Friday, February 10, 2017

How Dun It Forensics: A Guide for Writers by D. P. Lyle, M.D.

I confess Howdunit Forensics: A Guide for Writers by D. P. Lyle, M.D. was in my to-be-read stack for quite a long time before I started reading it. I initially bought it to do research for a couple of mysteries I was writing. When one of those books turned into more of a mainstream novel removing emphasis from the mystery element, I put Howdundt Forensics to the side. Then as I was editing the book I realized there were some factual issues I needed to address, so I found Lyle's book and started reading. Initially just to fill in those gaps, but I soon realized the book itself offers a great foundation for writing multiple elements of a book that includes a criminal aspect. Lyle explains forensics in layman's terms while always honoring the science. I appreciated his attention to process and detail as well as his honest depictions even when it meant pointing out the errors we often let pass by us when reading, watching, or writing crime fiction. Howdunit Forensics is an informative and helpful book for the crime fiction writer or even the writer who just has a story with a criminal investigation sprinkled between the main plot line. I think even crime fiction readers who don't write would find this book interesting. Lyle makes forensics accessible, so that it's easy to incorporate into the writing process. 

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