Tea Tonic and Toxin: Mystery and Thriller Podcast and Book Club

EPISODES

Tea Tonic and Toxin Episodes - Tea Tonic and Toxin Book Club and Podcast
We’re starting with Edgar Allan Poe, making our way to Wilkie Collins and Arthur Conan Doyle, and then journeying through the 20th century with Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Dashiell Hammett, and more. We’re talking about the best mysteries, thrillers, and detective stories ever written. Join us, won’t you?
Rex Stout: Nero Wolfe in The League of Frightened Men

Rex Stout: Nero Wolfe in The League of Frightened Men

Okay, so we said we love Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, but what we really meant is that we like Nero and love Archie! Rex Stout, you created a gem of a character in Archie. We talk all about it with Ira Brad Matetsky (The Wolfe Pack), who joins Sarah and Carolyn on a second episode!

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Nero Wolfe Mystery Series: The League of Frightened Men

Nero Wolfe Mystery Series: The League of Frightened Men

Ira Brad Matetsky (Werowance, The Wolfe Pack) joins Sarah and Carolyn to talk all things Nero Wolfe and never once asks how in creation they’ve never read a Nero Wolfe novel before now. It’s a mystery, folks, all the more so because we LOVE Nero and Archie Goodwin!

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Bearskin Novel by James A. Laughlin

Bearskin Novel by James A. Laughlin

James A. McLaughlin is the author of Panther Gap and Bearskin, which won the 2019 Edgar Award for Best First Novel and roughly a million more awards. The book’s a marvel, folks, and we’re still thinking about it long after reading. Listen in (no spoilers, so it’s safe!) and then get the book!

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God Knows No Heroes: Norman Shabel

God Knows No Heroes: Norman Shabel

Norman Shabel is the author of eight novels, praised by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano as “terrific, fast-paced reads about the dark side of law enforcement and the judiciary.” Many of his stories are inspired by his career as a plaintiff’s attorney and prosecutor, where he witnessed injustice and oppression on a daily basis.

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Locked Room Mystery: The Three Coffins - The Hollow Man

Locked Room Mystery: The Three Coffins - The Hollow Man

Locked room mysteries are the bomb, folks. Are they still saying that? “The bomb?” Well, here at Tea, Tonic & Toxin we’re still saying it. And we mean it. Fun, short, enjoyable read. Get your Hollow Man on. Unless you’re in the UK, where you’ll get your Three Coffins on. Oh, and listen in.

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Carter Wilson - The Father She Went to Find

Carter Wilson - The Father She Went to Find

Carter Wilson is the USA Today bestselling author of nine standalone psychological thrillers. He's an ITV Thriller Award finalist and five-time Colorado Book Award winner. We met with him and his cat, MacGuffin, at his home in Colorado to discuss his latest book, The Father She Went to Find.

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The Postman Always Rings Twice Novel and Films

The Postman Always Rings Twice Novel and Films

In a dusty roadside diner, love ignites a murderous plot. Or maybe it’s just lust. Or maybe it’s shared psychopathology. Special guest Rebecca Heisler joins Sarah and Carolyn to talk about this groundbreaking noir tale. The postman does indeed rings twice. This story’s dark, folks.

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Barbara Nickless - Play of Shadows

Barbara Nickless - Play of Shadows

Barbara Nickless is a Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling crime novelist who joined Sarah and Carolyn in their makeshift studio for a heartfelt discussion about her writing and research process, her travels, and her latest book, Play of Shadows. Amazing woman, amazing writer. You’ll love her.

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Nick and Nora in The Thin Man

Nick and Nora in The Thin Man

Dashiell Hammett’s granddaughter Julie Rivett joins us on a second episode to discuss The Thin Man, Nick and Nora Charles, and all things Dashiell Hammett. Color us honored, which I envision as pleurigloss with a hint of alpha plaid. What a DELIGHTFUL conversation. Folks, you want to hear what Julie has to say. Trust me.

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Dashiell Hammett Detective Stories

Dashiell Hammett Detective Stories

We could have interviewed Julie M. Rivett for days on end. She’s fascinating in her own right, and she shared AMAZING information about her grandfather, Dashiell Hammett. This one’s a must-listen, folks. Well, they’re all must-listens in our biased opinions, but this one belongs at the top of the must-listen list.

