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18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The extraordinary story of the Gilded Age Chicago heiress who revolutionized forensic death investigation. As the mother of forensic science, Frances Glessner Lee is the reason why homicide detectives are a thing. She is responsible for the popularity of forensic science in television shows and pop culture. Long overlooked in the history books, this detailed and thoroughly ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2020 by Sourcebooks
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Kelly Long
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is a great history of the "medico-legal" subject. A lot of research went into this. It's a fascinating look at not only Frances Glessner Lee but also George Magrath and others who helped Lee shape what is now known as forensic science. I think this subject is definitely underrated in the true crime genre so I highly recommend this book.
Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics by Bruce Goldfarb isn't quite what I was expecting, but still an intriguing read. It does take a while to get going and it does go off on quite a few tangents, but it's still intriguing if you're mostly in it for Lee's work. I can definitely say that I'll have to watch the movie Mystery Street directed by John Sturges though that's for
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfic, netgalley
Exactly as the title says, it is both about Frances Glessner Lee and her life, and about the invention of "legal medicine" as a field of study. There's quite a lot of intersection, but if you are reading for one or the other you might not like what you consider digressions. I felt like the background into Lee's life was important to set the stage of her class and the pattern of noblesse oblige while also showing why she couldn't get into medicine herself. (Important to note the noblesse oblige ...more
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it

Superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .

The fascinating story of the forgotten woman who pioneered forensic science

As America ramps up efforts toward
Pratibha Pandey
I love all things related to forensic science - books and shows alike. And some how the shows had made me think that the reality is pretty advanced too. This book shows how ignorant I have been to the present stage and overall growth of this field. As much as it is a really just portrayal of Lee's life and her struggles with the system , it also has so much historical and cultural references all over the book. It is a little dry , to the fact book but not too much once you get into the flow of ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
The subject matter is definitely interesting (and oh, the things money can do!), but the storytelling wasn’t always as interesting as I wanted it to be.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An utterly absorbing account of Frances Lee, a wealthy society woman who became fascinated with early forensic science and assisted in developing the medical examiner system in the US, while also creating a library for the study of "legal medicine," as it was known, and for making numerous, painstakingly-detailed dioramas of death scenes for investigators to learn from.
thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)
***4.75 stars***

Review coming soon!
Jill Elizabeth
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Frances Glessner Lee is such a fascinating subject and a detailed biography is long overdue, so first and foremost thank you to Bruce Goldfarb for recognizing this and taking the time to craft such a detailed and homage-laden book. I first learned about Captain Lee in the book Savage Appetites - a very intriguing collection of brief biographies of four women "obsessed with" (the subtitle's words, not mine) murder. It was a fantastic introduction to Lee and the Nutshells, and it set the hook for ...more
J Earl
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics by Bruce Goldfarb is an extremely well-researched biography and introduction to the birth and early days of modern forensics.

First, potential readers need to be aware this is a biography of Lee, the vast majority of which concerns forensics. This is not a book about forensics with some biographical information about Lee. The distinction between the two is important for readers to be aware of.

Lee led a
Kim McGee
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wealthy woman with no formal education in science goes on to become one of the frontrunners in forensic medicine and criminology. Frances Glessner Lee devoted almost her entire life and fortune in supporting Harvard's Department of Legal Medicine. One of her good friends who she met at a hospital, interested her in forensics and the need for a cohesive medical examiner program. They discovered one solution to the temporary nature of crime scenes was to use Lee's talent for miniatures to ...more
Trisha Perry
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a biography of Frances Glessner Lee. She brought about the more modern era of forensics, and some of her techniques are still used today. Her ambition in this field in a time when women being in this field was non-existent. She had to fight everyone for everything she got and got to do. She is best known for her little dioramas that depicted violent deaths, as they called homicides than, and using these dioramas to teach crime scene investigation to police officers.

This was a very
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I first learned of Frances Glessner Lee from a short CBS Sunday Morning piece on her work. Her intricate dollhouse-style dioramas were both fascinating and terrifying to me. The amount of detail work - and how these dioramas were used in actual court cases is just the tip of Lee's influence of modern medicine.

18 Tiny Deaths is the story of Frances Glessner Lee's life and how she became the Grandmother of Legal Medicine. From her early days growing up in a house of privilege to her reunion with
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
The subject of this book, Frances Lee, is effectively the founder of modern forensic science. As an aside, immediately upon starting this book, I realized the subject's work was the inspiration for the television series CSI's 'miniature killer' character. This book was exceptionally interesting & informative, though the storyline seemed to jump around a bit, making it difficult to follow at certain points. It also became mired in minute details which made the book seem to drag on ...more
Denice Langley
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
True crime lovers, whether movies or books, undoubtedly owe a huge debt to Frances Glasner Lee. Her place in the history books was secured when she devoted her life and considerable resources to the advancement of forensic science. Bruce Goldfarb has given us many new details on her life and included pictures and resources that make the story memorable. My book club has nominated this book for further review. What an extraordinary biography of this extraordinary woman.
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Frances Glessner Lee Is an amazing woman who forever changed forensic science. This is a must read for anyone who loves the science behind finding a killer and how much it has changed over time.
I couldn’t put this book down and sad to stay if it wasn’t for this book I wouldn’t have known anything about her or her accomplishments.

I was given this Arc book via Net Galley and the publisher for an honest review. Many Thanks!
4 stars
#NetGalley #18tinydeaths
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I first heard about the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death (basically dollhouse style versions of real crime scenes), I was morbidly intrigued. Reading about the life of Frances Lee and her impact modern forensic science was even more fascinating than I imagined. An impressive woman and an enthralling look at CSI: America in its earliest stages.

This ARC was provided by Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review.
Heather Bennett
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
18 Tiny Deaths is a truly fantastic and interesting book. Anyone interested in forensic science or true crime should read this book.
Travelling Bookworm
**Review to come after publication date**

(I have received this book as an ARC from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)
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Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Bruce Goldfarb has contributed to Baltimore magazine, Maryland magazine, Washington Post, USA Today, American Health, American Archaeology, and many other publications. He has written or edited seven medical reference book and textbooks, and publishes Goldfarb's first work of popular nonfiction, 18 TINY DEATHS; THE UNTOLD STORY OF FRANCES GLESSNER LEE AND THE INVENTION ...more