Before Agatha Christie became the world’s best-selling mystery writer, toxic compounds were, for a time, part of her everyday life.

For most of the First World War (1914–1918), Christie worked in a hospital as a nurse and later mixing medicines, as she recalled in her autobiography. “It was while I working in the dispensary that I first conceived of writing a detective story,” wrote Christie (1890–1976).
She first learned about “curare,” which is stored in clay pots like this one, as a young woman from a deceptively bland pharmacist…

Before Agatha Christie became the world’s best-selling mystery writer, toxic compounds were, for a time, part of her everyday life.

For most of the First World War (1914–1918), Christie worked in a hospital as a nurse and later mixing medicines, as she recalled in her autobiography. “It was while I working in the dispensary that I first conceived of writing a detective story,” wrote Christie (1890–1976).

She first learned about “curare,” which is stored in clay pots like this one, as a young woman from a deceptively bland pharmacist

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