Murder and Mayhem: A Doctor Answers Medical and Forensic Questions for Mystery Writers

Overview

In Murder and Mayhem: A Doctor Answers Medical and Forensic Questions for Mystery Writers, Dr. D. P. Lyle culls the best of his popular "The Doctor Is In" question-and-answer column for the Mystery Writers of America, in which he answers medical and forensic questions from writers all over the country.

A frequent advisor to published mystery writers, as well as writers for TV shows such as Law and Order, Dr. Lyle tackles subjects such as traumatic injuries, doctors and ...

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Overview

In Murder and Mayhem: A Doctor Answers Medical and Forensic Questions for Mystery Writers, Dr. D. P. Lyle culls the best of his popular "The Doctor Is In" question-and-answer column for the Mystery Writers of America, in which he answers medical and forensic questions from writers all over the country.

A frequent advisor to published mystery writers, as well as writers for TV shows such as Law and Order, Dr. Lyle tackles subjects such as traumatic injuries, doctors and hospitals, weapons of death, poisons and drugs, police and the crime scene, the coroner and the crime lab, and more. In extremely organized and accessible detail, he answers questions spanning a wide range: Do pupils shrink or enlarge with death? Can X rays be copied? Can ingested cocaine kill? How soon do strangulation bruises appear?

Lively and accessible, this solid reference book is bound for every mystery writer's shelf.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Lyle offers straightforward medical information, bound to be snapped up by savvy mystery writers everywhere."—Rocky Mountain News, 1/24/03

"[Lyle] takes a matter-of-fact approach to some very grisly questions."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1/22/03

"This surprisingly funny book is for writers, readers, or anyone fascinated by medical or forensic details....The medical information is well researched yet simple enough to understand."—Library Journal, 1/1/03

"An essential reference work for the fiction writer: informative and fun. I can't imagine my bookshelf without it."—Taylor Smith, author of Deadly Grace and The Innocents Club

"Dr. Lyle has an unerring ability to diagnose what it is writers need to know in answer to their questions about forensic medicine. His fascinating replies to questions writers have posed to him are precise and clearly stated, so that while he'll provide the medical terms you want, he'll also give the definitions you need."—Jan Burke, author of Bones, Flight, Hocus, and Liar

"An invaluable source for writers who want to get it right and for readers fascinated with the mysteries of the human body. Dr. Lyle's explanations are accurate, clear, entertaining, and thorough, and you'll wonder how you managed without him."—Rochelle Krich, national bestselling author of the Jessie Drake series

"This book is at once wise, informative, funny, factually reliable, and accessible."—Barbara Seranella, author of the Munch Mancini crime novels

"In my samurai novels I usually have people dispatched by lopping their heads off with a sword. For more difficult medical-related problems, Dr. Lyle's responses are always outstanding. They're lucid, succinct, and provide the information a writer needs. What a tremendous resource Dr. Lyle is!"—Dale Furutani, award-winning author of the Samurai Mystery Trilogy

par"Whenever I have a new 'Law & Order' episode to write, the first person I call for help is Dr. Lyle. He has an amazing ability to explain complex forensics in simple laypersons' terms. He thinks like a writer and gives you exactly the information that a writer will need. This book is a terrific resource."—Matt Witten, executive story editor for Law & Order and author of the Jacob Burns mystery novels

"It's three o'clock in the morning, you're hard at work on your mystery screenplay, and all that's missing is the essential medical clue to solve the murder...who ya gonna call? Dr. Lyle is the go-to-guy for writers looking for the perfect piece of medical knowledge, filling the blanks that imagination alone simply can't."—Lee Goldberg, executive producer for Diagnosis Murder and Martial Law, and author of Writing For Television

