I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
I'm being generous in my rating of this book because I genuinely enjoyed it. It gets off to a rough start in terms of readability in the first couple of chapters, but it rights itself and becomes a wonderfully interesting wander through some of the elements in the periodic table. Yes, the science is hard (there are a lot of chemical equations and illustrations of molecules), but the author ties it all to historical anecdotes and uses a very conversational style of writing, so even if some of the science feels impenetrable, it's easy to come away from each chapter getting at least the gist of what he's saying.
The extra 1/2 star is a bonus because he's a very well read (or as least a widely reading) chemist: he frequently refers to not only Christie and Sayers' works, but Stieg Larsson, Clive Cussler, and Ian McEwan and Astrid Lindgren amongst others.
I'm grateful to Tannat for making me aware this book exists.