Thursday, August 13, 2015

Forensic Mysteries

Who's fascinated by forensics?  We armchair detectives are! And so is mystery author Val McDermid, who just published Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime. Her familiarity with forensics is gleaned from research over the years for her fictional crime scenes, and allows her to "uncover the history of this science, real-world murders and the people who must solve them". For those of us interested in forensics, the use of scientific knowledge and/or methods (including DNA analysis, blood spatter, and entomology) to solve crimes, this book - employing true crime and scientific accounts - is gruesome (no pictures, though) but witty and intelligent, and tinged with a dose of both McDermid's sense of wonder and skepticism.

In honor of McDermid's book, we've compiled a list of some of the most well-known forensic mystery series from the library catalog:

Jefferson Bass
Bill Brockton, forensic anthropologist in the Body Farm series

Benjamin Black
Quirke, coroner in 1950s Ireland

Patricia Cornwell
Kay Scarpetta, chief medical examiner in Richmond, Virginia

Colin Cotterill
Siri Paiboun, national coroner in 1970s Laos

Ariana Franklin
Adelia, coroner in 12th century England

Tess Gerritsen
Maura Isles, medical examiner in Boston, Massachusetts (her partner is Jane Rizzoli)

Elly Griffiths
Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist

Iris Johansen
Eve Duncan, forensic sculptor

Sheila Lowe
Claudia Rose, forensic handwriting expert

James Patterson
Claire Washburn, medical examiner and founding member of The Women’s Murder Club, in San Francisco, California

Kathy Reichs
Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist in North Carolina and Quebec


Forensic Mysteries [Stop You're Killing Me]

Popular Forensic Mystery Books [Goodreads]

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