Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Science of Sherlock Holmes

I have just started reading, and am already captivated by this book by E.J.Wagner, which was lent to me by Prof Jules Keiser - my forensic anthropology man. For some strange reason he thought I'd be interested.

It is subtitled "From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases."


It looks at Sherlock Holmes methods of detection and his forensics in the light of Victorian medicine, law, pathology, toxicology and the emerging forensic science of the time. It also delves into some of the folklore that existed and gives real-life examples of mysteries from the era.

I can see this will be a valuable resource as well as an entertaining read. It won a 2007 Edgar award, so it must have struck a chord with many people.

I'm hooked.

1 comment:

Peter Rozovsky said...

I wonder if this book will generate debate among readers. Some time ago, an essay attacked Holmes' reputation, singling out for special attention Conan Doyle's approach to science. The essay did not attack the accuracy of Holmes' method as much as it did the author's understanding of scientific reasoning. Real scientists, the essayist wrote, proceed with far more modest aims than Holmes' goal of solving every aspect of a problem through a single, all-encompassing act of rational thought.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"