The Poisonous Solicitor is Stephen Bates’s narrative investigation into the 1920s case that inspired Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers and Margery Allingham.
In February 1921, Katharine Armstrong died in her bedroom on the first floor of a villa overlooking the borderlands between Wales and England. Within fifteen months of the tragedy, her husband, Herbert Rowse Armstrong, would be arrested, tried and hanged for poisoning her with arsenic. Armstrong’s story was told again and again, decade after decade, in newspaper articles across the world. With all the ingredients of a classic murder mystery, the case is a near-perfect whodunnit. But who, in fact, did it? One hundred years after the execution, Stephen Bates examines and retells the story of the case, evoking the period and atmosphere of the early 1920s, and questioning the fatal judgement.
‘Meticulously researched . . . A gloriously engaging romp’ The Sunday Times