Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Forensic Mysteries and Thrillers--Part 1

forensic--(fo-ren-sic)--"of, relating to, or denoting the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime." (Oxford Dictionary)

forensics-- is the use of science and technology to investigate and establish facts to be presented in a court of law.  This comes from a variety of perspectives and specialties such as art, anthropology, archeology, pathology, geology, psychology, and psychiatry.

This is part one of a two-part blog on mystery and thriller series that highlight the many, great authors and very diverse group of scientists that make up the characters of these books.  We seem to be fascinated with TV crime dramas, true-crime documentaries, crimes in the media, and literature about crime and criminals.  Some of our favorite TV crime series and movies are based on books: Bones (Kathy Reichs), Rizzoli and Isles (Tess Gerritsen), The Bone Collector (Jeffrey Deaver), Wire in the Blood (Val McDermid), and Kiss the Girls (James Patterson) are a few examples.

So try some of the following great series and hone your CSI skills to a scalpel's keen edge.  I have provided the author, character name, forensic specialty, and first book in the series.

Forensic Anthropology--is the application of anthropology in a legal setting. A forensic anthropologist can assist in the identification of victims whose remains are decomposed, burned, mutilated, or otherwise unrecognizable.

Jefferson Bass--Dr. Bill Brockton, forensic anthropologist in Tennessee.  Carved in Bone.

Simon Beckett--Dr. David Hunter, forensic anthropologist in England.  Chemistry of Death.

*Beverly Connor--Diane Fallon, forensic anthropologist, museum director, and former Human Rights investigator.  One Grave Too Many.

Aaron Elkins--Gideon Oliver, forensic anthropologist in Washington state.  Fellowship of Fear.

*Kathy Reichs--Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist in the province of Quebec, Canada, and Charlotte, North Carolina.  Deja Dead. The TV series Bones is based on her books.

Forensic Archeology--is the application of archeology used to uncover evidence at a crime scene. They locate, excavate, and record buried remains.

*Beverly Connor--Lindsay Chamberlain, forensic archaeologist at the University of Georgia in Athens.  A Rumor of Bones.



Forensic Pathology--uses medical knowledge for legal purposes and focuses on determining the cause of death by examining a dead body. This is done by a coroner or medical examiner.

Michael Baden--Jake Rosen, medical examiner/pathologist.  Remains Silent.

Benjamin Black--Quirke, coroner in 1950s Dublin, Ireland.  Christine Falls.

Patricia Cornwell--Dr. Kay Scarpetta, chief medical examiner in Richmond, VA.  Postmortem.

Ariana Franklin--Adelia, coroner working for King Henry II in 12th century England.  Mistress of the Art of Death.

Tess Gerritsen--Maura Isles, medical examiner in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Surgeon.

Christine Green--Kate Kinsella, nurse and medical examiner in England.  Deadly Errand.

Susanna Gregory--Matthew Bartholomew, physician in 14th century Cambridge, England.  A Plague on Both Your Houses.

*Erin Hart--Nora Gavin, American pathologist in Ireland.  Haunted Ground.

Marsha Landreth--Dr. Samantha Turner, medical examiner in Sheridan, Wyoming.  The Holiday Murders.

Peter May--Margaret Campbell, American pathologist in Beijing, China.  Firemaker.

Nigel McCrery--Dr. Samantha (Sam) Ryan, pathologist working for the Home Office in London, England.  Silent Witness.

Sharyn McCrumb--Elizabeth MacPherson, pathologist and forensic anthropologist in the Southern United States.  Sick of Shadows.

Karin Slaughter--Dr. Sara Linton, pediatrician and coroner in Grant County, Georgia. Blindsighted.


The starred * titles are some of my favorite series.

If our library is missing any titles, please request them through SearchOhio.






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