I am about three quarters of the way through reading The Science of Sherlock Holmes by E.J.Wagner, and it is proving a very pleasant interlude from modern crime fiction. It covers everything from blood and ballistics, to poisons and fingerprinting: delving into real life Victorian crimes as well as Conan Doyle's masterly detective stories. It is the type of book you can read right through, or just dip into as a reference guide.
But it will shake your confidence in the medical profession as there were a plethora of Victorian murderers who were medical men.
I have lived in Devon for over 20 years, but it was only last week that I saw the formidable Dartmoor Prison, which is mentioned in the Hound of The Baskervilles, for the first time. It was a very rare mist and fog free day on Dartmoor and I realised that only a few weeks earlier I had driven right past the prison and had not seen it hidden in thick fog.
".....the great convict prison of Princetown. Between and around these scattered points extends the desolate lifeless moor. "
The Science of Sherlock Holmes won a well deserved Edgar as the Best Critical/Biographical book of 2007.