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Mystery Book Club: 2023 Roundup

Mystery Book Club: 2023 Roundup

Wow, what a year. In 2023, our listener base grew by 223%, and we had the great fortune to read and discuss Murder on the Orient Express, The Maltese Falcon, The Innocence of Father Brown, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Thirty-Nine Steps, and the very first Perry Mason novel. Get the scoop on 2023 here!

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Dorothy Sayers The Nine Tailors

Dorothy Sayers The Nine Tailors

Autodesk cofounder and Dorothy L. Sayers super scholar Dan Drake joins Sarah and Carolyn on a second episode celebrating The Nine Tailors. Dan introduced us to the word “Sayersiana,” and we feel all the smarter for it. Get your Sayersiana fix by listening to, learning about, and loving all things Dorothy Sayers!

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Best Mystery Podcast 2024

Best Mystery Podcast 2024

The Tea, Tonic & Toxin book club and podcast is on FIRE. Our 2024 book club picks are live and kicking, and in this bonus episode we’d love to introduce all 12 of them to you. We’re reading mysteries published from 1934-1939. And we'll have lots of guests and author interviews — BIG things on the horizon, folks!

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The Nine Tailors: Lord Peter Wimsey

The Nine Tailors: Lord Peter Wimsey

Oh, those bells! Tis the season for The Nine Tailors, whose story begins on New Year’s Eve and includes an immense amount of bell-ringing. (“Tailors” are church bell strokes that announce a death.) Joining Sarah and Carolyn is Dorothy L. Sayers aficionado Dan Drake. So much holiday goodness -- we almost can't stand it!

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Agatha Christie Poirot Books: Murder on the Orient Express

Agatha Christie Poirot Books: Murder on the Orient Express

Emily Schwartz is back to discuss whodunit on the Orient Express. Could a reader new to the story identify the murderer before the very end? Is there even such a thing as a reader new to the story, or has everyone seen the film? And what did you think of Branagh’s version of the film?

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Agatha Christie Books: Murder on the Orient Express

Agatha Christie Books: Murder on the Orient Express

Playwright, artistic director, and Renaissance woman Emily Schwartz joins Sarah and Carolyn to dish all things Agatha Christie. On a completely (un)related note, Emily, Sarah, and Carolyn have boarded the Simplon-Orient Express train in search of adventure. Listen in. And stay tuned …

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Agatha Christie Cookbook: Recipes for Murder by Karen Pierce

Agatha Christie Cookbook: Recipes for Murder by Karen Pierce

Sarah Harrison and Carolyn Daughters interview Recipes for Murder author Karen Pierce about all things Agatha Christie -- her books, her life, the adaptations of her work. Let’s just say this amazing Christie superfan knows her stuff.

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Recipes for Murder (Agatha Christie Recipes): Karen Pierce Interview

Recipes for Murder (Agatha Christie Recipes): Karen Pierce Interview

Sarah Harrison and Carolyn Daughters interview detective-fiction devotee, food lover, and Agatha Christie superfan Karen Pierce about her amazing new cookbook, Recipes for Murder. With 66 dishes from Christie's novels, what's not to love?

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The First of the Perry Mason Books

The First of the Perry Mason Books

It's time for Perry Mason! The year is 1933, and we meet Perry for the very first time, along with his trusted Girl Friday, Della Street. Perry has a moral code that’s hard to shake, and Della’s pretty cool -- though she’s no Effie Perine. If we’re wrong, tell us. We can take it.

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Rumor of Evil: Gary Braver Interview

Rumor of Evil: Gary Braver Interview

Sarah Harrison and Carolyn Daughters interview bestselling thriller author Gary Braver. In this in-depth discussion, Gary talks about his new book, Rumor of Evil, the Slender Man case that inspired it, and his writing inspiration, technique, and diverse publication history. Join us, won’t you?

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Malice Aforethought: Best Crime Novels

Malice Aforethought: Best Crime Novels

Sarah, Carolyn, and guest Nate Harrison find Dr. Edmund Bickleigh entertaining, confusing, and terrifying. He has an inferiority complex with a big, whopping side of superiority. I guess everyone has truths that they hide from the world. What are we each hiding? And why?

