The Story of Forensic Medicine: “The Poisoner’s Handbook”

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Deborah Blum takes us through the development of forensic science in New York in her The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York.  Drawing from highly original research, Blum brings us back to the dawn of real-life crime scene investigation.  The Poisoner’s Handbook is a blazing romp through Jazz Age New York and a gripping look at the birth of forensic medicine.  A true tale of two forensic scientists-medical examiner Charles Norris and chief toxicologist Alexander Gettler-The Poisoner’s Handbook examines how the dynamic duo gave a whole new face to the justice system with their trailblazing investigative work.  Well-written and engaging, the book combines chemistry, crime, and politics during the early days of forensic toxicology.

Woodlawn would recommend The Poisoner’s Handbook to anyone who has a keen interest in the development of modern forensic medicine in the New York metropolitan area.