E J Wagner: The Science of Sherlock Holmes

Holmes was to modern Detective Work what Star Trek was to modern technological development.


51EapR2dqkL._AA160_Regular readers, and ex-students of mine, will know I’m a Sherlock Holmes addict. So I was really happy to receive this book among my Christmas swag. The author is clearly a Holmes fiend too, as well as an expert on CSI and forensics: a good combination…

So the book is a nicely structured exploration of different aspects of the detective’s craft, focused through the lens of the Sherlock Holmes stories as a starting point. There are chapters on corpses, poisoning, disguises, forgery, fingerprinting… We see how crime scene investigation developed over time from its early days; we realise how much Conan Doyle knew, and also who he knew, and how close to the cutting edge of investigation at the time Holmes was. Details from real criminal investigations are interwoven with some of those from the Holmes stories.

The book is clearly aimed at the general reader, and it’s very readable…

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