is a great book. It is also full of interesting stories about poisonings which took place in the early 20th century as well as the science in how these poison's work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 1/20/2012

    " More like science lite, because it's loaded with errors, but I enjoyed the historical aspect. Well written, ignoring the scientific mistakes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caroline | 9/18/2011

    " I could hardly put it down! What an interesting slice of American history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vanessa G. | 9/8/2011

    " Poison! A sensational rendition of the birth of toxicology in old NYC. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brett | 6/20/2011

    " An interesting survey of forensic medicine, although a bit dark. I never knew so much about poisoning someone.. via wood alcohol, arsenic, ... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 6/4/2011

    " Loved it! I really should go back and re-read it, as there is so much information presented. Now I have to watch Ken Burns's "Prohibition" on PBS this fall. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 6/3/2011

    " Good read.. In this time of CSI shows where they find all the evidence they want from a crime scene, it's nice to read something that puts it back in perspective. We have come a long way.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanna | 6/1/2011

    " Great mix of intrigue and science. Not for the weak of stomach, though. Chemistry was extra gross back then. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kent | 5/31/2011

    " Ok yeah I do this for a living, but this book is great! And, not just for guys who do this for a living. It will change the way you think about a lot of things. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jillian | 5/30/2011

    " Fascinating book about the first forensic toxicologists in the country and the murderers they tracked down in NYC during the years of prohibition. No need to have a PhD. Warning: Graphic descriptions of the effects of various poisons on their victims. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Deborah Blum

Deborah Blum is a journalist and the author of The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York. She worked as a newspaper science writer for twenty years, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for her writing about primate research, which she turned into the book The Monkey Wars.

About the Narrator

Coleen Marlo is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator who has been nominated for an Audie Award twice, winning in 2011. She has been awarded three Listen-Up Awards from Publishers Weekly, an AudioFile Audiobook of the Year Award in 2011, and was named Audiobook Narrator of the Year for 2010 by Publishers Weekly. She is a member of the prestigious Actors Studio and taught acting for ten years at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. Marlo is a proud founding member of Deyan Institute of Voice Artistry and Technology.