Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Solve a Murder: True Stories from a Life in Forensic Medicine” as Want to Read:
How to Solve a Murder: True Stories from a Life in Forensic Medicine
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to Solve a Murder: True Stories from a Life in Forensic Medicine

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  25 reviews
As gripping as it is gruesome, How to Solve a Murder is a fascinating insight into the career of a forensic scientist. Includes a foreword from Dr Richard Shepherd, bestselling author of Unnatural Causes.


FRACTURED SKULLS. GAS MASKS. BRAIN BUCKETS. VATS OF ACID. PICKLED BODY PARTS.


Not the usual tools of trade, but for Chief Forensic Medical Scientist Derek and Forensic Secr
...more
320 pages
Expected publication: January 21st 2021
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 How to Solve a Murder, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How to Solve a Murder

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  33 ratings  ·  25 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of How to Solve a Murder: True Stories from a Life in Forensic Medicine
Sara
ARC received in exchange for an honest review 💀

A fascinating look behind the doors of the forensic scientist and the intuitive methods employed to determine method and cause of death.

The best parts of this book were the analysis of different deaths and techniques used. It's often through sheer will, determination and a lot of hard work that results in a breakthrough in unexplained deaths, and I enjoyed seeing how this work came together to get the desired results. The ingenuity was facinating.
...more
Emma
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible, netgalley
This is an excellent audiobook, well read and wonderfully gruesome. Investigating the weirdly appealing world of forensic science, this book reveals the macabre to the mundane. It's surprising and often funny too. It's not just high profile cases, this is everyday stuff, and all the more fascinating for it. Who knew that a Guy's Hospital employee could collect a whole lower leg right from the operating table of another hospital and carry it across London on the tube? Who knew that a murderer cou ...more
Alannah Clarke
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, reviewed
Thank you to netgalley.co.uk for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I'm a quite a crime junkie and this book just fascinated me, I felt like I was able to learn so much about how forensic science works through the eyes of two different positions, from a medical view and a secretarial views because it's obvious that both positions are just as important to get everything done in an efficient way. The book goes into brilliant detail without getting too gory
...more
Andi
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this! I loved listening to the past experiences of both. A few made me smile, especially the leg in the bag! Lots made me wince, but most just stopped me in my tracks and listen and marvel at what our bodies can show. Absolutely fascinating
Alice
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audibook, nf-general
Very interesting account from a couple of forensic scientists. I really enjoyed their stories (please note I'm not squeamish). My only 'complaint' and it's not even really one is that the narrators (I had the audiobook) were almost too good at narrating this, I kept forgetting that this wasn't a fictional story but a real one. Would recommend if you are interested in forensic science.

Thank you to NetGalley for giving me access to an audio review copy.
...more
Kate Henderson
Dec 17, 2020 rated it liked it
**listened via audiobook**

This book felt completely up my street. I love all things crime, and forensics fascinate me!
I was surprised to find that a lot of the book talks about my local area, so immediately I was engaged.
However, the more the book went on the more I lost interest. I'm unsure whether it was the audiobook narrators that felt a little lack-lustre or the writing itself.

I was expecting more exciting cases, and insights but this just didn't happen. Maybe, I went into the book with
...more
Maisie
I received an audio ARC of this book on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

"How to Solve a Murder" is an interesting set of anecdotes spanning several decades of the authors' work in the forensic science field (and associated areas). It includes their respective paths into these careers and their notable contributions to the subject such as diatoms, the National Injuries Database, and body mapping. Similarly to "Unnatural Causes" by Dr Richard Shephere (who, having worked with Derek Tre
...more
Mazmum
Jan 10, 2021 rated it liked it
How to Solve a Murder as a title gives a distinct impression that this is what the majority of the book is about. In truth, it's in the main about one man's career, that involves taking bodies apart for analysis but not always in the name of murder. There is also a shift later in his career and again this new role is partly used for helping solve murders but also in part for solving other crimes where the victim is still alive.

