A Bitter Brew: Faith, Power, and Poison in a Small New England Town (Berkley True Crime)

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9780425209189: A Bitter Brew: Faith, Power, and Poison in a Small New England Town (Berkley True Crime)
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Provides a close-up look at the 2003 arsenic poisoning of members of the Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church in New Sweden, Maine, a crime that claimed the life of one elderly man and left fifteen others seriously ill, revealing the sinister town secret that lay at the heart of the baffling murder case. Reprint.

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About the Author:

Christine Ellen Young is an award-winning investigative journalist who has worked in both newspaper and television. She has received the coveted Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, the National Headliner Award, the National Clarion Award, and the Edward R. Murrow Award, as well as numerous honors from the Associated Press. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Southern Maine and lives with her husband, photojournalist John Pertel, and their children.

From Publishers Weekly:

On an April Sunday in 2003, 16 people became ill, and one died, after congregants at Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church in New Sweden, Maine (population 621), sipped coffee laced with arsenic. Five days after the poisoning, Daniel Bondeson, a longtime church member, shot himself to death, leaving a note admitting to the crime and stating that he had acted alone. In this workmanlike true-crime account, Young, a TV reporter who earned the trust of some residents of this insular town, focuses on why this confession only increased speculation, fueled, she charges, by unsubstantiated police statements about a larger conspiracy. Many locals suspected Bondeson's sister, Norma, of being the ringleader. Young finds that Norma, who grew up near New Sweden, was viewed as an outsider for having lived away for years; further, her "feisty and opinionated" manner had alienated many congregants. Young illuminates the congregation's strong Swedish roots, as well as its ugly infighting. She concludes (though she was unable to interview Norma herself) that Daniel's sister was unjustly accused. But her use of unnecessary fictionalized dialogue among detectives who are composites is a questionable narrative tactic in a true-crime tale. (Apr. 5)
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Book Description Berkley Publishing Group. Paperback / softback. Condition: new. BRAND NEW, A Bitter Brew: Faith, Power, and Poison in a Small New England Town, Christine Ellen Young, Panic and suspicion give way to bizarre accusations of conspiracy, revenge, and blood feuds in this true story behind the 2003 Maine church arsenic poisonings. photos. Postponed from 3/06. Seller Inventory # B9780425209189

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