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Howdunit Forensics 4/30/08 Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 003-5313643828
ISBN-10: 1582974748
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Howdunit Forensics
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  • Police Procedure & Investigation: A Guide for Writers (Howdunit)
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  • Writer's Guide to Psychology: How to Write Accurately About Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human Behavior
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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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Product Details

  • Series: Howdunit
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 4/30/08 edition (April 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582974748
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582974743
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am working on a series of mysteries and this is one of those very helpful books I keep on hand for reference material. I like the organization of the book and the information is relevant. Glad to include this in my list of reference material. If you are an up and coming writer this book is wonderful for the mystery genre.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How does one review a book that is not fiction, and that is strictly informative? First, let me explain that I am an author, and I bought this book to make certain my police scenes and facts were correct. I found the book informative, well organized and quite detailed.There were a few things I would have liked to know that weren't covered by this book, but no one book can answer all questions. However, of all books of this type, this one was by far the best.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
DP Lyle is a medical doctor and forensics expert who grants his time to answering writer's questions and producing work that helps those writers get the details correct in their books. Anyone writing any forensic scene should have this book on their shelf (or in the Kindle collection). Lyle's blog is a staple of mystery and crime writers and books like this provide great reference material for your work.
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