Agatha Christie and the Guilty Pleasure of Poison examines Christie’s female poisoners in the context of Christie’s own experience in pharmacy and of detective fiction. In doing so, it uncovers an overlooked dynamic in which female poisoners deliver well-deserved comeuppance for gendered and classed wrongdoing ordinarily accepted in everyday life. While critics have long recognized male outlaws, like Robin Hood, who use crime to oppose a corrupt system, this book contends that female outlaws – witches and poisoners – offer a similar heritage of empowered femininity. Far from cozy and formulaic, Agatha Christie’s outlaw poisoners offer readers the surprising pleasures of comeuppance, and they set the stage for contemporary detective fiction writers, more recent films depicting poisoning as empowering, and even poison gardens, which are tourist destinations that offer visitors the guilty pleasure of poison.
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