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Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles

Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles

Nate Harrison joins Sarah and Carolyn to discuss superman complexes, people who murder their spouses, and reasons why no one should ever eat a potted meat sandwich. Malice Aforethought ranks #16 in the Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time (Crime Writers’ Association). It's worth a go!

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The Maltese Falcon Movie and Book

The Maltese Falcon Movie and Book

Sarah, Carolyn, and Mike Nugent keep the Maltese Falcon conversation flowing with LOADS more thoughts about Sam Spade, Effie Perine, Casper Gutman, Joel Cairo, and, of course, the ever-elusive Brigid O'Shaughnessy. Folks, we have a lot of ground to cover. Join us, won’t you?

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Sam Spade: The Maltese Falcon

Sam Spade: The Maltese Falcon

Author Mike Nugent joins Sarah and Carolyn to talk about noir, crime fiction, and all things Sam Spade (who’s described as resembling a blond satan). The Maltese Falcon changed the way crime fiction was written. You’ll want to read it in one sitting and then give our podcast a listen.

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Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op

Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op

Hey, Continental Op, what’s your deal? Are you a hero? Anti-hero? Something else altogether? Hear our thoughts about the Op, Dinah Brand, Whisper, and all the gang – and let us know your tally of how many people wind up dead in the book. It’s hard to keep track.

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Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

What a bloody, crime-filled, mindbender of a novel. There’s no delightful married couple with a fox terrier in this one, and Poisonville lacks the seedy charm of 1920s San Francisco. Red Harvest is a crime thriller masterpiece, and the Continental Op is an anti-hero for the ages.

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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

As Sir Walter Scott once wrote, “what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” In The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, most everyone’s lying about something – and one of those liars is both a blackmailer and a killer. Eli Milliman joins Sarah and Carolyn to hash it out!

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Is it the Best Mystery Novel?

Is it the Best Mystery Novel?

The super smart, highly creative, and always entertaining Eli Milliman joins Sarah and Carolyn in a lively, introspective discussion of Agatha Christie’s rightfully famous The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. The ending is a shocker. Christie was a genius, no two ways about it.

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The First Lord Peter Wimsey Book

The First Lord Peter Wimsey Book

Carolyn did not expect Lord Peter Wimsey to be so complex. He suffers from PTSD, and Dorothy Sayers does a bang-up job of conveying the otherworldly disconnect some experience during panic attacks. He won Carolyn over. The always insightful Sarah liked him all along.

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Lord Peter Wimsey: Whose Body?

Lord Peter Wimsey: Whose Body?

Introducing the irrepressible Lord Peter Wimsey, Golden Age amateur detective extraordinaire. In this 1923 novel, Dorothy Sayers features a gentleman sleuth who will appear in many books to come. Sarah and Carolyn enjoyed this book immensely. Now, tell us what YOU think!

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Introducing Poirot and Hastings!

Introducing Poirot and Hastings!

Special guest Jill Carstens returns to talk more about The Mysterious Affair at Styles, where we meet Hercule Poirot. He’s a methodical marvel who’s nonplussed by the affairs, awkward proposals, loveless marriages, and privileged egotism of the various suspects. Poirot is delightful. Much like Sarah, Carolyn, and Jill.

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The Mysterious Affair at Styles

The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Sarah, Carolyn, and special guest Jill Carstens would like to spend some time at Styles Court. Strolls around the grounds, hours spent reading each day, afternoon tea, evening libations … An outlier among a cast of selfish characters, Hercule Poirot is sympathetic, smart, and, of course, THE foremost master of detection.

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The Thirty-Nine Steps (39 Steps Part II)

The Thirty-Nine Steps (39 Steps Part II)

Sarah and Carolyn and special guest Wendi Anderson discuss approximately 492 topics related to but not directly about John Buchan’s short, fast-paced espionage thriller The Thirty-Nine Steps. We learn that both Sarah and Wendi will open the door when a stranger knocks. Sarah will even let that someone use her phone.

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The Thirty-Nine Steps

The Thirty-Nine Steps

Sarah and Carolyn and special guest Wendi Anderson love The Thirty-Nine Steps, a fast-paced man on the run thriller published in 1915. Warning: Listening to this episode will make you want to become a freelance spy and move to Scotland. If you’re already a freelance spy and live in Scotland, we’re jealous.

