5 Best Books About Forensic Science

5 Best Books About Forensic Science_RxCalculations

Best Books About Forensic Science

Choosing the best books on forensic science can be challenging. One important fact is that many experts recommend "The Killer of Little Shepherds" as a top pick in this field. Our article lists the most acclaimed books to guide you through forensic science's fascinating aspects.

Find your next great read here!

Understanding Forensic Science

Forensic science plays a crucial role in solving crimes by applying scientific principles to analyze evidence. It involves various disciplines such as genetics, toxicology, and ballistics to uncover vital information related to criminal investigations.

Definition and significance in crime solving

Forensic science plays a crucial role in uncovering the truth behind crimes. It involves applying scientific principles and techniques to collect, analyze, and interpret evidence from crime scenes.

This process helps investigators solve cases by identifying suspects and proving their involvement in criminal activities. Through methods such as DNA analysis, fingerprinting, forensic chemistry, and pathology, forensic scientists can unlock key pieces of evidence that might otherwise remain hidden.

The significance of forensic science extends beyond solving individual cases. It also aids in the improvement of the criminal justice system by providing accurate and reliable evidence that supports fair trials.

As technology advances, new forensic techniques emerge, enhancing the ability to solve even the most complex crimes. This evolving field continues to captivate students interested in merging their passion for science with a desire to contribute to legal justice efforts.

Now let's delve into some top recommended books on forensic science that offer deeper insights into this fascinating world.

Top Recommended Books on Forensic Science

Quick Recommendation

For a quick recommendation, check out the product list; for more in-depth reviews, scroll down below.

Comparison Table

Product TitlePricePublication DatePrint Length (Pages)Dimensions (Inches)Item Weight (Ounces)ISBN-13ISBN-10Paperback/HardcoverLanguagePublisherEdition
The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas Starr$17.00November 1, 20113365.17 x 0.7 x 7.979.6978-03072790880307279081PaperbackEnglishVintage; Reprint edition-
Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid$13.39April 5, 20163205.25 x 0.75 x 8.2511.2978-08021251560802125158PaperbackEnglishGrove Press; Reprint edition-
Principles and Practice of Forensic Science: The Profession of Forensic Science by Keith Inman and Norah Rudin$199.50August 29, 20003929.21 x 6.14 x 0.871.43 pounds978-08493812700849381274HardcoverEnglishCRC Press; 1st edition1st
Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science by Richard Saferstein$112.44January 3, 20175768.4 x 0.9 x 10.8-978-01344775960134477596-EnglishPearson12th
Forensics: Cool Women Who Investigate by Anita Yasuda$9.95March 15, 20161125.7 x 0.2 x 8.8-978-16193035081619303507-EnglishNomad Press-

1. "The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science" by Douglas Starr

The Killer of Little Shepherds A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas Starr_RxCalculations

Delve into Gripping True Crime and the Birth of Forensic Science


  • Published on November 1, 2011
  • Contains 336 pages of captivating content
  • Offers a gripping true crime story
  • Showcases the origin of forensic science
  • Written by Douglas Starr
  • Available in English

Douglas Starr's "The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science" takes readers on a thrilling journey into the dawn of forensic science, all through the lens of a gripping true crime story. This book shines because it not only tells a compelling tale but also educates about the revolutionary techniques that transformed criminal investigation. Students will find themselves mesmerized by how early forensic scientists solved crimes, turning every page with anticipation.

What sets this book apart as our top pick is its ability to marry intrigue with learning seamlessly. Starr demonstrates extensive knowledge on the subject, presenting detailed scenarios where forensic methods played pivotal roles in unmasking criminals. The narrative is rich with real-life examples, from analyzing soil samples to early autopsies, showing students the practical applications of scientific principles they learn in class. For those intrigued by mysteries or considering a career in forensics, this book serves as an invaluable resource and an enthralling read.

