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Forensics For Dummies [Kindle Edition]

Douglas P. Lyle
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A plain-English primer on crime scene investigation that's a must for fans of CSI or Patricia Cornwell
Since the O. J. Simpson case, popular interest in forensic science has exploded: CBS's CSI has 16 to 26 million viewers every week, and Patricia Cornwell's novels featuring a medical examiner sleuth routinely top bestseller lists, to cite just a few examples. Now, everyone can get the lowdown on the science behind crime scene investigations. Using lots of fascinating case studies, forensics expert Dr. D. P. Lyle clues people in on everything from determining cause and time of death to fingerprints, fibers, blood, ballistics, forensic computing, and forensic psychology. With its clear, entertaining explanations of forensic procedures and techniques, this book will be an indispensable reference for mystery fans and true crime aficionados everywhere-and even includes advice for people interested in forensic science careers.
D. P. Lyle, MD (Laguna Hills, CA), is a practicing cardiologist who is also a forensics expert and mystery writer. He runs a Web site that answers writers' questions about forensics,, and is the author of Murder and Mayhem: A Doctor Answers Medical and Forensic Questions for Writers, as well as several mystery novels. John Pless, MD, is Professor Emeritus of Pathology at Indiana University School of Medicine and former President of the National Association of Medical Examiners.

Editorial Reviews


“…leaves you wondering how anyone ever manages to get away with any crime, let alone murder. Highly recommended...” (Fortean Times, March 2005)

“…fascinating reading…a must-have book…a superb introduction to a fascinating subject…” (Ripperologist, July 2004)

From the Back Cover

Features famous forensic case studies

"Dynamic, entertaining, and educational . . .blows the lid off the science of crime."
—Kathleen Antrim, author of Capital Offense

Fascinated by forensics? This plain-English guide introduces you to all the key players behind the investigations, revealing how they work crime scenes to identify the victim, criminal, and the circumstances surrounding the crime. You’ll follow the medical examiner and the forensic team in action, find out how they collect and evaluate evidence, and get a glimpse into the criminal mind.

Praise for Forensics For Dummies

"Dr. Doug Lyle has created the must-have guide to forensic science."
– Simon Wood, author of Accidents Waiting to Happen

"An informative, fun, and accessible compendium of facts for laymen and professionals alike. Highly recommended."
– Barbara Seranella, creator of the Munch Mancini crime novels

"This is the lay person’s indispensable guide to the fine art of criminal investigation."
— Taylor Smith, author of Liar’s Market and other novels of suspense

Discover how to:

  • Assess the scene of a crime
  • Analyze trace evidence
  • Determine how and when a victim died
  • Trace drugs and poisons in the body
  • Evaluate firearms evidence
  • Pursue a career in forensics

Product Details

  • File Size: 3374 KB
  • Print Length: 390 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0764555804
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (March 8, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004S82RTC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,373 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Resource July 30, 2004
By D. Lacy
Forensics for Dummies is a quick reference for a multitude of Forensics issues. It is well organized and easy to read. Concepts are explained clearly.

A wide range forensic topics are explored, including: Investigating the Crime Lab, Assessing the Scene of the Crime, Getting a Grip on Fingerprints, Analyzing Blood Stain Patterns and What's the Deal with DNA. There are several real life cases in the back of the book, which are useful, as well as a section on common myths dispelled.

If you need basic information about a wide variety of forensics issues, then I would highly recommend this book. I am using it for research in writing mystery fiction, and I think it's an excellent tool for writers.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great starting reference February 28, 2005
As with all the "for Dummies" books, Forensics for Dummies is a great, quick reference and a wonderful starting point for anyone interested in the field. Written by a doctor and full of information that will surely entice anyone who is a fan of crime investigation shows, the book is laid out well and progresses through the entire method used by forensic scientists.

However, this book is only a starting point for anyone seriously interested in pursuing a career in forenics. It makes a handy reference for writers, as well, but those who are interested in making their crime-oriented stories come to life would do well to find another source for in-depth information.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know June 24, 2004
By A Customer
Any "for Dummies" book is a helpful tool for the subject you are interested in; so when I reached the end of this one, it came as no surprise the feeling of satisfaction and excitement that I had about this particular purchase. Being a current student of forensic science myself, any basic information and knowledge that I received from this book will help with my future plans in this field.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EDGAR AWARD NOMINEE!!!!! February 11, 2005
"Forensics for Dummies" has been nominated for an Edgar Award. This is no surprise as it is the very best reference published.

This book will answer all of your questions and entertain you every step of the way!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great For Classroom Use July 8, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As instructor of criminal justice, i find this book remarkable for its clear, simple yet thorough explanation of the basics of forensic science. This book makes a somewhat complicated subject easy for the student to grasp and comprehend. A great supplement to any textbook on this subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forensics Primer November 15, 2007
Great intro book to a fascinating specialty. Fun for CSI junkies like myself. A good read.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good! March 31, 2006
This book caught my eye in the library and I plan on buying a copy for my own shelves. It makes an excellent, basic reference book. But,I have many problems with the editing of this book, particularly toward the end (pages 246 and 254); unfortunately, that happens in many, many books: a lazy editor reads half or two-thirds of the work and thinks, this is pretty good, and then drops the entire matter. I have found, as an editor myself, that the second half of a book is usually of poorer quality than the first half. Nevertheless, as a reference, it is a great jumping-off point, if you are so inclined.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forensics made easier April 13, 2008
This book is great for anyone who is interested in the forensic field, or anyone who is just interested in how the whole process works. It breaks the timeline down and the tools used to solve the crime. It also has a great section in the back, that tells you about 10 famous crimes and how they were solved. I loved reading this book. It is a must have for any future CSI's.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My go to manual for everything forensics.
Published 1 month ago by Kristi Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Great price and delivery
Great price and delivery. The book was very well written and understandable. Even though the author was a professional in his field, he wrote in a manner the layperson could... Read more
Published 1 month ago by -
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All around great. Been around law enforcement most of my life. Love it!
Published 2 months ago by Nancy Key
2.0 out of 5 stars As stated, for Dummies
Very seen on TV. Looking for something with a little more detail.
Published 2 months ago by Rachel Olson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellence
Hakuna Matata = There are no problems (Simba in The Lion King).
Excellent - Merchandise arrived as described, excellent condition, prompt and well packaged, great quality,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rich of San Diego
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
This was a great help when studying forensics. I could follow along with the course and understand difficult concepts. It was also a great read. Read it from cover to cover. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Cecilia M. Pattison-Levi
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
This book was very helpful for my college level forensics class. It was easy to follow and gives you a lot of back story in case you are a history buff like me.
Published 4 months ago by Shopper
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this!
This is a book for writers. Dr. Lyle has put together a lot of information for people who write mysteries/thrillers but have no medical background. Read more
Published 6 months ago by highlandlas
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Very fast shipping. It was shipped the very next day, and at my apartment the day after.
Really great beginner book if you're interested in forensics, unfortunately I decided... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Tabitha Hume
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
My son thinks he would like to go into the forensic field. We were told this was a good book and might help him decide.
Published 7 months ago by debbie
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