Literature’s Torrid Love Affair with Arsenic

arsenic for authors courtesy of pixabay bottle-1481599_960_720Guest Post
by Ben Steele

If arsenic had a golden age, it was probably the Victorian era in England and the United States. It was in bloody everything, from wallpaper, to clothing dye, to cosmetics. If arsenic had a golden age in terms of literature, it was probably the mid-1900s, though by then its career as an actual murder weapon was being regulated out of relevance. Still, writers like Agatha Christie made arsenic one of the most well-known and sordid tools in popular crime fiction.

There is an absolute ton of juicy content to get into here. For a start, it really was as common as you hear, according to Sandra Hempel, an author and expert on the subject. She states, “Through much of the nineteenth century, a third of all criminal cases of poisoning involved arsenic. One reason for its popularity was simply its availability. All you had to do was go into a chemist’s shop and say that you needed to kill rats.” Continue reading “Literature’s Torrid Love Affair with Arsenic”

Sneak Peek: James Bagworth’s “Out of the Limelight”

Out of the LimelightToday we have a sneak peek of James Bagworth’s historical murder mystery, Out of the Limelight.

In the bawdy world of 19th century Music Hall, comedians Farrow and Flint find themselves accused of murder. Their struggle to clear their name leads them into a dark world, far from the bright lights of theatre, crossing paths with conspirators, murderers and lovers, and finally leading them to a chilling discovery in the depths of Victorian London.

This is a novel for readers who like their murders lightened with humour; for fans of Sherlock Holmes, Midsomer Murders, New Tricks or Frost.

Out of the Limelight is available for purchase on and Amazon UK. Continue reading “Sneak Peek: James Bagworth’s “Out of the Limelight””