CASE CLOSED by Milton Meltzer


The Real Scoop on Detective Work
Age Range: 10 - 14
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In his usual meticulous fashion, Meltzer (Piracy and Plunder, below, etc.) explores the many facets of detective work, from the historical perspective to the contemporary sleuthing of the detective on the street and the laboratory scientist. Part one of this fascinating work explores the everyday lives of detectives, how detecting became a profession, what questions detectives have to answer, why they use scientific tools, and the techniques they use when they deal with witnesses and white-collar criminals. Part two describes the many ways forensic science solves crimes in the laboratory. Cogent explanations accompanied by black-and-white photographs detail how scientists use DNA testing or how scientists analyze fabrics, hair, or dirt found at the crime scene in the search for clues. The reader gets a short course in ballistics, visits a serological lab involved in blood testing, learns about the study of documents and handwriting as well as lie detectors and eyewitness identification and forensic anthropology. Part three details the many kinds of detective opportunities available outside the traditional police force. Here, too, Meltzer’s in-depth approach segues from the Pinkertons and the Molly Maguires and the growth of the private-detective sector to the current work of the Innocence Project at the Cardozo School of Law, where professors and their students have become detectives looking for evidence that frees unjustly accused prisoners. Meltzer blends historical narrative, scientific description, and practical career information to create an interesting, offbeat look behind the scenes of the detective story. An extensive bibliography, photo credits, and index increase its usefulness for student reports. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-439-29315-4
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2001


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