“Beyond a trace…”
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“‘To a great mind, nothing is little,’ remarked Holmes sententiously” in the first of Arthur Conan Doyle’s timeless mysteries. Always ready with an enduring aphorism, the Baker Street detective’s appreciation for the unremarkable trace of cigar ash in A Study in Scarlet would serve as the exemplar of celebrity detective work. Over time, the famous sleuth’s perspicacity in identifying the critical importance of seemingly irrelevant traces of evidence would be mirrored in revolutionary changes in professional crime scene investigation. No longer would the singularly perceptive amateur detective define how to go about searching for clues. In Murder and the Making of English CSI, authors Ian Burney and Neil Pemberton offer an intriguing history of how the detective story’s “disciplined search for and analysis of minute and ostensibly seemingly insignificant matter” would in time represent the “cutting edge of forensic investigation.”
No one would have characterized English crime scene...