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Forensics: A Guide for Writers

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  235 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Just because you don't have all the tools and training of a full-time medical examiner doesn't mean you can't learn your way around a crime scene.

In Forensics, award-winning author and TV show consultant D.P. Lyle, M.D., takes each area of forensicsfrom fingerprint analysis to crime scene reconstructionand discusses its development, how the science works, how it helps in c
Paperback, 438 pages
Published April 4th 2008 by Writer's Digest Books (first published March 21st 2008)
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Belinda Frisch
Jan 01, 2015 Belinda Frisch rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
A great reference guide for authors.
Nov 02, 2010 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
"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 w
Gwyn Huff
Sep 29, 2012 Gwyn Huff rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: crime, mystery, thriller, sci-fi writers
Recommended to Gwyn by: search engine lol
Shelves: writing-books
This book should be in every writers' case of "tools". Mystery,thriller,and crime novelists are not the only type of writer who could and should use this book. Why?

Besides covering every detail of a crime and all the branches of Forensics in way that would be useful for a writer--television shows like CSI, NCIS, Burn Notice, all the crime and some medical shows present the viewer that every crime lab has all the resources shown on the television screen and it is assumed that your crime lab would
P. Wish
Jan 08, 2016 P. Wish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're a crime fiction writer looking for a reference book on forensics, this is the way to go. This book is worth every penny you spend on it. In this book, the author takes us through the main elements of a forensic investigation. The book is split into three parts and eighteen chapters. The first part, containing two chapters explains the forensics system. The second part explains the role of the coroner, autopsy and its stages. This part was my favourite as it answered my questions about ...more
Roger Mendoza
Nov 13, 2016 Roger Mendoza rated it really liked it
I use this as a reference book. I've learned quite a bit about forensics from this book. It is really detailed and a great tool for writing a murder mystery (that I have yet to write). This book will help me write the perfectly believable murder mystery.
Betsy Ashton
Feb 05, 2013 Betsy Ashton rated it it was amazing
If you are interested in learning more about forensics beyond what you see on CSI and Law and Order, this is the book for you. Dr. Lyle explains complex details of all topics that fall under the broad rubric of forensics in simple terms. If you are a writer who touches on any of the standard crime topics, motive, means, DNA, blood splatter, etc., this book should be on your shelf. After you've read it cover to cover.
DeAnna Knippling
May 21, 2016 DeAnna Knippling rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Not knowing a lot about forensics, I can't say whether this book is a) accurate or b) thorough. However, gave me some story ideas and did spend some time on how forensics was handled through the years, so I could extrapolate a reasonable investigation in, say, 15th-century China, if I wanted to. Good enough for me :) The lack of fifth star came from the poor editing, though. Not atrocious, just...surprisingly poor.
May 15, 2010 J. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writer-y-books
Ever watched an episode of CSI and been fascinated by what they say? This is ALL of that. It explains rather difficult concepts and even has diagrams that seem like they should belong in a criminal justice textbook. I'm sure you can BS a lot of details and have it pass, but if you want to make sure your stuff is medically sound, seriously check out this book.
Dec 14, 2010 rabbitprincess marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction
I keep seeing this at Chapters when I go browsing, and one of these days I shall actually buy it. Not that I really intend to write murder mysteries, but it looks like a really good reference book (and I do love me some forensics).
Jennifer Worrell
Jul 13, 2015 Jennifer Worrell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: research
Phenomenal book. A lot of detail and information on specific cases; very helpful without dumbing anything down.

I am thinking about buying a copy just to have around for future murders. I mean murder mysteries. Yes, that's right
Eric Susak
Jun 18, 2014 Eric Susak rated it liked it
The table of contents and index make this a good reference guide for writing about crime, but I wouldn't recommend reading it all the way through (think textbook, a stream of out-of-context facts).

Unrelated to the content: I noticed quite a few typos.
Aug 19, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
Fun little reference book. Some interesting points in here. I do not use it for a career, but I got it for enjoyment and it has given me that.
Jul 18, 2012 Meg rated it it was amazing
One of three books of an amazing series that I hope will have further volumes. It's very handy to use a reference book as a writer and it's pretty fascinating just for reading as well.
DP Lyle
DP Lyle rated it it was amazing
Sep 16, 2014
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Nov 04, 2011
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Mar 06, 2012
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Dawn Turner
Jul 03, 2013 Dawn Turner rated it really liked it
Fabulously helpful book for authors who need this sort of research material.
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DP Lyle, MD is the Macavity and Benjamin Franklin Silver Award winning and Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Scribe, Silver Falchion, and USA Best Book Award nominated author of many non-fiction books as well as numerous works of fiction.

He has worked with many novelists and with the writers of popular television shows such as Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Diagnosis Murder, Monk, House, Medium, and Pretty Li
More about D.P. Lyle...

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“THE LOCARD EXCHANGE PRINCIPLE Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him. Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects. All of these and more, bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, it cannot be wholly absent. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value. —Edmund Locard” 0 likes
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