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The First Golden Age Detective Story

The First Golden Age Detective Story

Carolyn dislikes Trent, and she would not invite him to her dinner party. Sarah, on the other hand, would probably bring Trent as her guest to Carolyn’s dinner party, putting Carolyn in an awkward hostess-ly position. The Golden Age begins here, folks, and we are too excited to type more words.

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Trent's Last Case by E. C. Bentley

Trent's Last Case by E. C. Bentley

Trent’s Last Case is one of the best mystery stories of all time according to Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and The New York Times. What do YOU think? Does the book live up to the hype? Carolyn and Sarah have some strong opinions to share. You’ll want to listen in!

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Father Brown Stories

Father Brown Stories

Our fabulous guest Deb Donner is back to discuss the stories in The Innocence of Father Brown. (By now, you surely have a copy of the book, right?) Father Brown solves mysteries by looking into men’s and women’s hearts and souls. We’re talking human nature, folks. It’s some heady, thought-provoking stuff.

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Father Brown Mysteries

Father Brown Mysteries

Sarah and Carolyn discuss this AMAZING collection of Father Brown mysteries with their first Tea, Tonic & Toxin podcast guest, Deb Donner! Deb is wise, insightful, and patient. She didn’t complain once during the ~14 hours it took Sarah and Carolyn to get their act together. Way to go, Deb!

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Golden Age of Detective Fiction

Golden Age of Detective Fiction

Oh, yeah, Sarah and Carolyn are unreasonably excited about the books we’ll be reading and discussing in 2023. We’re diving head first into the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, dear listeners. We’re talking Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Dashiell Hammett … It’s gonna be a wild ride. Join us, won’t you?

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Poe and Conan Doyle

Poe and Conan Doyle

Holy moly, we read and discussed some amazing mysteries and detective stories in 2022: “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe, The Moonstone and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, and loads more. Check out our 2022 retrospective!

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Lady Molly of Scotland Yard

Lady Molly of Scotland Yard

Sarah and Carolyn adore Lady Molly of Scotland Yard and Mary, her devoted friend (servant?). Molly’s like Charlie Cale in Poker Face (if Charlie Cale had more social graces, that is). Molly instinctively knows when people are lying and solves cases that the Scotland Yard guys can’t. Rock on, Molly.

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All About Holmes and Watson

All About Holmes and Watson

Holmes and Watson are an amazing pair. Sherlock Holmes is a force of nature, and Watson’s a pretty impressive investigator in his own right. Both are terrified of supernatural hounds. To be fair, we’re also terrified of supernatural hounds. We are, however, BIG fans of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

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The Science of Deduction

The Science of Deduction

The curse of the Baskervilles is scary stuff, and Dartmoor is terrifying. Until, that is, you realize that Dartmoor is stunning. (Seriously, Arthur Conan Doyle, it’s a lovely area.) Would you move into the Dartmoor family mansion if given the chance? We would. Most definitely, curse or no curse.

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The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill

The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill

Israel Zangwill may not be a household name, but it should be. His 1892 novel, The Big Bow Mystery, is a locked-room mystery set in London’s working-class East End. Two detectives race to solve a murder, an innocent man is condemned, and the solution’s a shocker. (And it’s laugh-out-loud funny.)

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All About Locked Room Mysteries

All About Locked Room Mysteries

We weren’t familiar with locked room mysteries when we started The Big Bow Mystery, but now we’re way into them. Many books have since borrowed the book’s twist ending, but Israel Zangwill did it first. What twist, you ask? Um, you really need to read the book AND listen in!

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A Study in Scarlet

A Study in Scarlet

Carolyn and Sarah are both confused by the narrator’s description of the hellish wasteland known as the Salt Lake Valley. Did you know that much of A Study in Scarlet takes place in Utah of all places? We didn’t. We’re behind on our Sherlock Holmes studies. Anyhow, minds blown.

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Study in Scarlet Podcast

Study in Scarlet Podcast

Carolyn wishes she could invite Sherlock Holmes and Watson to a dinner party. Sarah finds Holmes off-putting. Both Carolyn and Sarah love Holmes’s concept of a “brain attic,” wherein the brain can store only a limited amount of information at any given time. That, dear friend, is a true story.

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A Melbourne Mystery!

A Melbourne Mystery!

