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Howdunit Forensics Paperback – April 4, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1582974743 ISBN-10: 1582974748

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Howdunit Forensics + Police Procedure & Investigation: A Guide for Writers (Howdunit) + HowDunit - The Book of Poisons
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Product Details

  • Series: Howdunit
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (April 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582974748
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582974743
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

D. P. Lyle, MD is the Macavity Award winning and Edgar Award nominated author of the nonfiction books Murder and Mayhem: A Doctor Answers Medical and Forensic Questions for Mystery Writers and Forensics for Dummies. His published fiction includes the thrillers Devil's Playground and Double Blind. He has worked as a story and technical consultant with many published authors and with the writers and producers of several popular television shows, including Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Monk, Medium and House.
www.dplylemd.com

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 29 customer reviews
The way the material is presented is done very well.
Myriad
Great for writers, easy to read/understand, just an all around good reference book.
Saluki
This book should be on the bookshelf of every mystery/thriller writer.
John H. Turney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Saluki on March 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Howdunit Forensics book covers everything from DNA testing, to forgery, to asphyxia, and it covers it thoroughly.
For testing methods (i.e. paternity, DNA, etc.), the book will give you procedures, uses, how long they take, what kind of materials can be used to carry out the tests, the shortcomings of each test, and more.
For murder situations such as asphyxia and gunshot wounds, "Forensics" covers different types of strangulation and goes into how investigators can tell them apart. It's very specific, very informative, but not so informative that the reference feels like a textbook. There were times when I looked up a couple of things on the internet to supplement the information in the book, but it's a reference book, and in that regard, it does its job extremely well. And it definitely makes research a lot easier.
I really don't have anything to complain about with the book. Great for writers, easy to read/understand, just an all around good reference book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John H. Turney on May 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Have you ever read a book, and you know a certain detail is wrong? It can bring the entire story to a quick stop. You may even feel the author has violated that covenant between writer and reader.

DP Lyle has provided a wonderful assest to writers. His book helps a writer get it right. Those pesky forensics details that can bring a story up short are presented herein. No longer do writers have to worry about the process of preparing DNA or what blood splatter should look like from a certain distance.

Even moreso, the book is fascinating to read. It provides just enough of the science for anyone to understand without going so deep a lay person gets lost. This book should be on the bookshelf of every mystery/thriller writer. And if you have a child who has an interest in science, this book can only increase their interest in science.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dog Mom on July 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've been writing and publishing mysteries for over ten years, and this is one of the best reference books I've come across. The index is clear and the book easy to manuver around - I read it cover to cover and now it sits by my computer for easy access. Love it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Debbie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Howdunit: Forensics" is a basic course in forensics. Though the subtitle says it's a guide for writers, there's a lot more information in it than an author could use in a novel without bogging the action down (though I do highly recommend they read this!). It's actually a book for anyone interested in learning the basics of forensics. It doesn't say things like, "In your novel, you could do this..." but simply gives real life examples of how everything works or how real criminals act.

The book was well-written and interesting. I never had a problem following what the author was explaining even though it did get technical at times. A wide range of topics were covered with enough depth that most people would learn all they cared to know. Brief, real case files or made-up examples were used to demonstrate how a certain technique is used to reconstruct the crime scene or help identify a criminal. The book covered murders, but also theft, arson, and forgery. It talked about determining if a death was from natural causes, accident, suicide, or homicide. The author also gave a little history about how various techniques were developed and improved over the decades.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about forensics.
Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Gilliam on July 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm primarily a sci-fi writer, but I love incorporating elements of other genres into my stories to make them more believable and entertaining. If you are writing about any type of murder investigation or crime scene, you would benefit from this book. It's very concise and straightforward as a reference, but it's also interesting just to sit down and read. I highly recommend it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Deborah K. Dobbins VINE VOICE on February 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has greatly exceeded the expectations as a reference guide for my writing adventures. It is very detailed, organized and well thought out. It is very detailed and not for the faint of heart... so if in depth details about an autopsy or evidence collection is too much for you, you shouldn't read this.

I also place this book beyond a wrtiers guide. Though this is not a "textbook" by any means, this is great for anyone interested in a possible career in forensics as this would be a good way to learn about some generalized topics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By VKos on January 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great resource to have on your bookshelf, it is full of practical information that will help with writing mysteries. It is very easy to read and I am glad I have it when I need some forensic info. Great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BayouArtist on March 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Liked it so much I bought the book and the kindle book. Great go-to book. D.P. Lyle is a fount of knowledge and expertise. I highly recommend this purchase and all the other books Mr. Lyle has written.
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