Thursday, December 4, 2008

Forensics are all the rage

Ever since CSI hit the screen back in 2000, forensics have become the biggest thing to his crime drama in ages. We've moved pas the grizzled detective who stands on his own and doest things a little less than by the books. PIs are still cool, in books anyway, but forensics is where it's at. 

Patricia Cornwell is probably the most well known author in this subject. I've read most of hers and love the early ones, but am not alone in having been very disappointed in her later books. She's still a guaranteed bestseller, though, and new readers are discovering her everyday. As I said, the early ones are amazing and well worth the read. Post Mortem is the first and was really unlike anything else I had read at that point. It is followed by: Body of Evidence, All That Remains, and Cruel and Unusual. To see more, visit her site here.  

Next up is Kathy Reichs. I liken her to early Cornwell, and have been a fan since around 2000 - when I ran out of Cornwell to read. I really enjoy this series. Tempe is brilliant and the early books switch off between Canada and the US, which gives them a great and original atmospheric element that I really like. Where Kay Scarpetta is an ME, Reichs's Tempe Brennan is a forensic anthropologist (a bit different from her tv counterpart, but I love the show as well). At eleven books thus far, Reichs has claimed her spot as a favored in the mystery genre. The series begins with (Deja Dead, Death du Jour, Deadly Decisions, and Fatal Voyage). For a complete list of Reichs's titles, visit her site and hit "my books." 

Now, many mystery fans have already read both of the above series. I do have a couple you may not have heard of, however.

First up is Lori Andrews. Her Alex Blake series began with Sequence and was followed by Silent Assassin and this year's Immunity. Blake is a doctor working for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Her work is focused on mapping the genomes of various deadly viruses in hopes of creating cures, but the head of the institute has different ideas about how they can best use her expertise. She ends up getting pulled into the hunt for a serial killer in book one and that's just the beginning of her involvement in some truly exciting adventures. I love this series because, as with Reichs, Andrews's science is accurate thanks to her expertise in genetics and law. Check out her website here.  

Another newbie to the subject who's work I really enjoy is Simon Beckett. He's only got two books in his David Hunter series under his belt thus far, but Chemistry of Death and Written in Bone have pushed the man onto my absolute must read list. Hunter is also an anthropologist and the series is based in the UK. And here's a link to Beckett's site where you can learn more. I highly recommend that you run out and buy Chemistry, though, as I think you'll fall in love with it like I did. 

Finally, Ariana Franklin has a truly original series based around forensics that takes place during medieval times and features a female doctor from Italy. The series began with Mistress of the Art of Death and continues in The Serpent's Tale and the upcoming Grave Goods

And sure, there are a ton of others out there. Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli and Isles series is a great one and Jefferson Bass (Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson) have a series based around the body farm that's just three book in so far. Any and all of these ware great for anyone who loves a good forensic mystery.  


Cheryl said...

I read Immunity as well as Written in Bone and enjoyed them both.

Also read The Serpent's Tale but I didn't really care for it. It also culd have been the mood I was in as I don't really remember much about it.

Jenn said...

Great suggestions! I'm downloading The Chemistry of Death onto my Sony Reader now.

Vickie said...

I have CHEMISTRY OF DEATH on Mt Git'r'Read thanks to my sister. I gave up on Cornwell a long time ago. Love Kathy Reichs in both book and TV form (sigh....Booth..) Thank you for the other recommendations. I really like forensic thrillers. Beverly Connor writes two very good forensic thrillers, too. Both of the main characters are forensic anthropologists.