Choosing "The Killer of Little Shepherds" was a no-brainer for us because it stands out for its depth and accessibility. It doesn't just recount events; it transports readers back in time, allowing them to witness the birth of forensic science firsthand. Through balanced evaluation, links to additional resources, and engaging storytelling, Douglas Starr provides an educational tool that is both informative and impossible to put down.


  • Gripping true crime story that keeps readers on the edge of their seats
  • Unveils the fascinating origins of forensic science
  • Provides a captivating look into historical criminal investigations
  • Engaging and informative storytelling style captures readers' attention


  • Lacks in-depth exploration of the science behind forensic methods
  • Some readers may find the historical context overwhelming
  • Limited focus on the personal lives of the individuals involved

Perfect for fans of true crime and those fascinated by the history of forensic science, dive into this gripping narrative that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Immerse yourself in a world of mystery and scientific discovery - get your copy now!


PublisherVintage; Reprint edition (November 1, 2011)
Paperback336 pages
Item Weight9.6 ounces
Dimensions5.17 x 0.7 x 7.97 inches
Best Sellers RankSee Top 100 in Books
Print length336 pages
Publication dateNovember 1, 2011

2. "Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime" by Val McDermid

Forensics What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid_RxCalculations

Unraveling Crime Mysteries Through Fascinating Forensic Science Insights


  • Comprehensive coverage of various forensic techniques
  • Written by renowned crime writer Val McDermid
  • Explains how bugs, burns, prints, and DNA help solve crimes
  • Engaging and accessible language for non-experts
  • Paperback edition with 320 pages
  • Published by Grove Press in English

"Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime" by Val McDermid dives deep into the intricate world of forensic science with expert precision. The author shares her vast knowledge and insights about how tiny clues left at crime scenes can unlock mysteries that would otherwise remain unsolved. Students interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice or who are simply fascinated by the science behind solving crimes will find this book incredibly informative. McDermid explores various aspects of forensics, from analyzing insect activity on decomposing bodies to understanding the significance of burn patterns and DNA evidence in identifying perpetrators and victims.

The book earns its place as No. 2 on our list because it effectively bridges theoretical knowledge with real-world applications through engaging anecdotes and case studies that reveal the profound impact forensic science has had on solving crimes throughout history. Unlike other texts that might only skim the surface, McDermid delves into how each technique developed over time and discusses their critical roles in both exonerating the innocent and convicting those guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Balanced evaluation is key here; "Forensics" doesn't shy away from discussing the limitations and ethical considerations inherent to forensic work, providing readers with a comprehensive view that enhances decision-making for anyone considering this field as a profession.

Through insightful explanations accompanied by useful resources like links to further readings and examples of landmark cases where forensics played a decisive role, students gain not just an overview but an immersive experience of the complexities of forensic science. This approach ensures readers walk away with a solid foundation in what it takes to analyze crime scene evidence—a crucial step towards either pursuing advanced studies or simply satisfying one's curiosity about how science serves justice every day.


  • Learn about the fascinating world of forensic science in an engaging and informative way
  • Gain insights into how bugs, burns, prints, DNA, and other evidence helped solve real-life crimes
  • Understand the crucial role of forensics in criminal investigations and justice systems
  • Explore the advancements in technology that have revolutionized forensic analysis


  • The book may not be suitable for readers with a weak stomach due to its detailed descriptions of forensic evidence in crime scenes.
  • Some readers may find the scientific explanations and terminology challenging to comprehend without prior knowledge of forensic science.
  • Individuals seeking a fast-paced thriller might find the book's focus on forensic processes and analysis to be slower-paced than expected.


PublisherGrove Press; Reprint edition (April 5, 2016)
Paperback320 pages
Item Weight11.2 ounces
Dimensions5.25 x 0.75 x 8.25 inches
Best Sellers RankSee Top 100 in Books
Print length320 pages
Publication dateApril 5, 2016

3. "Principles and Practice of Forensic Science: The Profession of Forensic Science" by Keith Inman and Norah Rudin

Principles and Practice of Forensic Science The Profession of Forensic Science by Keith Inman and Norah Rudin_RxCalculations

Master the essentials of forensic science with this comprehensive guide.


