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Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  566 ratings  ·  117 reviews
Ever since the introduction of DNA testing, forensic science has been in the forefront of the public’s imagination, thanks especially to popular television shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But forensic analysis has been practiced for thousands of years. Ancient Chinese detectives studied dead bodies for signs of foul play, and in Victorian England, officials used ...more
Hardcover, 263 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
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Tessa I found this book in the YA section at my local library. Also, 16 is generally an age where it is acceptable for an individual to determine the approp…moreI found this book in the YA section at my local library. Also, 16 is generally an age where it is acceptable for an individual to determine the appropriateness of one's own reading material, so jot that down.(less)

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Average rating 3.85  · 
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May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love reading books like this because forensic science has always fascinated me.

This book was a perfect blend of history and modern techniques and I was intrigued from the very beginning. The narrative is captivating without being too science-y and I really enjoyed the case selections.

Overall, a quick and interesting read.

**Huge thanks to Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 Interesting, with lots of gruesome stories illustrating the advances in forensic practices. Sometimes the cases that were solved with new techniques were pretty gross incidents. However, the content is all pretty basic, kind of high school level. I would have liked to have more detail and depth, especially in the science.
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Strangely enough, and I say strangely because honestly I don't read a lot of this kind of non-fiction, this was a very enjoyable and interesting book.

Mostly because the author had an engaging voice throughout that had me alternately chuckling at the foibles and follies of forensic work and surprised that certain people inspired other literary notables.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First sentence: Some of the first scientific tests related to murder cases were for poison, and arsenic in particular.

Premise/plot: Love true crime stories? Love history? Love forensic science? I do have a book for you. Blood, Bullets, and Bones is the history of forensic science. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific topic or area of forensics. Chapter one discusses the first poison tests. Chapter two presents the history of medical examiners and autopsies. Chapter three focuses on the first
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
this was REALLY GOOD. it's extremely interesting and easy to understand because as well as present facts, bridget heos also gives examples of what she means.

she explores cold cases, the discovery of ancient bodies in ice and in bogs, wrongfully convicted individuals and murders solved by primitive and modern forensic science. it's YA which i think contributes to the fact that it's so easy to follow, and it makes me wish more adult non-fiction was more interesting and less dry and hard to follow.
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, edelweiss, nonfiction
SCIENCE IS SO AMAZING! Yet the fact that there are still sooo many cold cases now suggest that our knowledge of forensic science is still lacking. That, or there really are so many perfect crimes. Nevertheless, the evolution of forensic science is awe-inspiring. This was a really enjoyable read. The featured murder stories are well-narrated; though all are short, they never lacked the essential details and are very informative.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange
Ari Elaine
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. It was great and amazing and I just want more of it. I highly recommend it.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy nonfiction works that are a progressing series of interesting anecdotes like this!
(I learned about SO MANY murders.)
Ben Arce
Blood, Bullets, and Bones by Bridget, gives the reader an interesting inside look on forensic science. In this book, the acclaimed author Bridget Heos uses real-life cases to tell the fascinating history of modern forensic science, from the first test for arsenic poisoning to fingerprinting, firearm and blood spatter analysis, DNA evidence, and all the important milestones in between.

Forensic science has been kept relevant not only because it is vital to crime solving, but by popular tv shows l
thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)
I usually prefer to listen to audiobooks for non-fiction but this book by Heos just rekindled my love for reading non-fiction. From the writing to storytelling, this is one unbelievably good read! Heos uses real-life cases to tell the marvelous history of forensic science without being too sciency, hence making this such an easy and entertaining read!

This book comprises of 11 chapters that begins from the earliest known forensic analysis (270 CE - Zhang Ju, a Chinese coroner who examined the vi
Joselyn Bennett
Mar 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
When I first started reading “Blood, Bullets, and Bones.” I thought it was going to be about different types of murder stories & investigations but I was highly disappointed with what it was actually about. The book is all about how coroners and their ways of determining the cause of death of bodies, it was pretty boring. The book doesn’t really have a plot, it is just about multiple different stories and how DNA sampling has evolved over the past couple hundred years. There’s not really an end ...more
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like crime shows, science, and history
Shelves: favorites
Not only was this book really informative, it was entertaining. I really appreciate an author that understands that not everyone who has an interest in science/history is going to be an academic, and that by adding a little humor and narrative into non-fiction makes it more accessible and engaging to us laypeople. This book was humorous and peppered with weird facts, and that kept me engaged in the main body material.

