Martha Needle by Brian Williams

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ISBN 9781921024955 New Holland Publishers 2018 paperback 400 The spellbinding story of Australia’s most infamous femme fatale

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The extraordinary Martha Needle was not only the most treacherous poisoner in Australian history she clearly stands out as one of the nation’s worst murderesses of all time. And from an international perspective, she still ranks among the world’s most prolific female killers. In her day, Martha was as big as Ned Kelly and she even shared the same pugnacious lawyer. Throughout late 1894, her epic tale kept the Australian community transfixed and was dramatically reported around the globe as ‘the story of the century’. Even in more modern times, the story of Martha Needle continues to be widely chronicled as one of the most mind boggling poisoning cases in the annals of crime and she remains a polarising figure in Australian history. Luridly dubbed the ‘Black Widow’ by the world’s press, this manipulating young woman deviously used arsenic to exterminate all those around her who stood in the way of her personal ambitions which ultimately even included her own children.