  • Comprehensive coverage of forensic science principles and practices
  • Part of the Protocols in Forensic Science series
  • Offers a practical approach to the profession of forensic science
  • Published by CRC Press, known for high-quality academic and professional texts
  • Written by respected authors Keith Inman and Norah Rudin
  • First edition from August 29, 2000

"Principles and Practice of Forensic Science: The Profession of Forensic Science" by Keith Inman and Norah Rudin stands out as an indispensable guide for anyone diving into the world of forensic science. This book sheds light on the profession from two experts who bring a wealth of knowledge and firsthand insights, making complex topics accessible to students. Its comprehensive coverage goes beyond basic principles, delving into the nuances that make forensic science both fascinating and challenging.

What sets this book apart is its ability to engage readers with real-life examples that illuminate the daily challenges and breakthroughs in forensic science. Through these stories, Inman and Rudin emphasize critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and the importance of staying updated with technological advancements in criminalistics protocols. It's not just about presenting facts; it's about inspiring students to think like forensic scientists.

Our choice to rank this product as No. 3 stems from its balanced approach between theoretical knowledge and practical application. While there are books that might dive deeper into specific subfields or offer more simplified overviews suitable for absolute beginners, "Principles and Practice" strikes an ideal balance for students ready to bridge their foundational understanding into more nuanced comprehension without getting lost in technicalities or oversimplifications. Its inclusion is a testament to how crucial it is for budding professionals to be well-rounded in their education—a true gem among resources for those dedicated to pursuing a career in forensic science.


  • This book covers the most current techniques and practices in forensic science, ensuring readers stay up to date with the field.
  • The authors draw on their extensive experience to provide practical insights and real-life examples that give readers a comprehensive understanding of the profession.
  • It offers a thorough overview of criminalistics, including crime scene investigation, physical evidence analysis, and courtroom testimony preparation.
  • The book's clear and accessible writing style makes complex concepts understandable for students and professionals alike.


  • Written in a complex and technical language, difficult for beginners to comprehend.
  • Lacks detailed illustrations or visual aids essential for understanding forensic science processes.
  • Some chapters may be outdated due to the evolving nature of forensic science.

Ideal for aspiring forensic science professionals, this comprehensive guide by Keith Inman and Norah Rudin offers a wealth of knowledge on criminalistics. Dive into the world of forensic science and gain valuable insights to kickstart your career.


PublisherCRC Press; 1st edition (August 29, 2000)
Hardcover392 pages
Item Weight1.43 pounds
Dimensions9.21 x 6.14 x 0.87 inches
Best Sellers RankSee Top 100 in Books
Publication dateAugust 29, 2000
Part of seriesProtocols in Forensic Science
Print length392 pages

4. "Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science" by Richard Saferstein

Criminalistics An Introduction to Forensic Science by Richard Saferstein_RxCalculations

Perfect for aspiring forensic science enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive introduction.


  • Includes comprehensive coverage of forensic science topics
  • Updated information based on the latest advancements in the field
  • Engaging and accessible writing style for easy understanding
  • In-depth explanations of key concepts with real-life examples
  • Offers practical applications and case studies for relevance
  • An ideal resource for students, professionals, and enthusiasts alike

Dive deep into the fascinating world of forensic science with "Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science" by Richard Saferstein. This book offers a clear and detailed exploration, making complex scientific concepts accessible to students at any level. Saferstein's expertise shines through each page, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of how forensic techniques are applied in solving crimes.

