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The Science of Murder: The Forensics of Agatha Christie

The Science of Murder: The Forensics of Agatha Christie

by Carla Valentine
The Science of Murder: The Forensics of Agatha Christie

The Science of Murder: The Forensics of Agatha Christie

by Carla Valentine


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Notes From Your Bookseller

No less than a top-notch course in forensics — the science of murder — all "class" examples drawn from the stories, novels, characters, and innovations of Agatha Christie, a writer who knew what she was about when it came to poisons, fingerprints, weapons, handwriting, and autopsies (even if she did take occasional literary liberties). That Carla Valentine, a mortuary technician with an equal passion for murder mysteries and true crime forensics, both adores and takes inspiration from Christie's work is brilliantly evident on every page. So much fun ... and no spoilers!

Discover the science of forensics through Agatha Christie's novels in the ultimate true crime investigation

Agatha Christie is the bestselling novelist of all time, and nearly every story she ever wrote involves one—or, more commonly, several—dead bodies. And the cause of death, the motives behind violent crimes, the clues that inevitably are left behind, and the people who put the pieces together to solve the mystery invite the reader to analyze the evidence and race to find the answer before the detective does. Nearly every step of the way, Christie outlines the nuts and bolts of early 20th-century crime detection, relying on physical evidence to tell the real story behind the facades humans erect to escape detection.

Christie wouldn't have talked of "forensics" as it is understood today—most of her work predates the modern developments of forensics science—but in each tale she harnesses the power of human observation, ingenuity, and scientific developments of the era. A fascinating, science-based deep dive, The Science of Murder examines the use of fingerprints, firearms, handwriting, blood spatter analysis, toxicology, and more in Christie's beloved works.

What readers are saying:

"Highly entertaining with many fascinating snippets of insider information about real life criminal cases. This is a must for Christie fans."

"Thoroughly researched and a delight to read!"

"A wealth of information and knowledge to help give an insight to the golden age of crime fiction."

"Absolutely brilliant book that looks at how Agatha Christie made use of developments in forensic science in her novels and upgraded her understanding over time."

"Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors, unparalleled in her clever plots and twisting tales. She was also a forensic expert, weaving into her novels human observation, ingenuity and genuine science of the era. This book illuminates all of Agatha's incredible knowledge, showing how she stayed at the cutting edge of forensic knowledge, as seen through her much loved characters."

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781728251844
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 05/31/2022
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 10,219
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Scene of the Crime ix

Chapter 1 Fingerprints 1

Chapter 2 Trace Evidence 52

Chapter 3 Forensic Ballistics (Firearms) 96

Chapter 4 Documents and Handwriting 145

Chapter 5 Impressions, Weapons, and Wounds 196

Chapter 6 Blood Spatter 239

Chapter 7 Autopsy 283

Chapter 8 Toxicology 329

Conclusion: Zero Hour 378

Appendix 1 Murder Methods Table 386

Appendix 2 Maps and Floor Plans 390

Agatha Christie References 391

Image Credits 395

Notes 396

Acknowledgments 400

About the Author 403

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