'The unlikely tale of Frances Glessner Lee and her revolutionary work in forensic science through the creation of the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a series of dollhouse-sized crime scene dioramas that she used to teach homicide investigators. Modern forensic investigation originates with Frances Glessner Lee - a pivotal figure in police science; she became the mother of modern forensics and was instrumental in elevating homicide investigation to a scientific discipline.
Frances Glessner Lee learned forensic science under the tutelage of pioneering medical examiner Magrath - he told her about his cases, gave her access to the autopsy room to observe post-mortems and taught her about poisons and patterns of injury. A voracious reader too, Lee acquired and read books on criminology and forensic science - eventually establishing the largest library of legal medicine.
Lee went on to create The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death - a series of dollhouse-sized crime scene dioramas depicting the facts of actual cases in exquisitely detailed miniature - and perhaps the thing she is most famous for. Celebrated by artists, miniaturists and scientists, the Nutshell Studies are a singularly unusual collection. They were first used as a teaching tool in homicide seminars at Harvard Medical School in the 1930s, and then in 1945 the homicide seminar for police detectives that is the longest-running and still the highest-regarded training of its kind in America. Both of which were established by the pioneering Lee.'
This book was absolutely fascinating.
I knew nothing about Frances Glessner Lee before going into this book. Given my love of forensics I am surprised that Lee was unknown to me and I was very excited to dive into this book. I had high hopes and I am pleased to say, this book didn't just meet my expectations it well and truly surpassed them.
It was enthralled by this book from the very first page. I loved getting a look at the history of forensic science and a look at crime investigations from their very early days. Getting to see how far things have come and the situations that happened in order to advance the field made for a truly entertaining ready experience.
I was intrigues to learn about Frances Glessner Lee and what drove her, so getting to learn about her life and how she became this force to be reckoned with in the forensics world was truly compelling.
As for Bruce Goldfarb; I am speechless. His writing was utterly superb, the way in which he guided the reader through this journey that took place over decades was truly wonderful to read. His writing really agreed with me and I look forward to reading more from him in the future.
One of my favorite things about this book was that there were photographs included in it. 'The Nutshells' are something that I feel need to be seen to be believed, so getting to see them in colored photographs as well as read about the situations they depicted added an extra layer to this already fabulous book.
I honestly don't have a bad word to say about this book. I am so glad that I have read it, and I know that it will be one that I take of my book shelf many times in the future.
18 Tiny Deaths by Bruce Goldfarb is a must read for everyone.
Published by Geramie Kate Barker