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HowDunit - The Book of Poisons First Eedi Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 003-5313641268
ISBN-10: 158297456X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Serita Stevens is a registered nurse who works as a clinical director and as a legal nurse investigator on medical-related cases. She also helps film companies medically bullet proof their scripts, and her book, The Forensic Nurse, has been optioned for a TV show.

Anne Louise Bannon has written for magazines and newspapers across the country, including Emergency Physicians Monthly and Homeland Protection Professional.
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Product Details

  • Series: Howdunit
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; First Eedi edition (January 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158297456X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582974569
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I originally purchased this book to serve as one of several references for a book I was writing for NaNoWriMo ([...]) but it turned into the only reference I really needed. There is lots of very good information available in an easy to understand form. While I learned that killing someone with rhubarb leaves was just not conceivable, unless they had a really odd rhubarb allergy, I could rather easily accomplish the same goal using oleander. And I learned that the authorities are smart enough to look for oleander poisoning in suspicious circumstances. Like I said, lots of good information for writers.

The book very specifically states that the information contained therein is not to be used to break any known or future laws and that the information is to be used for reference for writing and other mind games. (I am paraphrasing wildly.) Good book. Worth every nickel.
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Pretty much the greatest book ever. Gives ratings on how dangerous the poison is, where it can be found, its side effects and what parts of the body it affects, how quickly it takes effect, and the antidote for it. All-in-all, very well put together and completely amazing.
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Excellent comprehensive book about poisons for those of us who are not chemists or criminal toxicologists, but want to murder a character in a mystery novel. Poisons are identified and grouped from every angle you can think of, and more. Such as: symptoms, forms, household poisons, poisonous animals and plants, wars---just to name a very few of the many; along with histories, access and antidotes. "Exactly what your villain needs to succeed and exactly what could foil his plans." Aside from the foregoing there are chapters of just plain old good reading. And the BONUS: a chapter on "Create Your Own Poison," along with reasons why you might need to do so. The two authors are well qualified to tell you what you want to know and what you didn't realize you need to know - about poisons. As for me, the only creatures I want to kill are ticks, but I'm not accountable for what my villains want to do. HowDunit - The Book of Poisons
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A potentially entertaining and useful resource for anyone shopping for poisons, this book wore my index finger out highlighting the gross inaccuracies and misinformation that infests its pages.

I don't know how the authors managed to cobble together such an ill-researched insult to the fine art of poisoning. Holmes himself would have been disgusted at their lack of methodology. (The mere fact that Holmes and his methods were never even mentioned should tell you something.)

Having served as medical editor to several works by lay authors on medically-based topics, my final impression has been, "Thank God they hired me, (or someone else with an M.D.), because they surely did a fine botch job on their own."

Now, that is not intended as an insult. If I wanted to write a reference book on the fine art of jumping off of bridges, I would certainly consult a bridge-building engineer. I know nothing about the mechanics of bridges that relate to their effectiveness as a means of suicide. I do know a lot about the mechanics of what happens to bodies when they fly through the air and strike things, because that's within my fund of knowledge. However, what makes one bridge a more effective jump than another must be left to the bridge engineer.

I admire the ambitiousness of the project, and was all eager to dive into the world of poisons; but time and again I found myself gritting my teeth at some grievous error or omission that could have been easily remedied by a decently thorough medical edit.

And speaking of editing, this book suffers pitifully from a lack of basic editing for clarity, content, and style. I nearly broke my nose on several occasions, due to a vigorous face-palm secondary to horrid copy.
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This book tells you the name of the poison,what area it effects(heart,breathing,muscles,ect.) What the reactions are of the one poisoned,
and how long it takes for this reaction to kick-in. Its great if you want
to use the correct poison for the job at hand( this pertains to writing,or
its listing of symptoms could help identify a type of poison,so you might
treat them as patients.
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This book makes a good reference for mystery or crime fiction writers. It lists various poisons from drugs to plants and other poisons, and gives details, such as symptoms, antidotes, reaction time, etc. I’ve used the information in it to aid me in writing a couple of mysteries I’ve written. Sometimes I wished it would go into a little more depth than it does, but all in all I found it a great reference book to add to my shelf of writing books.
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Decently comprehensive list of poisons for writing purposes. Definitely helps you sort through your options to kill off a villain or an unsuspecting soul. What would be really helpful is if this book described how and if any of these poisons could be detected on visual inspection of the body, or at autopsy.
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I bought this book when I learned my previous copy was so hopelessly out of date that wikipedia was a better resource. (The edition before this one was called Deadly Doses) A lot has changed about research since the first one was written and it's obvious the author put on her wellies and waded through a lot of information. More poisons more pages. It's amazing what she crammed into this book

Like the old one it has several ways you can cross reference by your needs, such as time to take effect or application. The font is small, but it's easier to read than the one before, and the touch of colour makes the whole thing much easier to navigate. This book is so good I was asked for the name by a chemistry student because he didn't have anything like it.
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