By Sandra Hempel
An notorious homicide research that modified perpetually the best way poisoners have been delivered to justice.
within the first 1/2 the 19th century, an endemic swept Europe: arsenic poisoning. to be had at any nook store for a couple of pence, arsenic used to be so often utilized by strength beneficiaries of wills that it was once nicknamed “the inheritor’s powder.” however it used to be tough to turn out sufferer were poisoned, not to mention to spot the tainted nutrients or drink due to the fact arsenic was once tasteless.
Then got here a riveting case. at the morning of Saturday, November 2, 1833, the Bodle loved ones sat all the way down to their morning breakfast. That night, the neighborhood health care provider John Butler acquired an pressing summons: the kinfolk and their servants had collapsed and have been heavily in poor health. 3 days later, after lingering in soreness, prosperous George Bodle died in his mattress at his farmhouse in Plumstead, abandoning a number of heirs, together with a son and grandson—both of whom weren't at the better of phrases with the family members patriarch.
The research, which received overseas realization, introduced jointly a colourful solid of characters: bickering family members; a drunken, bumbling policeman; and James Marsh, an unknown yet impressive chemist who, assigned the Bodle case, tried to create a attempt that can adequately pinpoint the presence of arsenic. In doing so, notwithstanding, he might 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 enjoyable, technology author Sandra Hempel brings to lifestyles a gripping tale of family infighting, wayward police habit, a slice of Victorian heritage, tales of poisonings, and an unforgettable foray into the origins of forensic science.