It would be heartening to believe that the misalliance between myth and medicine is at an end and that today murders are examined only through the prism of the scientific method, but this is a comfort we may not have. – Kindle Edition location 2253
It took me a while to finish this one, and in the end it wasn’t really the book I wanted, alas.
The Science of Sherlock Holmes does look at the forensics of the Holmes stories, but in a cursory way and more focused on actual crimes of the era than on either the Holmes stories or the adaptation from the past to modern forensics. It’s an interesting, if dry, read, but other than the last couple of crimes there really wasn’t anything here I didn’t already know about from one source or another.
Though I was amused by the section on phrenology and the fact that Holmes was somewhat swayed by it.
I’m actually struggling to write more about this book; there really isn’t that much more to add. The book itself reads almost like a textbook; each chapter has a number of “What Remains” at the end that feel like chapter reviews. I suppose I had hoped for something a little more in-depth exploring how Holmes’ cases might be approached by someone with a modern forensic sensibility, or more examination of science as it was practiced in Holmes’ day.
Alas. This is not that book.
I don’t not recommend it, but do know what you’re getting into before you start. It took me the better part of a year and a half to finish this one.