Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “La ciencia de Sherlock Holmes” as Want to Read:
La ciencia de Sherlock Holmes
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

La ciencia de Sherlock Holmes

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  1,787 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
¿Cómo se realizaron las primeras autopsias? ¿Cuáles eran los venenos más utilizados en el siglo XIX? ¿Quién descubrió la utilidad de las huellas dactilares en el proceso de identifi cación? ¿Qué cualidades debe tener un buen detective? Este ensayo repasa, siguiendo la brillante metodología de Sherlock Holmes, la historia del crimen contemporáneo, un vibrante paseo por la s ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 19th 2012 by Planeta (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about La ciencia de Sherlock Holmes, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about La ciencia de Sherlock Holmes

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 22, 2008 Jc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is more of a lay history of forensic police work than a Sherlock Holmes related book. The author almost seems to be forcing Holmes references into her text. This was not necessary (oh, and some of the S.H. references do work, they just aren’t all needed), as what makes this a good read doesn't need extra help. It is a nice introduction to forensic technique, how it developed, and some of the yet unanswered questions. A definite recommendation to any person who is interested in forensics or ...more
A great book looking at the real forensics behind the ACD stories.

It also tracks the use of science in the detection of crime and explores its usage in real cases.

Interesting and readable.

I recommend it to all Sherlock Holmes fans and anyone with an interest in forensics.
I came home from the library today with a stack of non-fiction to read, and this one happened to catch me eye first. I've read a lot of Holmes-related books this year, so I thought this one would be perfect. I need to mention that I am a rather casual Holmes fan - I like his stories, but I really like the character better, and I am by no means letter-perfect on his adventures in the canon.

I liked the approach of this book. It starts with the premise that Conan Doyle was a dedicated researcher, a
Oct 03, 2011 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-at-library
Considering how quickly I read this book, I'm surprised I didn't give it more stars. But I think this is an example of expectations not meeting reality. First the good: this was an interesting history of forensic science, focusing on the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. I like the author's writing style and her vocabulary is prodigious. Unfortunately, as a Sherlock Holmes fan, I was disappointed that the book didn't deliver more Sherlock. He was mentioned usually at the beginning and end ...more
Sep 30, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed this book. I am a student of history and I especially like the Victorian period. I like all the connections the author made between comments of Sherlock Holmes and cases he solved and the real life research that was going on and similar real life crimes. The book was a pretty light read; at an adult level, but not master's thesis level. It gives a good overview of the history and specific cases without getting bogged down in every little detail. Also there is a helpful glossary ...more
Feb 10, 2012 Katarina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
As a forensic science major, an ardent Sherlock Holmes fan, and someone with a keen interest in history, I found this book to be an absolute delight! Aside from a history of Victorian/Edwardian forensics and a commentary on Sherlock Holmes, the book presents interesting case studies, examining how they were helped or hindered by the science of their time. Some are even quite humorous. The Science of Sherlock Holmes is well-paced and not bogged down in technical detail-- I had no problem reading ...more
Sep 28, 2007 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and entertaining. Its easy to take forensic science for granted since it is now used so routinely; hard to believe that scientific methods didn't exist 100 years ago.

I liked how each chapter was devoted to a different forensic methodology. The author tied the chapters to Sherlock Holmes mysteries, but I didn't think that was necessary. The information would have stood well on its own.
Mar 09, 2011 Cheri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, mystery
Sherlock Holmes is really just a jumping off point in this history of turn of the century forensic science. Wagner is an engaging writer and clearly researched the book thoroughly. Not as cohesive as The Poisoners Handbook in the way it links the different areas of criminology and lacking the depth of The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, I thought it was a nice introduction to the field.
Mar 23, 2011 Ann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've been lured in by an exciting title once again! This book is really about the history of forensic science. It needed more Holmes!
Mark O'Neill
Being a Sherlock Holmes fan, I grabbed this book when I found out about it and I read it in one day. What a wonderful and fascinating book![return][return]The book covers all the different branches of forensic science such as footprints, fingerprints, ballistics, autopsies, blood typing, document forgeries and so on. Each chapter covers a different forensic science and it goes into the background of each one - who discovered the new techniques, how each forensic science developed over the years, ...more
May 23, 2013 Anthony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, 2013reads
It is hard to rate this book. From the onset the historical, period criminal cases held my attention as it would for any "collector of odd knowledge". Where E.J. Wagner failed was respectable cross-referencing of fictional writing Conan Doyles character Sherlock Holmes and how the two were distinctly tied together.
Breaking the chapters up by forensic/criminal science and procedures and how they developed through history were well researched, as noted by the multi-page bibliography. What was lac
I've been on kind of a Holmesian kick and related materials, and this book is a good excuse for using the famous names and cases while learning something. Wagner does a great job of including cases throughout history to describe the evolution of forensics and the relative importance of what was available to investigators at the time period - the chapters on bloodwork, fingerprint analysis, and use of poisons I thought were particularly good. And of course I love phrenology!

