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The Inheritor's Powder: A Cautionary Tale of Poison, Betrayal and Greed

Sandra Hempel

1 Reviews

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Biography: general, Biography: historical, political & military, Prose: non-fiction

Family rivalry, a bungled murder and the fascinating history of poisoning. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher meets Victorian science! 'A well-researched and fascinating account of some of the most gruesome and mysterious murders' P.D. James

In the nineteenth century it was criminally easy to bump off unwanted relatives.

A Household Thrown into Chaos
Plumstead village, 2 November 1833. Wealthy landlord, George Bodle is taken violently ill. He dies within hours. When his wife, daughter and two maids are also taken ill, there is only one terrifying explanation . . . arsenic poisoning.

A Murder Most Foul
Yet, while arsenic was readily available over the counter in the 1800s, poisoning was almost impossible to prove. As the evidence mounted up, a picture emerged of bitter family rivalries, brewing resentment, greed and ill-will.

A Sensational Tale
In this account of one of history's most notorious poisonings, Sandra Hempel tells the story of the birth of toxicology - the science of poison - and of a mystery which gripped the nation.

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Praise for The Inheritor's Powder: A Cautionary Tale of Poison, Betrayal and Greed

  • Sandra Hempel is an engaging writer, adept at distilling tricky science - SUNDAY TIMES

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Sandra Hempel

Sandra Hempel is a journalist and author who specialises in health and social issues. She has written for a wide variety of popular newspapers and magazines, including THE TIMES, THE SUNDAY TIMES and THE MAIL ON SUNDAY, as well as specialist publications. Her first book THE MEDICAL DETECTIVE - which tells the story of one doctor's fight to stop the killer cholera epidemics that devastated nineteenth century Britain - won the Medical Journalists' Association Book Award and the British Medical Association Book Award for the public understanding of science.

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