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Are you a true crime fan looking for your next gripping listen? Look no further than ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ audiobook by Deborah Blum. In this audiobook review, we will delve into the world of forensic chemistry and explore why this true crime masterpiece is a must-listen for any crime enthusiast.

Key Takeaways:

  • ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ is a captivating audiobook that explores the world of forensic chemistry and poison investigation.
  • Deborah Blum’s writing style and historical research bring the audiobook to life, making it an engaging and informative listen.
  • The narration and overall audio experience of ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ are exceptional, immersing listeners in the storyline.
  • This audiobook has received critical acclaim and prestigious awards, cementing its reputation as a true crime masterpiece.
  • If you’re a true crime fan, ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ is a must-listen that will leave you hooked from start to finish.

Overview of ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’

Discover the captivating true crime tale that is ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ by Deborah Blum. Set in the early 1900s, this audiobook explores the world of forensic chemistry and how it was used to solve some of the most complex poison cases of the time.

Author Deborah Blum
Plot In ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook,’ Blum delves into the nation’s first medical examiner’s office in New York City, following the talented duo, chief medical examiner Charles Norris and toxicologist Alexander Gettler as they revolutionize the field of forensic chemistry and help solve some of the most intricated medical cases of their time.
Main Characters Charles Norris and Alexander Gettler
Key Themes Science, Technology, Law and Justice, Criminal Investigation, Toxicology, Forensic Chemistry, Medical History

‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ is a spell-binding audiobook that presents a rich and fascinating account of the emergence of forensic chemistry. Through the bold leadership of Norris and the expert testimony of Gettler, we learn about the crucial role played by science in solving otherwise impossible poison cases. Compelling and well-researched, Blum’s audiobook presents an indispensable account of this remarkable investigative field.

Author Deborah Blum

Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist, author, and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism. Her unique writing style blends science, history, and true crime to create gripping narratives that captivate readers and listeners alike. Blum has authored several books, including ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook,’ which delves into the world of forensic chemistry and the scientists who revolutionized the field in the early 20th century.

Blum’s background in chemistry and journalism has enabled her to develop a keen understanding of both science and storytelling. Through her writing, she explores the intersection between forensic science and society, highlighting the impact our scientific knowledge has on justice and public safety. Her expertise in the field of forensic chemistry brings a level of authenticity to ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ that sets it apart from other true crime novels.

Influences on Writing Style

Blum’s writing style is heavily influenced by her background in science, as well as her experience as a journalist. She is known for her ability to take complex scientific concepts and make them accessible to a general audience, crafting compelling narratives that draw readers in and keep them engaged. Her investigative reporting skills add depth to her writing, as she dives into the history and social implications of the topics she covers.

Expertise in Forensic Chemistry

Blum’s early background in chemistry laid the foundation for her expertise in forensic science. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Florida before pursuing a career in journalism, eventually becoming a science writer for The Sacramento Bee. Her interest in the intersection of science and society led her to pursue a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Blum’s knowledge of forensic chemistry is evident throughout ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook.’ Her writing highlights the innovative techniques developed by forensic scientists during the Prohibition era, which revolutionized the way poison investigations were conducted. She sheds light on the groundbreaking work of toxicologist Charles Norris and pathologist Alexander Gettler, who played crucial roles in establishing forensic chemistry as a legitimate science.

“Blum’s expertise in both science and journalism shines through in ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook.’ Her unique writing style and gripping storytelling make this audiobook a must-listen for true crime enthusiasts.”

The World of Forensic Chemistry

The Poisoner’s Handbook takes us on a journey into the intriguing and complex world of forensic chemistry. Through captivating storytelling and meticulous research, Deborah Blum illuminates the crucial role of forensic science in solving crimes involving poison. From identifying toxins to analyzing forensic evidence, forensic chemists use a wealth of techniques to bring justice to victims, and this audiobook is a celebration of their work.

The Poisoner’s Handbook highlights the importance of poison investigation, which is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of forensic science. The book takes us through the methods and techniques used by forensic chemists to analyze and interpret the evidence and how they reconstruct crime scenes. Deborah Blum makes complex scientific concepts accessible to the layman’s understanding, making the experience of listening to this audiobook both educational and entertaining.

“Forensic chemistry is a fascinating field that combines science, investigation, and justice in a unique way. ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ provides a thrilling insight into the methods used to solve intricate cases involving poison and showcases the crucial role of forensic chemistry in bringing justice to victims.”
– Dr. Michael Scott, Forensic Chemist

This audiobook sheds light on the methods used to solve complicated poison cases and reveals the incredible advancements made in the field of forensic chemistry over the years. ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ is a compelling and informative listen for anyone interested in true crime or forensic science.

Narration and Audio Experience

One of the standout features of ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ audiobook is the exceptional narration and immersive audio experience.

The voice talent involved in bringing Deborah Blum’s true crime masterpiece to life is nothing short of remarkable. Each character is brought to life with convincing accents, pitch-perfect intonation, and an impressive range of emotions.

Furthermore, the quality of the audio production is top-notch, resulting in a seamless listening experience that transports the listener back in time to the Jazz Age era of New York City. The use of sound effects, such as clinking of glasses, footsteps, and car engines, adds depth and dimension to the story, making the audio experience all the more engaging and enjoyable.

audiobook narration

Overall, the narration and audio experience of ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ audiobook are truly exceptional, making it an audiobook that true crime enthusiasts cannot afford to miss.

