By Sandra Hempel
An notorious homicide research that modified without end the way in which poisoners have been delivered to justice.
within the first 1/2 the 19th century, a deadly disease swept Europe: arsenic poisoning. to be had at any nook store for a couple of pence, arsenic was once so usually utilized by capability beneficiaries of wills that it used to be nicknamed “the inheritor’s powder.” however it was once tricky to end up sufferer were poisoned, not to mention to spot the tainted meals or drink in view that arsenic used to be tasteless.
Then got here a riveting case. at the morning of Saturday, November 2, 1833, the Bodle family sat right down to their morning breakfast. That night, the neighborhood healthcare professional John Butler obtained an pressing summons: the family members and their servants had collapsed and have been heavily in poor health. 3 days later, after lingering in discomfort, prosperous George Bodle died in his mattress at his farmhouse in Plumstead, forsaking numerous heirs, together with a son and grandson—both of whom weren't at the better of phrases with the relatives patriarch.
The research, which received overseas cognizance, introduced jointly a colourful solid of characters: bickering family members; a drunken, bumbling policeman; and James Marsh, an unknown yet incredible chemist who, assigned the Bodle case, tried to create a try out which can effectively pinpoint the presence of arsenic. In doing so, notwithstanding, he may reason as many difficulties as he solved. have been blameless women and men now going to the gallows? And may George Bodle’s killer be found?
Incisive and wryly pleasing, technological know-how author Sandra Hempel brings to existence a gripping tale of household infighting, wayward police habit, a slice of Victorian background, tales of poisonings, and an unforgettable foray into the origins of forensic science.