The author does an excellent job blending theoretical knowledge with practical applications, using real-life examples that captivate and educate simultaneously. From analyzing fingerprints to understanding DNA sequencing, students gain valuable insights into the decision-making process behind solving criminal cases. Despite its vast coverage of topics, the book maintains a balanced evaluation, discussing the limitations and challenges within forensic science alongside its advancements and successes. Whether you're a budding forensic scientist or simply intrigued by crime scene investigation, Saferstein's work is an indispensable resource that enriches your learning experience and guides you through the intricate world of criminalistics.


  • Explains the application of scientific techniques in solving crimes
  • Covers various aspects of forensic science, including evidence collection and analysis
  • Provides real-life case studies to illustrate key concepts
  • Written by an experienced author with a background in forensic science


  • The language used in the book can be complex and may require additional explanation for some readers.
  • Some of the forensic techniques discussed in the book may be outdated as the field of forensic science is constantly evolving.
  • The book's focus on criminalistics may not cover all aspects of forensic science, leaving out certain important areas.


Publication dateJanuary 3, 2017
Dimensions8.4 x 0.9 x 10.8 inches
Print length576 pages

5. "Forensics: Cool Women Who Investigate" by Anita Yasuda

Forensics Cool Women Who Investigate by Anita Yasuda_RxCalculations

Engaging tales of pioneering female forensic scientists hook eager readers.


  • Engaging introduction to the world of forensics
  • Focuses on the inspiring stories of women in investigative fields
  • Suitable for children aged 9 to 12 years old
  • Written in clear and easy-to-understand language
  • Includes intriguing real-life case studies and activities
  • Supports reading comprehension with a Lexile measure of 980L

"Forensics: Cool Women Who Investigate" by Anita Yasuda is a fascinating dive into the world of forensic science, told through the achievements and stories of incredible women who have made significant contributions to the field. This book not only showcases their groundbreaking work but also illuminates how forensic science plays a pivotal role in solving crimes and seeking justice. With its clear explanations and thrilling real-life cases, readers gain a deep understanding of various forensic techniques, from analyzing DNA evidence to reconstructing crime scenes.

Yasuda brilliantly merges expertise with an engaging narrative style, making complex scientific concepts accessible and captivating for students. The book acts as both an educational resource and an inspirational read, highlighting how perseverance and passion can lead to remarkable careers in forensics. By providing links to additional resources and discussions on key decision-making factors within forensic investigations, the content becomes invaluable for those curious about or considering a career in this fascinating field.

Moreover, "Forensics: Cool Women Who Investigate" balances its admiration for these trailblazers with honest insights into the challenges they've faced, setting realistic expectations while encouraging readers that obstacles can be overcome with dedication. This balanced evaluation ensures that students are not only informed about their successes in forensic science but also prepared for the hard work it entails. Through this book, Anita Yasuda invites young minds to explore a path filled with discovery, challenge, and reward in forensics.


  • Explore the inspiring stories of women who work in forensic science
  • Learn about real-life investigations and the innovative techniques used to solve crimes
  • Discover the diverse career opportunities available in the field of forensics
  • Gain insight into the critical role that women play in law enforcement and criminal justice


  • May not provide in-depth information on specific forensic techniques
  • Lack of diversity in the women represented in the book
  • Limited coverage of modern advancements in forensic science

This book is perfect for any curious reader fascinated by forensic science and the inspiring women who pursue careers in this field. Join these trailblazing investigators and discover their intriguing stories.


Reading age9 - 12 years
Print length112 pages
Grade Level3 - 7
Lexile measure980L
Dimensions5.7 x 0.2 x 8.8 inches
PublisherNomad Press
Publication dateMarch 15, 2016

Essential Reads for Beginners in Forensic Science

Starting with forensic science requires grasping its fundamental concepts and the incredible stories behind real-life investigations. "The Killer of Little Shepherds" by Douglas Starr is a must-read.

It guides you through an enthralling true crime story while unveiling the dawn of forensic methods. You'll see how early pioneers solved crimes before modern technology existed.