I'd highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in forensic science. Do
Dawn Livingston
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I admit it, I read a little then skimmed the rest. A solid book about the basics of forensic science (think CSI). Gives history and the different methods used in forensic science, when they were first used, etc. Solid book on the subject a good stepping stone to the adult books (this is considered a teen book) on the subject, like An Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation by Aric W. Dutelle.
Oct 07, 2017 added it
Quick read, written with teenage forensic dreamers in mind. Short sentences. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book written for kids, and I found the pacing was irritating to my nerves. But I can imagine it would be great for the kids.
Maddy Leon Max
I like to learn about nearly anything. But forensic science has a special place in my heart (just beside history). Despite the fact that the informations in this book are pretty basic, it was a really cool read that had me interested from the very first page. It's fascinating how forensic science evolved. And I love gruesome/crime/investigation stories so consider me happy.
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
full of crime stories and explanations of forensic science
Hailie Roblyer
Fascinating and thorough exploration of the invention and evolution of criminal forensics. This is a great non-fiction book for teens.
Katie Dodge
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ones-i-own
Very educational and well written. Very interesting if you love forensics.
Chel (The Procrastinator's Corner)
Also posted on The Procrastinator's Corner

This is my first time to review a nonfiction book and this is also the first nonfiction I've read this year! I'm not big on nonfics but after seeing this on Edelweiss, I just couldn't not read it because forensic science!

After reading Blood, Bullets, and Bones, I feel like I now have what it takes to solve a cold case. But of course that's a stretch.

Point is: I learned so many things from this book. From the science of murder investigations to the State
This was really interesting. I loved how they showed the evolution of forensic science with the use of criminal cases and also show how sometimes the evidence isn't reliable

definitely a recommendation for someone who is interested in forensic sciences or really loves the crime TV shows and would love to know how it is in real life.
I'm always a sucker for these forensic books as I work closely with some of our forensic science teachers and I'm always looking to add to the booklist. This one will be no exception as it presents a very solid look at all of the history of forensic science as it developed with a few cherry-picked examples demonstrating their discovery or use. Some obscure cases that I learned something new and some famous or generally understood cases as well including popular references to television shows (wh ...more
Anna Brason
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! It's a great introduction to forensic science. It's clear and concise, easy to understand yet incredibly interesting. I couldn't put it down but it also didn't give me nightmares, which is nice since I was reading the book before bed.
I think my only complaint about the book is that sometimes it seemed to jump from one point to another. But I did love all of the stories!
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love true crime for kids (probably older kids in this case - there are a lot of rape cases), so I'm overlooking the occasional sloppy pronoun antecedent or klutzy sentence. The cases chosen for review include a fair number of the usual suspects - Sam Sheppard, Jack the Ripper - but also a number of cases I was not as familiar with.
Edward Sullivan
Reviewed for professional publication.
Abigail Constantine
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Are you a fan of compelling mysteries, science, and true crime stories? If so, the book Blood, Bullets, and Bones by Bridget Heos is a great match for you. Bridget Heos is an author who has written many children’s books and non-fiction titles. This book was published in 2016 by HarperCollins Publishers, and it is an interesting read for anybody who enjoys mysteries and science. Blood, Bullets, and Bones takes the reader through many different crime cases that involve forensic science. Forensic s ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrills-n-chills
For over 100 years the murders attributed to Jack the Ripper have fascinated and mystified. This case, though so many details of it are well known, remains unsolved. Like many a crime book, Bridget Heos’s BLOOD, BULLETS, AND BONES: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA begins with the Ripper and his victims. But, the focus here is not primarily on the identity of the killer but on the science of the crime scenes and investigations. England in 1888 was poised on the edge of ne ...more
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is interesting enough to keep a reader engaged, but I've read better YA nonfiction. I would have liked it more if the author had not included so many subjective commentaries. Perhaps it's her way of trying to connect or relate to teen readers, but it takes away from the facts that she's presenting. Especially given the context of the book. It's historical nonfiction. Personal commentaries are not necessary to nor do they give perspective to the history being told. Another distracting i ...more
Ronaldo Tenorio
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirsten Perez
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Blood, Bullets, and Bones," written by Bridget Heos, follows the history and development of forensic science, which is the science applied to criminal investigation. The book begins with the development of solving cases pertaining to older means of murder, such as poisoning, and slowly transitions to more modern cases pertaining to things such as guns and DNA testing. The author tells the development of forensic science through many murder cases, both solved and unsolved, and stories of great c ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, non-fiction, ya
This is a great introduction to the history of forensic science. It offers historical cases, good explanations of scientific terms and processes, and a solid amount of counter-arguments and additional information that makes you aware of not only the great things in forensic science, but also its short-comings and, sometimes, mis-use/mishandling as evidence. Also, I have to give major props to her mention of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins in regards to the discovery of DNA, since both have ...more
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