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The Poisonous Solicitor: The True Story of a 1920s Murder Mystery

The Poisonous Solicitor: The True Story of a 1920s Murder Mystery

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This real-life murder mystery that inspired the likes of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers in the Golden Age of Crime

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31 May 1922. Major Herbert Armstrong was hanged for poisoning his wife, Katharine, with arsenic.

The only solicitor ever to be hanged in England, he was also accused of attempting to kill a rival solicitor with a poisoned box of chocolates and a scone allegedly laced with arsenic. The 1920s was rife with newspaper sensationalism, hypocrisy and sanctimonious morality, which leads us to ask the question:

Was he really guilty as charged?

One hundred years on, Agatha Award-shortlisted author Stephen Bates revisits the real-life murder mystery in the light of new evidence – a case that inspired the likes of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers in the Golden Age of Crime.

'Immersive and compelling.' - David Kynaston

'Gripping...Guilty or innocent? You decide...' - Robert Lacey

Stephen Bates read Modern History at New College, Oxford before working as a journalist for the BBC, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and, for 22 years, The Guardian, successively there as a political correspondent, European Affairs Editor in Brussels and religious and royal correspondent. A regular broadcaster, he has also written widely for newspapers and magazines in the UK and internationally.

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