Sarah and Carolyn think Victorian Melbourne was delightful. So, who committed the hansom cab murder? You’ll have to listen to the Fergus Hume podcast to find out. Or you can find out by reading the book. Here’s an idea: Read the book AND listen to the podcast episode!

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The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Podcast

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Podcast

Sarah and Carolyn decide to book one-way tickets to Melbourne because Fergus Hume’s 1886 novel is just that good. The mysteries are aplenty, and the Australian setting is pure delight. Who committed the murder in the hansom cab – and why? So many twists, turns, and red herrings …

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Wilkie Collins Podcast: The Moonstone

Wilkie Collins Podcast: The Moonstone

Sarah and Carolyn dig into the second part of Wilkie Collins’ 1868 novel, The Moonstone. Who stole the Indian gem from the young woman who inherits it from the guy who initially stole it. (You tracking?) The second part (second period) is called The Discovery of the Truth. It's SO good!

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The Moonstone Podcast

The Moonstone Podcast

Sarah and Carolyn discuss the first part of Wilkie Collins’ 1868 novel, The Moonstone. This masterpiece includes a stolen Indian gem with a bloody past, plot twists, red herrings, a small circle of suspects, and a couple amazing detectives. The first part (first period) is called The Loss of the Diamond, and it’s a serious page-turner.

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The Notting Hill Mystery

The Notting Hill Mystery

Sarah and Carolyn discuss a little-known 1865 mystery that's purportedly set in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood. The New York Times Book Review called the story “both utterly of its time and utterly ahead of it.” Sarah also discusses her hatred of italics, and Carolyn regrets stealing a French fry back when she worked at McDonald’s.

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Ode to Marian Halcombe

Ode to Marian Halcombe

Sarah and Carolyn discuss Wilkie Collins' masterpiece. And by masterpiece, Carolyn means The Woman in White. Though Sarah might argue his masterpiece is The Moonstone. Thing is, The Moonstone doesn’t have Marian Halcombe in it. Or Count Fosco, for that matter. If you’re picking up what I’m putting down, then you’re on Team Carolyn.

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The Woman in White Podcast

The Woman in White Podcast

Sarah and Carolyn debate whether Wilkie Collins' 1860 thriller The Woman in White is a sensation novel or detective story … or both. See, we’re playing both sides here, because books can be many things. And because Carolyn’s annoyed by Hartright and Sarah’s annoyed by all of the women characters. Or something along those lines.

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All About Lady Dedlock

All About Lady Dedlock

Sarah and Carolyn discuss Dickens's stunning novel, which introduces the smartest guy in the room (and possibly all of London), Inspector Bucket. He’s a model for so many detectives to come, which is reason 4,372,876 why Carolyn thinks this novel is Dickens’s best. For her part, Sarah thinks he’s a little sketchy (Bucket, not Dickens).

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All About Jarndyce and Jarndyce

All About Jarndyce and Jarndyce

In our Bleak House Podcast, Sarah and Carolyn discuss Dickens's very best novel, Bleak House. Yes, that's the Tea, Tonic & Toxin gang throwing down the gauntlet. If you know of a more compelling, more heart-wrenching Dickens novel, please let us know. If you don’t, start reading this amazing book now. As in, right now.

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The Purloined Letter Podcast

The Purloined Letter Podcast

Sarah and Carolyn discuss Edgar Allan Poe's famous "howdunit" starring C. Auguste Dupin. We determine that Dupin and the narrator would make terrible dinner guests, as they both seem sort of hermit-like and night-owl-ish and full of themselves. However, we do wish Poe had written a dozen more mystery stories with Dupin at the helm.

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All About Auguste Dupin

All About Auguste Dupin

Sarah and Carolyn discuss the near impossibility that anyone could figure out who murdered those two women in Edgar Allan Poe's “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” The story introduces amateur detective Auguste Dupin. He’s as annoying as he is smart, and he could give Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot a run for their money.

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What Is Tea Tonic and Toxin?

What Is Tea Tonic and Toxin?

Tea, Tonic & Toxin is a book club and podcast for anyone who loves the best mysteries, detective stories, and thrillers ever written. We’re taking a chronological journey through game-changing books that were instrumental to the evolution of the genre. Read. Reflect. Weigh in. And be sure to subscribe and listen!

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