Wednesday, February 17, 2016

what I've been reading

This was a library discard book that I had taken along to read on vacation.

"A Bitter Brew" by Christine Ellen Young.

It's a true crime story about an arsenic poisoning at a church in Maine in 2003.

I read the first few pages before deciding to take it on the trip. It started off really interesting...I had to force myself to stop reading and save it for vacation.

The beginning of the book describes how one member of a small town Lutheran church had the responsibility of brewing up a big urn of coffee each Sunday before church, for a fellowship gathering after the service.
On this particular Sunday he noticed the lid askew on the urn, later, after returning from the service...but he didn't think too much about it.

Several of the church members noticed the coffee had a horrible taste, but some drank it anyway, others just had a few sips before dumping it.

Then, over the afternoon, one by one, the coffee drinkers became terribly ill.  All were hospitalized, and it didn't take long for the diagnosis...arsenic poisoning.  One person died and others suffered long term effects from the poison.

At this point the author of the book seemed to have no idea how to continue the story. Instead of telling us how detectives investigated the crime and what sort of leads or suspicions they had...she writes about different church members and their gossip and petty snippets of information here and there that never seems to tie anything together.

In fact, she never actually reveals who poisoned the coffee. It's assumed that a church member who supposedly committed suicide five days after the poisoning, was the killer.

I believe this book was written before the investigation was complete - that's why it leaves the murder unsolved.
For this reason, it's not a book I would recommend. 

I left my copy on the ship.

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