All was quiet in the Bodle home in Plumstead village on the morning of 2 November 1833. In the large ten bedroom farmhouse, the maid Sophia Taylor began preparing breakfast while, at the cottage down the track, Mary Higgins came down to set the fire. But all was not as it seemed that morning....
When the local doctor was summoned several hours later he found four women suffering from severe vomiting and stomach pains whilst the master of the house was delirious with pain. His suspicions raised, the doctor contacted Michael Faraday at his laboratory in Woolwich. So began a chain of events that would grip the entire nation.
For in the 19th century, criminal poisoning was terrifyingly easy, yet almost impossible to prove - a situation that resulted in no end of mischief. 'The fell spirit of the Borgias' was said to be sweeping across the land and as the panic reached fever pitch, so the race to find the definitive test began....
Read by Patience Tomlinson
Not just an account of a murder and a trial this book also contains plenty of information about the development of forensic toxicology and includes other famous cases relevant to the subject.
Read beautifully and vivaciously by Patience Tomlinson.
I would highly recommend this book to fans of 'The Suspicions of Mr Wicher', 'The Invention of Murder' and 'A is for Arsenic'.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Interesting story of Victorian rat poison used on people. well read-some times. too much info?
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Inheritor's Powder the most enjoyable?
A book for anyone who enjoyed "The Suspicions of Mr Wicher" - combining very thorough research and careful pacing of the plot that builds a vivid picture of rural society in the 1830s, with its web of relationships in the family and village - of people seemingly obsessed with money and inheritance, and accepting and dealing with death and its, to us, crude physical manifestations in a matter-of-fact way without touchy-feeliness. A caste of the main characters would help, if that is possible with audible's format
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Inheritor's Powder?
The fairly disgusting descriptions of the physical symptoms of arsenic poisoning
Have you listened to any of Patience Tomlinson’s other performances? How does this one compare?
Not to my knowlege, but it was easy on the ear
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
In a way, but I like to keep audible books for when I am cooking and ironing, and choose books that can be listened to in this way, I would never choose a "literary" novel as it demands more concentration.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
I liked the book. It describes the case well and has lots of extra information about the development of scientific tests for poison. the narrator does a good job but this reading has a pet peeve or mine - what's with the voices!? When she puts on a voice for the servants for instance, she does a country bumpkin accent, not remotely London. They all sound like they're from Somerset! I find that really irritating and wish she could have just read the lot in her normal voice.
A cracking good story and detailed court proceedings. Just too much scientific detail later in the book.
This could have been a great book. But it is continually interrupted with historical facts and explanations. While these are certainly interesting, I just wanted to hear about the murder and the “who done it” element!
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
No. The actual story line is minimal and filled with, what I could only describe as, Chemistry lessons.
What will your next listen be?
What does Patience Tomlinson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Obviously an accomplished presenter .. not a lot to work with here though.
If this book were a film would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
Disappointing and not at all as expected.