Book: The Science of Sherlock Holmes

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The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases

Author: E.J. Wagner
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc

From autopsies to zoology, how Holmes eliminated the impossible

This unique book uses the legendary adventures of Sherlock Holmes as a jumping-off point to discuss the growth of forensic science during the Victorian era. The book explores the emergence of science from superstition, how forensic autopsies evolved from anatomical dissection, the huge advances in blood chemistry and poison detection, and the early use of fingerprints, photography and trace evidence. It also provides new insights into landmark criminal cases that influenced the forensic world, such as Jack the Ripper and Lizzie Borden, and includes rare period illustrations.

E. J. Wagner (Stony Brook, NY) is a crime historian and lecturer who specializes in forensic roles. She is the organizer and moderator of the annual Forensic Forum at the Museum of Long Island Natural Sciences, SUNY Stony Brook. Her work has been published in the New York Times and the Lancet.

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