The Poisoner’s Handbook, by Deborah Blum tells the tale of the birth of modern forensic medicine. Set against the backdrop of Prohibition, moonshine and corruption, this nonfiction offering reads like a crime thriller. The science of the book is accessible without being condescending. Each chapter deals with a specific poison and how it was employed in a specific murder. Manhattan’s newly appointed Chief Medical Examiner, Charles Norris, teams up with a revolutionary toxicologist to tackle some of the most baffling cases and sinister poisons’ of their age. In a time when death certificates were routinely signed, “Act of God,” Charles Norris brought order, accountability and proven results to the witness stand.