Another essential book is "Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime" by Val McDermid. This book takes readers on a journey through various aspects of forensic science, making complex topics accessible to beginners.

Val McDermid's expertise in crime fiction adds a unique flavor to her exploration of forensics, uncovering the science and technology behind solving crimes. These reads not only educate but also captivate those new to the field with tales that showcase the importance and evolution of forensic science in criminal investigations.

Additional Resources for Forensic Science Enthusiasts

Explore a variety of online courses, certifications, publications, and workshops to deepen your knowledge of forensic science. Delve further into the fascinating world of forensic science by discovering additional valuable resources.

Online courses and certifications

Online courses and certifications provide an excellent avenue for diving deeper into the world of forensic science. They offer flexibility and a wide range of topics, from introductory lessons on forensic investigation to advanced studies in forensic DNA analysis.

Many respected universities and professional institutions now feature online programs designed specifically for students eager to expand their knowledge in this fascinating field.

Students can earn certifications that add significant value to their resumes, showcasing their dedication and expertise in forensic science subjects. With courses often taught by renowned professionals in the field, learners gain access to cutting-edge information and techniques used in modern investigations.

This education pathway supports those aiming for careers as forensic investigators, analysts, or even roles within the legal system where a solid understanding of forensics is crucial.

Publications and workshops

Moving beyond online courses and certifications, engaging with publications and workshops presents another vital way for students to dive deeper into forensic science. Renowned forensic scientists often share their knowledge through published works and hands-on sessions.

These resources cover a broad spectrum of topics, from the basics of laboratory exercises for forensic science to advanced discussions on forensic pathology and anthropology.

Workshops offer a unique opportunity to experience the practical side of forensic investigations. Participants can learn directly from experts about collecting evidence, analyzing crime scenes, and employing the latest technology and techniques used in modern forensics.

Engaging with these materials not only enriches understanding but also connects learners with the thriving community surrounding this fascinating field.


In conclusion, exploring the world of forensic science through captivating books can provide an intriguing and educational experience for students and enthusiasts alike. Consider delving into the gripping true crime story and the birth of forensic science with "The Killer of Little Shepherds" by Douglas Starr.

Additionally, gain comprehensive insights into various forensic techniques with Val McDermid's "Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us About Crime." These recommended reads offer engaging content that brings the fascinating field of forensic science to life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the best books about forensic science?

A: There are many great books on forensic science, but some of the top recommendations include "Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques" by Stuart H. James and "Forensic Science: From the Crime Scene to the Crime Lab" by Richard Saferstein.

Q: What is forensic anthropology?

A: Forensic anthropology is a field of study that involves the examination of human skeletal remains for forensic purposes. It focuses on the identification of human remains and determining factors like age, sex, and ancestry.

Q: Can you recommend a book for an introduction to forensic science?

A: One of the best books for an introduction to forensic science is "Introduction to Forensic Science and Criminalistics" by Gaensslen and Harris. It covers the basics of forensic science with clear explanations and examples.

Q: What are some key principles of forensic science?

A: Some key principles of forensic science include Locard's Exchange Principle, which states that every contact leaves a trace, as well as the importance of preserving evidence and maintaining chain of custody.

Q: What is the science behind forensic investigations?

A: Forensic investigations rely on a combination of scientific disciplines such as biology, chemistry, and physics to analyze evidence from crime scenes. This scientific approach helps in uncovering the truth and solving crimes.

Q: Are there any forensic chemistry books you would recommend?

A: "Forensic chemistry Handbook" by Lawrence Kobilinsky and "Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science" by Richard Saferstein are great books that delve into the principles and applications of forensic chemistry.

Q: What is the role of a forensic anthropologist in criminal investigations?

A: Forensic anthropologists assist in the identification and examination of human skeletal remains to determine factors like cause of death, trauma analysis, and victim identification. They play a crucial role in solving crimes and providing closure to families.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *