Poisoner’s Handbook

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Just launched, our elaborate HTML5 interactive graphic novel, Tales from the Poisoner’s Handbook.

Follow forensic chemist Alexander Gettler and chief medical examiner Dr. Charles Norris through Jazz-Age New York as they solve four criminal cases with groundbreaking forensic science.

Using four case studies of lethal poisons, you can find the visual evidence, chemical trails, and supporting evidence to uncover the truth and learn some basics about biochemistry – the impact of poisons on the human body.

Each story contains lean-forward digital role-playing of detailed lab experiments. Students boil bones, mix chemicals, and examine tissue samples to discover how the actual science was conducted. This epistemic method of role-play also allows these dangerous poisons to be safely incorporated into a classroom.

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The project also contains an annotated gallery of contemporary images:

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Testing has been fun, on tablets and interactive whiteboards, as this has been designed for a variety of classroom uses:


It also took us to forensic labs and into classrooms where forensics is taught. Poking through the supply rooms has its surprises…

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The project complements a PBS/WGBH American Experience adaptation of Deborah Blum’s book about poison. The Poisoner’s Handbook premieres on PBS January 7, 2014 at 8/7c.

Credits? Follow the links within the novel to unearth the Responsible Parties. If you dare.

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