A beguiling concoction-equal parts true crime, twentieth-century history, and science thriller. A fascinating Jazz Age
tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner's Handbook
is a page-turning account of a forgotten era. In early twentieth-century New York
, poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Science had no place in the Tammany Hall
-controlled coroner's office, and corruption ran rampant. However, with the appointment of chief medical examiner Charles Norris in 1918, the poison game changed forever. Together with toxicologist Alexander Gettler, the duo set the justice system on fire with their trailblazing scientific detective work, triumphing over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry.
The decade of the 1920's introduced America to new freedoms and ways of thinking. New York City at the mouth of the Hudson River is the largest city in America. Tammany Hall controlled the politics of New York City from 1854 until the election of Fiorello La Guardia as mayor in November 1933.