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""…informative, intriguing and entertaining…"" (What's on in London, July 2006)
""…well-researched book…"" (Chemistry World, August 2006)
""…will be appreciated…not just by devotees of Holmes…but by anyone interested in the Victorian beginnings of forensic science…"" (Chemistry World, August 2006)
Forensic expert Wagner has crafted a volume that stands out from the plethora of recent memoirs of contemporary scientific detectives. By using the immortal and well-known Sherlock Holmes stories as her starting point, Wagner blends familiar examples from Doyle's accounts into a history of the growth of forensic science, pointing out where fiction strayed from fact. The author avoids the technical details that mar so many other efforts in this genre, injecting life into her narrative by weaving in true crime cases that either influenced Holmes's creator or may have been influenced by a published story from the Baker Street sleuth. Particularly memorable is a creepy 1945 murder of a man who, as a youth, had had an encounter with a spectral dog reminiscent of the hound of the Baskervilles. While some of the speculations are thin (including a passing suggestion about a new Ripper suspect), Wagner presents a balanced view of the history of forensic science that should appeal to a wide audience. (Apr.) (Publishers Weekly, January 16, 2006)
Overall, I found the book, copyright 2006 and in my library unread for years, a great nighttime read.
As an attorney who has studied historic true crime for longer than I care to relay, I'm a very tough audience for an encyclopedic treatment of the subject.
The case could be made that the most famous character in fiction is the world's greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes.
This is a tour-de-force of amazingly researched but well-condensed and lucid cultural history that goes sometimes goes way beyond the Sherlockian connection, but not disagreeablely... Read morePublished 2 months ago by jtq
This was an enjoyable book, but it is like a two hour tv movie that would have made a great one hour episode. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jill S.
A good beginner book on the history of forensics and early police work. Written well and entertaining. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Connie Ellis
This could have been a good book but there's not much of Sherlock Holmes in it - just the basics of early forensic science, culled from 19th and early 20th century criminal case... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Linda Lou
Although written by a forensics person, the book discusses many crime-solving techniques. Each chapter focuses on a different technique and discusses how it evolved over time. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Charles Halfen
As an anatomist, I have always loved the Sherlock Holmes books and this review of the forensic science behind much of what was known of the day is fascinating. Read morePublished 17 months ago by B. Hutchins
An essential tome for the legion of "Baker Street Irregulars" around the world. If you are a Holmes fan...or even if you are not, this is a wonderful book.Published 18 months ago by Bruce Asbury
I use this book when teaching my Forensic Science Class to give my students the benifit of this knowledge and it makes them even more interested in the topic.Published 19 months ago by Scott73
For years now, I've wondered how much of the forensics science described in the Sherlock Holmes canon was factual. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jeanette Thomas