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Poison and Poisoning: A Compendium of Cases, Catastrophes and Crimes by Celia Kellett

Poison and Poisoning: A Compendium of Cases, Catastrophes and Crimes

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Sue Baker's view...

There are a lot of surprises in Celia Kellett’s compendium, one that particularly astonished me, the poetry of the poisons – one especially has joined my list of favourite words, orpiment, the very poisonous arsenic trisulphide. There’s a lot of historical enlightenment to be had too, some useful to know like the ingredients of Indian ink - others such as the medieval penchant for reusable laxatives, I rather wish I didn’t know. You’ll learn what really happened at Bhopal, the details of every famous poisoning case, what’s in your cosmetics and a myriad of other fascinating facts.

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Who is Sue Baker


Poison and Poisoning: A Compendium of Cases, Catastrophes and Crimes by Celia Kellett

In this fascinating guide to poisons, Celia Kellett provides information and entertainment in equal measure as she explains clearly what all the different poisons are and how they work, giving us all the gory detail of how, by accident or design, they have led to the demise of so many people.

From cyanide to the Black Widow spider, and from the Green Mamba snake to botulism, poisons can be found everywhere from the jungle to the refrigerator.

Did you know, for example, that the Emperor Napoleon died from arsenic poisoning caused by the green dye used for the pattern on his wallpaper? Or that the Green Mamba's venom is so toxic that a bite is fatal within half an hour? Or that 50,000 people die from snake bites every year in India?

Poison is rarely out of the headlines, with recent stories including the murder, by polonium poisoning, of Alexander Litvinenko in London, allegedly by the KGB, The Horse Whisperer author Nicholas Evans becoming seriously ill in Scotland after eating poisonous mushrooms, and melamine poisoning in Chinese baby-milk formula.

It is a subject that holds a fascination for the general public who (along with budding crime writers, and perhaps the KGB) will want to buy this excellent book in large numbers.


"A venomously good guide no self-respecting murderer, detective or crime writer should be without..." Best-selling author Peter James

About the Author

Celia Kellett

In her 26 year career as a pharmacist Celia Kellett has dispensed more than one million prescriptions.

Born in Nottingham, home of Boots the chemists, her first job was as a laboratory technician in a cigarette factory in Liverpool. She later moved on to work in school laboratories. After the birth of her two children, she studied for a degree in science and technology through the Open University which led her to study Pharmacy at Aston University in Birmingham.

Registering as a pharmacist in 1980, Celia worked in the pharmacy at Worcester’s Newtown Hospital before moving into community pharmacy in the Midlands.

Her first book The Complete Guide to Natural Medicines was published in 2003. In 2006 she retired from pharmacy.

She now lives in Herefordshire with her husband Charles, a retired civil servant. As well as writing, she enjoys singing in the Ledbury Community Choir and helps to run the local museum in Ledbury.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th November 2009


Celia Kellett

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Accent Press Ltd






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