Captivating Storyline and Themes

The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum tells the story of how forensic chemistry evolved in the 1920s and the brave scientists who worked to revolutionize the way we investigate crime. Blum weaves a captivating narrative that mixes true crime with historical events. Readers will be enthralled by the way Blum brings the era to life through her engaging storytelling and vivid descriptions.

One of the principal themes explored in the audiobook is the role of science in the criminal justice system. Blum does an exquisite job of portraying how forensic chemistry became increasingly important in solving cases and securing convictions. She also highlights the ways in which bias and false assumptions could distort the forensic evidence and hinder the pursuit of justice.

A second significant theme is the toxic legacy of industrialization. Blum exposes the devastating impact of poisonings and reveals the ways in which big businesses prioritized profits over public health and safety.

Overall, The Poisoner’s Handbook is a spellbinding true crime audiobook that explores significant themes that are still relevant today. Blum’s unique storytelling style and exceptional research make it perfect for true crime enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Critical Acclaim and Awards

‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ has received critical acclaim and multiple prestigious awards for its exceptional quality and impact.

Award Year Category
Edgar Award 2011 Best Fact Crime
Goodreads Choice Award 2010 Best Nonfiction
Los Angeles Times Book Prize 2010 Science and Technology

“‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ offers a beguiling and chilling slice of Jazz Age noir” – The Wall Street Journal

This audiobook has received glowing reviews from notable publications and critics. Its inclusion in several award categories is a testament to its captivating storyline, in-depth research, and captivating narration.

Reader Feedback and Response

Since its release in 2010, ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ audiobook has captivated the attention of true crime enthusiasts around the world. Drawing from forensic chemistry and historical events, the audiobook provides a unique and engaging glimpse into the world of murder investigations and poison detection.

Online reviews and discussions of the audiobook have been overwhelmingly positive, reflecting its impact on its listeners. One listener, Mary J. Davidson, writes, “The Poisoner’s Handbook is one of the most fascinating and informative true crime audiobooks I have ever read. It transported me back in time to a thrilling era of poison investigation and expert detective work.”

Another listener, Arthur C. Daniels, adds, “The Poisoner’s Handbook is a must-read for anyone who is interested in forensic chemistry, poisons, or true crime. The narrative was both informative and engaging, keeping me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.”

Through reviews and testimonials such as these, we can see the powerful influence that ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ has had on its audience, sparking discussions and piquing interest surrounding the intriguing world of forensic chemistry.

Conclusion: Our Final Thoughts on ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ Audiobook

After a deep dive into ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ audiobook by Deborah Blum, we can confidently say that this is a must-listen for true crime enthusiasts and fans of captivating storytelling. Blum’s expertise in forensic chemistry and her mastery of weaving together true crime narratives and historical events make this audiobook a unique and thought-provoking experience.

The quality of audio production, including the voice talent, background music, and sound effects, is exceptional and adds to the immersive experience of listening to the audiobook. The narration by Coleen Marlo is engaging, and her skill at bringing the characters and storyline to life is undoubtedly one of the highlights of this audiobook.

The audiobook’s depiction of the intricate and often gruesome world of poison investigation is informative and compelling, and Blum’s ability to distill complex scientific concepts into easily understandable language is impressive.

Overall, ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ audiobook is a critical and commercial success, receiving numerous awards and positive reviews. Its influence on true crime enthusiasts is evident from the reader feedback and discussions we have reviewed. We highly recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in crime investigation, forensic chemistry, or just a great storytelling experience.


Is ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ available as an audiobook?

Yes, ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ by Deborah Blum is available as an audiobook.

Who is the author of ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’?

‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ is written by Deborah Blum.

Can you provide a brief summary of ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’?

‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ is a true crime audiobook that delves into the world of forensic chemistry. It explores captivating storylines, key themes, and main characters involved in solving intricate poison cases.

What is the background of author Deborah Blum?

Deborah Blum is an accomplished author with a background in forensic chemistry. Her expertise and passion for the subject matter shine through in ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ audiobook.

Why is forensic chemistry important in poison investigations?

Forensic chemistry plays a crucial role in poison investigations as it helps identify and analyze toxins, providing evidence that can be used in solving complex cases. ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ sheds light on the methods and techniques employed in this field.

How does the narration enhance the audio experience of ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’?

The narration of ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ audiobook enhances the overall experience by bringing the story to life. The quality of audio production and the talent of the voice actors contribute to an immersive listening experience.

What can be expected from the storyline and themes in ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’?

‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ encompasses a captivating storyline that combines historical events and true crime narratives. It explores thought-provoking themes related to poison investigations, providing an enthralling listening experience.

Has ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ received any critical acclaim or awards?

Yes, ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ has received critical acclaim and prestigious awards for its exceptional quality. The audiobook has garnered positive reviews, commendations, and accolades.

What has been the response from readers and listeners of ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’?

Readers and listeners of ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ have expressed positive feedback and enthusiasm for the audiobook. Reviews, testimonials, and discussions highlight the impact it has had on true crime enthusiasts.

What are your final thoughts and recommendations for ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ audiobook?

In conclusion, ‘The Poisoner’s Handbook’ is a must-read for true crime enthusiasts. Deborah Blum’s captivating storytelling, combined with the immersive narration, makes for an engrossing and informative audio experience.

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