Raleigh News & Observer
"Edifying and ghoulishly entertaining.
Cozies, Capers, and Crimes - Rhys Bowen
"A treasure trove of medical and forensic information . . . A must for every mystery writer's bookself.
Publishers Weekly
This is an enormously entertaining collection of the best of Lyle's columns for the Mystery Writers of America newsletter, in which the doctor provides detailed and informative answers to questions regarding various aspects of medicine and forensics. Aspiring and experienced mystery writers will achieve verisimilitude, as well as the suspended disbelief of their audiences, by applying Lyle's insights, which he divides into three helpful sections: "Doctors, Hospitals, Illnesses, and Injuries"; "Methods of Murder and Mayhem"; and "Tracking the Perp." Lyle's direct style ("This is unlikely to work"; "Think James Bond") enlivens even the most obscure issue ("What is Calor Mortis?"), while the depth of knowledge he brings to some seemingly basic questions ("How Is the Time of Death Determined?") make his answers definitive. Readers will never again see the oft-repeated crime-scene words "sucking chest wound" in the same way after reading Lyle on its symptoms and treatment. (Feb.) Forecast: The book's range of questions, its depth of information and the quality of Lyle's writing should make this resource must reading for true crime fans. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Drawn from the author's column in a mystery writers' newsletter, this surprisingly funny book is for writers, readers, or anyone fascinated by medical or forensic details. Cardiologist Lyle has compiled information on injuries, illnesses, ingestion, exposure, and other disasters as well as forensic procedures, autopsies, and coroners for writers who must create believable dramatic situations. The medical information is well researched yet simple enough to understand (the section describing the causes and treatment of sucking chest wounds is excellent) and more accessible to the average nonexpert than more technical works like the Merck Manual. The text is organized into chapters by topic (e.g., "Trauma Injuries and Their Treatment"), and the questions addressed therein (e.g., "Where can my hero be shot, and survive?" or "How would death occur from blunt head trauma?") are also listed in the table of contents. Particularly suitable for public libraries but a reasonable purchase for academic libraries with interest-or medical libraries with a sense of humor.-Necia Parker-Gibson, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312309459
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/9/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.64 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

D. P. Lyle, M.D., writes "The Doctor Is In," a monthly medical and forensic Q&A column for The March of Crime and The Sleuth Sayer, two newsletters for the Mystery Writers of America (Southern California and Southwestern chapters). He has practiced cardiology in Orange County, California, for the past twenty-five years.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
I Doctors, Hospitals, Illnesses, and Injuries
1 Traumatic Injuries and Their Treatment
2 Environmental Injuries and Their Treatment
3 Doctors, Hospitals, and Paramedical Personnel
4 Medications and Drugs
5 Diseases and Their Treatment
II Methods of Murder and Mayhem
6 The Effects of Guns, Knives, Explosives, and Other Weapons of Death
7 Poisons and Drugs
8 Medical Murder
III Tracking the Perp
9 The Police and the Crime Scene
10 The Coroner, the Crime Lab, and the Autopsy
Odds and Ends, Mostly Odds
A Few Final Words
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Strong reference book

    This book provides readers and writers with answers to ¿medical and forensic questions¿. The Q & A come from Dr. Lyle¿s column ¿The Doctor Is In¿ found in the newsletters of the Southern California and Southwestern chapters of the MWA. The first thing this reviewer did was scan the titles to insure that the good doctor had no Letterman type list of ten best ways to kill a critic. Once the book passed that critical test, I read the intriguing Q & A over a week¿s time. The questions are quite fascinating surely leading to the psychiatrists of America having a field day wondering just who comes up with these thoughts outside the asylum. Dr. Lyle¿s responses are often humorous, but always informative. MURDER AND MAYHEM is a delightful book that readers desiring entertainment (and hopefully nothing further) as much as writers seeking information will enjoy as a pick up put down reference broken into ten prime classifications and an odds and ends category catching those Qs that slip between the cracks. Words of warning: Do not attempt to use this book to bump off that insignificant other because the legal equivalent has not been written to provide the justifiable homicide defense. Harriet Klausner

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