Saturday, July 8, 2023

Library read... Investigating Murder Mysteries by Paul Dowswell

It's library read day! I try (and have been failing miserably some months) to work in one read, which I picked up through a library. It's one of my kids' favorite places to search for reads, since they can grab up even unfamiliar directions/genres without worrying about how much it costs. 

This one caught my eye, since my daughter and I had been discussing what it'd be like to work in the forensic direction...she's beginning to consider career choices as she starts to think about college. (We have a few years, though). If I went back in time, I would probably consider this as a possible field, too. So interesting!

Anyway, let's take a look and see if young sleuths and science fans will enjoy this one.

Forensic Files
by Paul Dowswell
Heinemann Library
Middle Grade Nonfiction
48 pages
ages 9 to 14

How can you tell how long a body has been dead?
What is DNA fingerprinting?
How did an umbrella kill Georgi Markov?

Become a forensic scientist! In Investigating Murder Mysteries you will examine the fascinating world of hi-tech detection work as you uncover some of the most intriguing murder mysteries. You can analyze the evidence in each thrilling case study and draw your own conclusions about the truth. 

The Forensic Files series examines the exciting world of forensic science. It uncovers the theory of mystery-solving through the use of forensic evidence, and delves into its practical application in real case-study investigations. The series also takes a look at the history of forensics, from its earliest beginnings in the ancient world to the development of DNA testing.

Each title includes: 
- an overview explaining how forensic science has developed
- case studies and analysis of forensic techniques
- a fictionalized case for the reader to solve
- ideas for further research, including books and websites
- glossary and index

Check out your local library!


Step-by-step, case-by-case, these pages delve into the intricacies of forensic medicine and explain the various methods used to find the criminals behind even the toughest murder mysteries.

This is one in a series of books, which takes a peek at various and many aspects of forensic science. This book begins with a quick definition of forensic science before diving into the theme of techniques used surrounding murder scenes. It begins with three chapters explaining what it is, a brief look at history and the generals of how it's used in modern times. Then, eight cases are presented, where various techniques have been used. Lastly, before it rounds off with a glossary and other resources, a case is given to the reader for them to investigate on their own.

The cases cover a variety of types of murders as well as time frames. While some were pretty gruesome, they are presented in a factual, yet interesting way. The crime 'scene' or basics are described, and then, the reader is lead step-by-step in the general process of how the cases were solved, including mistakes made before the truth came to light. The various types of forensic techniques come into play, and a divided off section gives the details of the technique. Each case has photos from the crimes as well. This allowed readers to dig somewhat into each case and gain an understanding of how the investigation process ran...almost as if they were taking peeks into the crimes themselves. It's engaging, doesn't talk down to the reader, and lets them see real life usage of the techniques. 

Older middle graders as well as teens are sure to enjoy these and gain a better understanding of the field. I do recommend this one to homeschoolers and school libraries as well.

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