Think the dead tell no tales? This book will set you straight. It outlines just what a forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution (viz., Ubelaker) does and what he can find out when presented with someone's remains. Depending on the condition of the bones and other tissues of the body, sex, age, race, height, and cause of death--be it natural, accidental, or murderous--can be determined. At times, Ubelaker can even ascertain whether the deceased was left- or right-handed. Of course, not all of his conclusions are correct; he and Scammell discuss several of his misinterpretations in a book you'd think would be quite ghastly but on the whole is more analytical and professional than grisly. Still, the squeamish may not want to read about what could be called Maggot College, where forensic folks watch those ravenous larvae eat, dine and feast on, devour, and multiply on cadavers under varying conditions and determine what information can be gleaned from the amount, type, and condition of maggots in, on, and around the remains. A fascinating illumination of one of the more thankless necessary jobs in our society.