The organization left
Amy Sturgis
"Sherlock Holmes may have been fictional," writes E.J. Wagner, "but what we learn from him is very real. He tell us that science provides not simplistic answers but a rigorous method of formulating questions that may lead to answers." The Science of Sherlock Holmes offers a history of forensic science by focusing on 1) what informed Arthur Conan Doyle's portrayal of Holmes and his method, and 2) how Holmes in turn influenced his real-life descendants. It's not a comprehensive history, but rather ...more
This book is actually quite fascinating. It's about the rise of forensic science contemporary to Sherlock Holmes' "life" and explanations about what SH used, what was really, what ACD found in real life investigations.

I love how she explains the way of that time, all those little forensic details that seem perfectly normal for us nowadays but were particularly outrageous/audacious for that time. This book, while extremely interesting by itself, is also a great help to better understand the subtl
Catherine Thompson
This fascinating look at the beginnings of forensic science was a nominee for an Edgar award in 2007, and it's easy to see why. Lucidly written, utterly engrossing, it takes as its starting point the stories of Conan Doyle, using them as the springboard to an examination of the various techniques of scientific crime-solving available to the police in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

E. J. Wagner, a crime historian and moderator of the annual Forensic Forum at Stony Brook University's Museum of
May 18, 2014 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Hm, been awhile since I read this but I am bothered by my lack of reviews on Goodreads for all of the books that I have read. This book was easy to read but also a bit disappointing. I expected - more, somehow. Not having the book in front of me, I must go by memory but I remember that there wasn't enough detail about some of the topics and that others were fairly obvious. Still, it was basically an enjoyable book and I do like reading about new things and also about Sherlock Holmes. (Though if ...more
Portia Costa
Oct 27, 2011 Portia Costa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sherlock Holmes fans, people interested in the history of CSI
A fascinating and informative read. Shines a light on the forensic background to the Sherlock Holmes stories, with examples from real cases that may have influenced Conan Doyle, and the insights and misapprehensions of investigators at the time. I some ways, the police and scientists of the late Victorian/Edwardian era naturally drew the same correct conclusions that their contemporary counterparts would... but in other cases they were blundering in the dark without benefit of modern technology ...more
Dec 23, 2012 Luci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very informative, if you are a fan of detection literature or TV. The author uses the stories of Conan Doyle as a jumping off point to get into the history of the science of detection.

The book is definitely for a novice or someone who does not have a background in forensic science. Everything is laid out very well and is easily understandable by a layman. Wagner does talk about the big crimes and discusses how emerging science either helped, or hindered, the detection process. Wort
Jun 14, 2013 Pascale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ordered :)This one looks awesome! Halfway through and I love it though it is more a history of forensics than a study of Sherlock's cases in light of forensics. All forgiven though. Just finished and I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I have even ordered a book mentioned which is "the washing away of wrongs" a book on forensics in 13th century China. Go figure but looks pretty interesting.

I recommend the science of Sherlock Holmes to those interested in forensics more than for the fan of Sherlock :
David Szondy
Sherlock Holmes is regarded as the world's greatest detective. More than that, he is that rare instance of a fictional character who has not only become a household word, not only become a part of popular culture and folklore, but has joined that elite group of characters whom many people firmly believe really existed.

