The Forensic Analysis of Agatha Christie by Carla Valentine

genre: nonfiction/science/criminology

Our author, Carla Valentine, has spent her career caring for the dead in one way or another and at the beginning of the book she explains where her passion for pathology came from: an early infatuation with Agatha Christie’s murder mystery novels. Using Christie’s books and writing as scaffolding, we learn all about the history of forensic medicine in the common era. We explore fingerprints and weapons, toxicology and blood spatter – all the different ways that detectives (both real and imagined in the present and past) will use the information they can find to determine who the perpetrator was.

This is a random pick for me, I know, but I was sitting at a table at Barnes and Noble as a monthly pick and the idea intrigued me. I’ve only read two of her novels, but I found them both really intriguing and it’s clear that Christie was really an expert at her craft. Not only do we learn a great deal about Christie’s novels and how she uses various techniques and processes in her narratives, but the author also relates many real-life cases that Christie was clearly familiar with and that, in one way or another, influenced her writing. his writing. . I can see how these tangents can be frustrating for some, but for me they really made the book better. I learned a lot, but it’s incredibly readable with a tone that’s absolutely conversational and for the layman. It’s not perfect – I definitely read a bit from time to time as it got a bit confusing – but for the most part this was a great introduction to the subject for someone whose only information comes from old CSI episodes.

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