It was interesting to hear what went on inside those walls and the te
...more
Lisa
Dec 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Thanks to the authors, publisher and NetGalley UK for the opportunity to read this in advance of publication.

As a big fan of detective novels and forensic TV shows like CSI and Bones, I was looking forward to reading this real life perspective.

Book wise this is more in the line of career memoirs of the likes of This Is Going to Hurt, The Secret Barrister and The Prison Doctor. Unfortunately the career stories often seem a bit disjointed or surface level. This is possibly because it covers the c
...more
Paige
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
I would like to thank Netgalley and Harper Collins publishers for allowing me the chance to read the book free of charge in exchange for a honest review. I am also so sorry it took me a little time to actually review it. I started reading this on January 1st and finished it today which is January 3rd.

As a crime addict the title itself intrigued me and then I read the description and was immediately hooked. I was amazed about how descriptive it was without going into to much detail on all the pa
...more
Holly  Jones
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Helen French
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating story of a married couple's individual (and eventually merging) careers in forensic science. It is not really information on 'how to solve a murder', so if you are expecting tales of hunting down serial killers, you may be disappointed, though certainly lots of crimes are resolved along the way.

The book is more anecdotal, beginning with Derek starting work at 15 (!) in a medical museum, which takes him down a path of becoming a scientist, an expert on drowning analysis, wou
...more
Ellesse
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
How to solve a murder is an interesting book - the title, however, is a little misleading, it's not exactly how to solve a murder, it's bits of what a secretary does and a forensic scientist but neither actually solve a murder. Now I like all things true crime, and particularly forensics work but this one didn't quite hit the mark.

The book features both Derek and Pauline Tremain. Pauline is a Forensic Secretary at the start of the book, while her work was interesting, some of the parts don't
...more
Zoe Jackson
I received an advance copy of this audiobook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As someone with an interest in true crime I was intrigued by this title and decided to give it a listen. The book follows the careers of a couple who work in forensic pathology over several decades, with frequent in depth explanations of the various processes they use.

This book goes into significant amounts of detail and is not one for anyone remotely squeamish. I found some of the information given
...more
Sandra Leivesley
Jan 08, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021, netgalley-audio
This is a fascinating look into the life of a forensic scientist. I have to say that I really admire Derek Tremain, who left school with no qualifications and yet has become on of the countries leading forensic scientists. His wife, Pauline, started as a secretary and is now a respected forensic graphic artist. Both have done amazing, groundbreaking work in their field.

I found the book interesting, especially the first part. It was informative, sometimes very gruesome, but with plenty of light h
...more
Kera
Jan 14, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
I love TV shows like CSI and true crime documentaries so this book stood out as one that I may enjoy.

The book is written by a husband and wife team who both worked in forensic medicine in two very different roles.

I found the book a very interesting peek behind the curtains as to what happens behind the scenes in real life, including the games and hijinks that would be played by the staff!

I feel that sometimes it wasn’t very obvious as to who was writing a certain paragraph until you had read
...more
Lucii Dixon
Dec 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
Unfortunately, I couldn’t even get past 56% of this. I did try, I persevered but my god it was boring as hell.

I thought we would read about interesting cases, and how things in pathology labs are performed. I was also under the impression that the authors were huge parts of it. One is a secretary and the other is a histologist. Neither went to university.... these days you have to have a gazzilion degrees to get a job. They got these ones effortlessly with barely any knowledge.

Instead of teach
...more
Zoe Jackson
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
I received an advance copy of this audiobook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As someone with an interest in true crime I was intrigued by this title and decided to give it a listen. The book follows the careers of a couple who work in forensic pathology over several decades, with frequent in depth explanations of the various processes they use.

This book goes into significant amounts of detail and is not one for anyone remotely squeamish. I found some of the information given
...more
Kat McKenzie
Overall, this was an enjoyable listen. I was expecting more about specific murder cases and how the forensic evidence was uncovered that then led to the solving of said murder. There was some of that and these were by far my favourite parts of the book. I felt there was a lot of information about the authors’ professional and personal backgrounds, which wasn’t what I was expecting from the book nor what I really wanted to know more about. This audiobook was read really well and definitely gave s ...more
Maxine
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
This audio book was something unusual, so I was very keen to listen to it. I would suggest that it wouldn't be appropriate to listen to in the presence of small children, or for those of a delicate disposition.

I enjoyed it. It was penned by a husband and wife team with considerable experience in the forensic field. We learn how they got into their careers, and what fascinated them about the subject.

I enjoyed learning about how things can be discovered in the event of a crime, and how science is
...more
Catherine
Dec 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It took me back to my day's in the 80's when I started as a junior technician. Being taken to lunch and then onto the museum. Obviously the intent was so I would see my lunch again, however it just made me fall in love with the subject. Being based just round from the mortuary we often got to know the staff in there. The people the Tremain's wrote about I saw in the people I knew. I loved their memories' as it was exactly as the NHS was in those days.

They have manag
...more
zoe  Hitchen
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed listening to how to solve a murder.

Learning about the lives of Derek and Pauline was very educational as well as interesting. There were some gruesome parts of the book which are to be expected with the subject matter but this did not detract from the enjoyment of this book.
It’s amazing what can be proven by forensic science and learning about its theory and application makes for an absorbing read.
There are some funny moments , which lighten the mood and I would imagine in this line of
...more
Sarah O'Riordan | travelseatsreads
I was very excited to get my hands on this audiobook and loved the idea of hearing from a married couple within the forensic pathology field. The first part of the book was fascinating, especially Derek's sections. I found the sections from Pauline quite dull in comparison with a lot of extra unneeded and irrelevant information. I ended up switching back and forth between the audiobook and the kindle version. This helped as there was photo's included in the kindle book. Overall an interesting bo ...more
kellie
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley21
wow, what a career these two have had, this book is a fascinating read into the lives of two forensic scientist. They tell us how the body is the answer to how the person died, somewhat gruesome but mostly fascinating. As married couple who started in a time where they didn't have computers to her solve anything, they show the real life and painstakingly slow ways in which they helped solves murders ...more
Thieving Magpie
Dec 23, 2020 rated it liked it
For research (on writing) this book was perfect. I have learnt quite much from this book which I will hopefully be able to use in my own writing from now on. On a personal level, I am rather staying with True-Crime books about serial killers instead of methods on how to catch them.

I reveived a free ARC by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Kat McKenzie
rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2021
Nikki
rated it really liked it
Jan 05, 2021
Kate: The Quick and the Read
rated it really liked it
Dec 29, 2020
Miss C
rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2021
Audrey
rated it liked it
Dec 31, 2020
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Coffinmaker’s Garden (Ash Henderson, #3)
  • Butcher
  • Facing the Yorkshire Ripper: The Art of Survival
  • Little Bones
  • Shiver
  • The History of Sweets
  • The Stranger Times
  • Sleepless
  • Planet of the Apes
  • A Boy Called Christmas (Christmas, #1)
  • Refugee Boy
  • Pop Quiz Vol 1: 100 Multiple-Choice Questions on 7 Decades of Pop Music (Rock, Pop, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, Indie, Punk Rock, New Wave, Rap, Grunge, Country, Soul, Glam Rock, Folk, Brit Pop)
  • Here Comes The Quiz Book Vol 2: 250 Multiple-Choice Questions on The Beatles & After
  • They Disappeared (Jackman & Evans #7)
  • Untitled Summer 2020
  • The Drowned City
  • Of Magpies and Men
  • Midwinter Murder: Fireside Tales from the Queen of Mystery
See similar books…

Related Articles

New year! New books! New this month: Scandal rocks an elite British boarding school in The Divines. A dark secret spans several...
90 likes · 37 comments