Read more
This book was an excellent, informative look at the history of the era of Sherlock Holmes! It managed to include science that was informative without being way over my head, and every chapter was interesting. Additionally, the incorporation of quotes from the Holmes canon was flawless--not overdone, but very appropriate. Recommended to: Baker Street Irregulars, CSI fans, history buffs who love a good crime.
The Science of Sherlock Holmes describes many historical cases and methods that likely influenced Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, interspersed with quotes and tidbits from Sherlock Holmes stories. Many of the cases are quite interesting. The book also gives a decent history of the foundation of the field of forensics and how superstitions hampered the work of curious individuals with Holmes' investigative spirit.
Aug 24, 2010 Joyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and entertaining for those who are addicted to Sherlock Holmes stories. Many forensic tools and techniques that are common today had not yet been developed when Conan Doyle made use of them in one of the stories, e.e. toxicology, fingerprinting, knowledge of insect life cycles to prove time of death, etc.
Oct 09, 2009 Lillian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tis about the history of forensic sciences interwoven with the stories that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote. I enjoy forensic television shows, but I've never had a desire to read Sherlock Holmes, now I can't wait to start! I will enjoy watching Bones all that much more :~) Wonderfully well written.
Cathrine Bonham
Oct 19, 2011 Cathrine Bonham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sherlock Fans and True Crime lovers
Shelves: science-research
I loved this book. It was so interesting to read about how crimes were solved in the Victorian era.
Very readable and full of true anticdotes about true crimes and Real Life "Sherlocks" that solved them. A must read for any fan of the Great Detective and the world he lived in.
Oct 09, 2011 Erica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stanford
Just ok. The science was interesting, but comparing it to Sherlock Holmes felt like a stretch. There often wasn't much of a connection--it felt like Wagner searched for Holmes stories that could be used as an intro after having already written some of the chapters.
Entertaining introduction to the history of forensic science and criminology. Loved the lengthly bibliography in the back so I could easily find more information on... whatever. Eugène François Vidocq is a badass.
Feb 21, 2010 Bones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm actually using this as a text in one of my classes. It is interesting, informative, and applicable to modern forensic techniques. It is quite enjoyable to read and meshes nicely with the canon.
An excellent, interesting, well-written and researched, and entertaining look at the history of the science behind the great detective's forensic methods. Recommended.
Feb 03, 2009 Coki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting non-fic - not great narrative but fun anecdotes about turn of the century crime and investigation - made me want to read some Holmes
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sherlock Holmes in America
  • The Crimes of Dr. Watson
  • Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes
  • My Dearest Holmes
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Unauthorized Biography
  • The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: War of the Worlds
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery
  • The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Volume III: The Novels
  • The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Veiled Detective
  • The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Man From Hell
  • The Revenge of the Hound: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
  • The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Trial of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes Dynamite, #1)
  • The Angel of the Opera
  • Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula
  • The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Giant Rat of Sumatra
  • Sherlock Holmes in Orbit
  • The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes: The Adventures of the Great Detective in India and Tibet
E. J. WAGNER is a crime historian, a lecturer, a teller of suspense stories for adults, and the moderator of the annual Forensic Forum at the Museum of Long Island Natural Sciences at Stony Brook University, New York. Her work has been published in Ellery Queens Mystery Magazine, The New York Times and The Lancet.

Her book, The Science of Sherlock Holmes, is a 2007 Edgar Award winner."
More about E.J. Wagner...

Share This Book

“Edmond Locard ordered all the local organ grinders and their simian employees brought to his laboratory. A number of the monkeys, perhaps concerned about an infringement of their civil rights, resisted fingerprinting and had to be restrained. The organ grinders were more cooperative. When the burglarizing beast had been identified, his companion’s rooms were searched and there the missing items were found.” 2 likes
“Fifty years before Sherlock Holmes first appeared, the Bow Street Runner had used the Sherlockian method of careful observation of trifles. The Randall matter was the first case of ballistic identification to be documented, and Henry Goddard remains forever inscribed in forensic history as the man who proved that the butler did it.” 2 likes
More quotes…