HarperNorth has scooped a “fascinating” blend of popular science and true crime with a book on infamous poisons by Dr Neil Bradbury.
TheBookSeller reports that senior commissioning editor Jonathan de Peyer acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, for A Taste for Poison: Eleven Deadly Substances and the Killers Who Used Them from St Martin’s Press in New York. The book will publish in hardback, e-book and audio in January 2022.
Bradbury said: “As a scientist, I find poisons fascinating. Even a tiny amount can be deadly. What is equally remarkable is how many of these same poisons can be life-savers when used appropriately. Strange as it may seem, understanding how our bodies work, how they fail and how they can be repaired would simply not have been possible without poisons. I am thrilled to be working with the team at HarperNorth to uncover the science and history of true crime poisonings.”
For De Peyer: “This fantastically salacious and morbidly captivating book arrived in a miasma of killer endorsements from a who’s-who of crime writers. Neil’s peculiar alchemy of popular science and thrilling historical detail kept me awake at night.”
As any reader of murder mysteries can tell you, the synopsis states, poison is one of the most enduring—and popular—weapons of choice for a scheming murderer. It can be slipped into a drink, smeared onto the tip of an arrow or the handle of a door, even filtered through the air we breathe. But how exactly do these poisons work to break our bodies down, and what can we learn from the damage they inflict? A Taste for Poison weaves together the fascinating tales of spurned lovers, shady scientists, medical professionals and political assassins, showing how the precise systems of the body can be impaired to lethal effect through the use of poison.