Berkeley, California, 1933. In a lab filled with curiosities–beakers, microscopes, Bunsen burners, and hundreds upon hundreds of books–sat an investigator who would go on to crack at least two thousand cases in his forty-year career. Known as the “American Sherlock Holmes,” Edward Oscar Heinrich was one of America’s greatest–and first–forensic scientists, with an uncanny knack for finding clues, establishing evidence, and deducing answers with a skill that seemed almost supernatural.
Heinrich was one of the nation’s first expert witnesses, working in a time when the turmoil of Prohibition led to sensationalized crime reporting and only a small, systematic study of evidence. However with his brilliance, and commanding presence in both the courtroom and at crime scenes, Heinrich spearheaded the invention of a myriad of new forensic tools that police still use today, including blood spatter analysis, ballistics, lie-detector tests, and the use of fingerprints as courtroom evidence. His work, though not without its serious–some would say fatal–flaws, changed the course of American criminal investigation.
Based on years of research and thousands of never-before-published primary source materials, American Sherlock captures the life of the man who pioneered the science our legal system now relies upon–as well as the limits of those techniques and the very human experts who wield them.
February 11th 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Oh, how I adore CSI and all that goes along with it. I read this at an absurdly slow rate (for me). In this book, you get to know Heinrich’s life story and hear about his personal life as he basically invented crime scene investigation as we know it today.
Heinrich’s methods of handwriting analysis, laboratory testing of trace evidence, blood evidence observation, deductive reasoning, and other techniques that made him a criminal investigator ahead of his time.
He was also an early adopter of victim profiling, and victimology has taken on an increasingly important role in identifying unknown killers. He used photomicrographs –magnified photos were taken through microscopes — and turned them into comparison shots to be used in court to depict significant differences to juries, a method still used today.
All the science is fascinating, and then the narratives of each crime and trial made this book read like a marathon of Law and Order for me.
All in all, I’d give it 5 stars. (Note that I’m not going to rank in stars this year unless it is a 5 star ranking from me.)
Hayley Chill is the female action hero I didn’t know I needed. What a fast read. I mean the political intrigue kept me up way past my bedtime and then just when things were wrapping up at the end there is another big unforeseen twist. So fun to read a female lead character that knows her mind and doesn’t let anything or anyone slow her down.
Hayley Chill is an ex-Army boxing champion who is serving as a White House intern. She discovers the body of her boss, Peter Hall, the president’s Chief of Staff, and a single clue, which suggests he did not die of natural causes. Soon enough, Hayley is on the trail to solving the case herself. She isn’t sure who, if anyone she can trust, and as a reader, I wondered just how far up this conspiracy would go.
As a character, you can’t help liking Hayley. She’s come a long way from her West Virginia upbringing, and dealing with unraveling a conspiracy run by a “shadow government” wouldn’t be easy for anyone.
If you enjoy any of the spy-intrigue books, like the Jack Ryan series or watched Scandal or House of Cards, this book will be an excellent match for you. It looks like there is a sequel in the works, so feel free to get attached to Hayley.
Expected publication: January 7th, 2020 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
A funny empowering look at how maybe Rom-Com meets can work in real life? Evie Summers needs to convince her client Ezra to finish writing a Rom Com. He thinks they are dumb and unrealistic. And so, Evie embarks on recreating moments from famous movies to show him that they do work.
It’s so funny that I happily suspended my disbelief at some of the more unbelievable moments. I also adore a holiday British setting. My only complaint was that it was hard to keep her giant cast of friends straight in my own mind. Also, this is the perfect length for an airport read which makes it’s December release all the better.
I can’t wait to see what this debut author comes up with next.
Enchanting is not an overstatement as a broad description of the prose in this book. Nora is the latest in a long line of witches that live in Wicker Woods. The connection with the Woods goes so deep they predate the very trees inside the forest. One day Nora runs into Oliver Huntsman in the woods. He went missing from the Camp for Wayward Boys two weeks ago, but here he is freezing in the woods as the most significant snowstorm of the winter season cuts them off from the small town nearby. Oliver should be dead after all that time in the woods alone. Why isn’t he? What happened out there?
The atmosphere in this story is just perfect for a winter read. I mean, all the answers are there at the start, but the reader doesn’t know it until the ending. During the story, you are just immersed in this woodsy winter realm, thinking that you know where the story is leading you. Maybe you get it at the start? Most likely, you’ll be surprised as I was to see it all come together at the end.
I truly felt like I was stranded in a mountain valley in the middle of winter, with an ancient perhaps malicious forest to one side and a bottomless lake to the other. If you like magical YA, this book is terrific. I’d compare it to The Hazelwood– which I also loved. If you want a plot with a slow burn- this is for you. Sidenote: Pretty sure this is the November OwlCrate selection.
Finally, a book for all the teens of a specific size out there. Big ones. An anthology, but more importantly a primer of sorts of how to navigate this fat-phobic world. For too long life as an overweight teen was very don’t ask, don’t tell:
Don’t talk about finding stylish clothes, because it’s your fault you aren’t thinner.
Don’t eat sweets in front of anyone, because that’s how you gain weight.
Don’t accept the body you have. Being thin is the only good size.
Fat or thin, everyone deserves to feel comfortable in the body they own. These essays go a long way towards normalizing what actually already is normal. We have a weird twisted society sometimes. Can you imagine if suddenly it was shameful to have blonde hair? You’d be at the Doctor for a sore throat, and they’d wonder aloud, What are you doing to prevent your hair from getting lighter? When really you just want some antibiotics. This anthology is essential reading for fat teens and the people who love them just the way they are.
My favorite essays included are:
“For the Love of Ursula’s Revenge Body” by Julie Murphy
“Chubby City Indian” by Jana Schmeiding
“How To Be the Star of Your Own Fat Rom-Com” by Lily Anderson
“Elephant, Hippo, and Other Nicknames I Love” by Jes Baker
“Losing My Religion” by Jess Walton
All that said, I’m not sure if I’d hand this book to the lower end of the YA crowd. In many ways, it seems more like Adult non-fiction, although even young teens already know all of what is included with being fat. Maybe I’m just being a protective helicopter Mom, but with my own 14-year-old, I’m marking only specific essays for him to read. YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)
I have one copy to give away!
Find my review on Twitter and re-tweet it.
I’ll draw a winner on Sunday, September 29, 2019.
You’ll have to wait until October 1, 2019 to get your hand on this one. Go ahead and feel free to pre-order it now.
I knew I’d enjoy this book for 9-13 year old kids from this line on page 2:
Clementine Morcerous knew that if the Dark Lord Elithor had three gifts in this world, they were:
The invention and implementation of magical Dastardly Deeds.
Not Talking About Anything
I was hooked from that point on. It’s a little bit like a Neil Gaiman book mixed with well, a female dark lord written for middle grade readers and me. I loved the opposite theming where Clementine has to grapple with feeling that although she’s always told that she needs to be as evil as possible, that doesn’t seem like the right path for her.
I know lots of kids who will love Clementine! She is dark (of course, as an evil warlord) but also caring. She cares about keeping her Dad in the evil Lord business and does it her own way after learning to ask for help from her new friends.