Good afternoon my loves
I hope you are managing this pandemic situation well enough. You might have noticed that I’m not posting as much and that is due in part to me being a key worker and being so stretched at work that I’m not able to devote as much time as I would like to the blog. There will be 3 other blog tour posts this month but I doubt there will be much of anything else. Hopefully things will return to normal pretty soon.
But enough of that ramble, on to the good stuff. Today is my stop on the blog tour for 18 Tiny Deaths by Bruce Goldfarb. So sit back and (hopefully) enjoy my review!
* Thank you to Octopus Books for sending me a gifted copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Title: 18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics
Author: Bruce Goldfarb
Publication date: 2nd April 2020
My rating: ★★★★☆
Goodreads rating: 3.71
Genre: Non-fiction, biography
The story of the Gilded Age Chicago heiress who revolutionized forensic death investigation. As the mother of forensic science, Frances Glessner Lee is the reason why homicide detectives are a thing. She is responsible for the popularity of forensic science in television shows and pop culture. Long overlooked in the history books, this extremely detailed and thoroughly researched biography will at long last tell the story of the life and contributions of this pioneering woman.
I think we’re all a little bit fascinated by death, aren’t we…? Speaking for myself at least, I know that am completely enthralled by any kind of historical narrative that centres around policing, medicine and true crime etc. Having never read any kind of biographical book on this subject was something I knew I wanted to remedy as soon as the invite to join this tour came around.
Frances Glessner Lee, a woman that admittedly I had never heard of, is a proper inspirational woman. She spent a great deal of her life creating tools that would aid medical examiners, police officers, prosecutors and judges in solving unexplained or violet deaths for decades to come. And all of this without any formal education.
Something the book also does is look at her life leading up to her career in this field – something I wasn’t expected. About half of the book is spent looking at her childhood, a failed marriage and bringing up her children. Now this bit for me was a little slow just I was so keen to get to the time in her life when she began on her journey to create the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a set of dioramas depicting 18 cases of unexplained death scenarios. See below!
The book is filled with all of the fascinating characters in Lee’s life, medical knowledge that us lay people will never have encountered and glimpses into the life of the woman who came to be known as the mother of forensic science in the States. And let us not forget, all of this at a time where women (especially those as wealthy as Lee) did not work in such ‘gritty’ fields. She paved the way for women to make their own name and forensic science will be forever changed by this fascinating woman.
18 Tiny Deaths is a great biography and is one that a lot of people will find interesting. While not quite what I expected, it was an enjoyable read that was clearly well researched and written by someone that knows their subject matter.