• A Is for Arsenic

  • The Poisons of Agatha Christie
  • By: Kathryn Harkup
  • Narrated by: Nicky Diss
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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A Is for Arsenic

By: Kathryn Harkup
Narrated by: Nicky Diss
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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents A Is for Arsenic by Kathryn Harkup, read by Nicky Diss.

Shortlisted for the BMA Book Awards and Macavity Awards 2016.

Fourteen novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because it's fiction doesn’t mean it's all made-up....

Agatha Christie revelled in the use of poison to kill off unfortunate victims in her books; indeed, she employed it more than any other murder method, with the poison itself often being a central part of the novel. Her choice of deadly substances was far from random—the characteristics of each often provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. With gunshots or stabbings the cause of death is obvious, but this is not the case with poisons. How is it that some compounds prove so deadly, and in such tiny amounts?

Christie's extensive chemical knowledge provides the backdrop for A Is for Arsenic, in which Kathryn Harkup investigates the poisons used by the murderer in fourteen classic Agatha Christie mysteries. It looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, the cases that may have inspired Christie, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering and detecting these poisons, both at the time the novel was written and today. A Is for Arsenic is a celebration of the use of science by the undisputed Queen of Crime.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2015 Kathryn Harkup (P)2022 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic Reviews

"A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie has lethal charm. Harkup leads every chapter with a literary quote, then proceeds to tell us what the poison is, how and under what circumstances it kills, some real-life instances of its use and what role it plays in the Christie plot...good fun." (The Washington Post)

"This book is fascinating, and anyone who is interested in the myriad painful and unpleasant ways in which people can be killed will relish it." (The Times)

"Harkup superbly captures the texture of Christie's books, the sunshine and the surreptitious villainy." (Daily Mail)

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  • Lee
  • 09-16-22

Loved this journey through an alphabet of poisons

Firstly this book contains spoilers to Agatha’s books in which the poisons are used - you are given a warning before the spoiler - but it’s something you need to know.

If ever I want to bump someone off with poison this will be my go to book but seriously there’s a huge amount of information about the individual poison alongside real murder cases in which the poison were used and the book where Agatha used the poison as a murder weapon is also dissected.

This book is wonderful. As an AC fan it gave me a better insight into her methods and where she learnt her skills to use said poisons.

So worth a credit…

1 person found this helpful