The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective’s Greatest Cases
October 9th, 2015 by Aldouspi

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Praise for The Science of Sherlock Holmes

""Holmes is, first, a great detective, but he has also proven to be a great scientist, whether dabbling with poisons, tobacco ash, or tire marks. Wagner explores this fascinating aspect of his career by showing how his investigations were grounded in the cutting-edge science of his day, especially the emerging field of forensics.... Utterly compelling.""
—Otto Penzler, member of the Baker Street Irregulars and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop

""E. J. Wagner demonstrates that without the work of Sherlock Holmes and his contemporaries, the CSI teams would be twiddling their collective thumbs. Her accounts of Victorian crimes make Watson's tales pale! Highly recommended for students of the Master Detective.""
—Leslie S. Klinger, Editor, The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes

""In this thrilling book, E. J. Wagner has combined her considerable strengths in three disciplines to produce a work as compelling and blood-curdling as the best commercial fiction. This is CSI in foggy old London Town. Chilling, grim fun.""
—John Westermann, author of Exit Wounds and Sweet Deal

""I am recommending this delightful work to all of my fellow forensic scientists.... Bravo, Ms. Wagner!""
—John Houde, author of Crime Lab: A Guide for Nonscientists

""A fabulously interesting read. The book traces the birth of the forensic sciences to the ingenuity of Sherlock Holmes. A wonderful blend of history, mystery, and whodunit.""
—Andre Moenssens, Douglas Stripp Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Missouri at Kansas City, and coauthor of Scientific Evidence in Civil and Criminal Cases

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470128232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470128237
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces

Customer Reviews

Interesting stuff.

 on June 14, 2012
By Whocares?
It's less applicable, and more historical but it's very interesting. Went along perfectly with my introductory forensics course and the sherlock Holmes cannon. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes SH, or forensics. If you're expecting to read it and become an expert in forensics or the methods of Sherlock Holmes you'll be disappointed. The only thing that'll make you an expert in those areas is rigorous study via textbooks or very careful analysis of SH reasoning abilities, but it does a great job of conveying what the author intended. It's a pretty short, scientific, and informative read. I liked it.

Thumbs UP!

 on December 16, 2016
By Percy Dovetonsils
A very interesting comparison of real life forensics and crimes of the times and how they relate to Conan Doyle and Holmes. I do recommend it to those fans of Sherlock.

Another winner!

 on August 26, 2015
By Mary Lou
This is a fascinating mixture of forensic science, history, myth and literature. I completely enjoyed the comparisons of actual court cases and medical discoveries to Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes along with occasional tongue-in-cheek remark.

Fascinating read on the forensic sciences

2 people found this helpful.
 on April 4, 2013
By B. Hutchins
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. This gives me a whole new respect for Sir (Dr.) Arthur Conan Doyle's writings and understanding of the forensic medical sciences.

More than Forensics

 on April 23, 2013
By Charles Halfen
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. There are connections to Sherlock Holmes but the focus is on the techniques themselves. The biggest surprise for me was how current Conan Doyle was with the techniques. Holmes looked brilliant because he was using cutting edge techniques.

Just Right for Sherlock's library

8 people found this helpful.
 on April 18, 2006
By microfiche
The title is slightly misleading. The book is about the history and development of forensic science in Britain and Europe in the century following Sherlock Holmes' 'birth' (He was born in 1853-54 since he was 60 years of age in August 1914 -"His Last Bow")

Five Stars

 on February 14, 2017
By SafeCop
Great job. Thank you

Excellent in all respects

3 people found this helpful.
 on January 19, 2011
By Diogenes
An entertaining and informative book, worth purchasing just for the bibliography. The author weaves together Conan Doyle, obscure discoveries, famous murders and hugely entertaining forensic trivia into an excellent overview of the origins of forensic science and scientific homicide investigation.

Very interesting....

 on October 2, 2013
By Connie Ellis
A good beginner book on the history of forensics and early police work. Written well and entertaining. I had hoped it would have delved a bit more into some of Holmes's cases but despite that, it is a good read.

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