When I started writing the White Rose series of books, my heroine came to me fully formed as a forensic botanist. Don’t ask me why that particular career option; that’s just how it happened. It didn’t matter too much to begin with as there is little in the first book that requires knowledge beyond that of the average person. As the stories continued, I decided I needed to do some more research and I found this fantastic book.
Forensic Botany: A Practical Guide is just that - a practical guide. It takes someone with little knowledge of the plant world (me) and introduces them to the field in terms they can (mostly) understand without a dictionary. The information it contains includes evidence collection and analysis, plant DNA, forensic microscopy, and case studies. Even the equipment needed and a chapter on legalities are there. For someone who needs a handy reference they can understand, it was worth the not inconsiderable price I paid. As you can see from the photo, I’ve tagged quite a few pages for easy reference. It is a wealth of information and I hope it’s given my fictional botanist some credibility.
This book proves that you can find information on anything if you look. Writers need not limit themselves to resources that are designed for them. When you think about it, everyone has to start with little or no knowledge in their chosen area, so there are bound to be books such as this guide for a lot of topics. My only advice would be to read several reviews before purchasing a text like this one. They will provide you with a good idea as to the level of information contained in the book and whether you’ll be able to comprehend it.
My rating: 5/5
I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in plants and/or forensics.
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