18 November 2015
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Venue: Barts Pathology Museum, St Barts Hospital, West Smithfield, London, EC1A 7BE
Agatha Christie revelled in the use of poison to kill off unfortunate victims in her books; indeed, she employed it more than any other murder method, with the poison itself often being a central part of the novel. Her choice of deadly substances was far from random – the chemical and physiological characteristics of each often provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. With gunshots or stabbings the cause of death is obvious, but this is not the case with poisons. How is it that some compounds prove so deadly, and in such tiny amounts? Kathryn Harkup's talk investigates the poison (or poisons) used by the murderer in several classic Agatha Christie mysteries. It looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, the cases that may have inspired Christie, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering and detecting these poisons, both at the time the novel was written and today.
Kathryn Harkup is a trained chemist and freelance science communicator who swapped the fume hood to deliver talks and workshops on the quirky side of science. Kathryn’s book “A is for Arsenic: The Poison’s of Agatha Christie” will be available to purchase at the event. Find her on Twitter as @RotwangsRobot