The Secret Art of Poisoning

"Samantha Battams has written an engrossing account of the Needle case and set it moreover in the context of a time when vulnerable children - and adults - had little support dealing with abuse and mental illness, with tragic effects...enjoyable and interesting to read and it extended my knowledge not only of the Needle case itself but of social and judicial conditions in late Victorian society in Australia." David Kilner, crime-fiction author
 
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The Secret Art of Poisoning

The Red Devil

book reviews

The Secret Art of Poisoning reviews:

"Samantha Battams has written an engrossing account of the Needle case and set it moreover in the context of a time when vulnerable children - and adults - had little support dealing with abuse and mental illness, with tragic effects...enjoyable and interesting to read and it extended my knowledge not only of the Needle case itself but of social and judicial conditions in late Victorian society in Australia." David Kilner, crime-fiction author

I thoroughly recommend this book to the reader as a tour de force of history, sociology and legal frameworks which brings to life a day long past with advice and direction for our future considerations. Dr Pamela Schulz, OAM\

'Battams poignant beautifully crafted narrative is underpinned by a critical understanding of the psychological and sociological intricacies of the period. She explores the complexities of the case to make sense of an otherwise incomprehensible tragedy, simultaneously placing Martha’s personal and family predicament in the context of the communities in which they lived.' Dr Denise George, author of Mary Lee biography

"Dr Battams has ... thoroughly researched Martha's story and set it against a well-written backdrop describing the impact of social and economic conditions of the time." Frank Review, Goodreads Reader

"This was a very interesting and detailed read...The story was easy to follow and am looking forward to reading Samantha Battams next book." Lyn, Goodreads Reader

"Thoroughly enjoyable read! A great insight into the social and economic struggles of the time told through the life experiences of Martha Needle. I particularly enjoyed reading the actual transcript of the trial and the characters surrounding it." Jess, Goodreads Reader

"Overall, the ‘Secret Art of Poisoning’ is filled with rich descriptions of the life and times of Martha Needle, which immerses you in that world and succeeds in providing you with much richer and complex understanding of her story. A must read for those interested in crime and history." Jonathon, Amazon Reader

 

Goodreads reviews

IN THE PRESS
It was called Rough on Rats, a 19th-Century rodent poison that was little more than a box of arsenic coloured with coal. Such was its reputation as a weapon of murder that chemists made their customers sign a purchase book, and each signature needed an independent witness. But Martha Needle found a way to stockpile Rough on Rats....
The Sunday Mail, 2019
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