Thursday, March 10, 2011


DP Lyle, MD
 Our guest on First on Friday is D. P. Lyle, MD  the Macavity Award winning and Edgar Award nominated author of the nonfiction books, Murder and Mayhem, Forensics for Dummies, Forensics and Fiction, and Howdunnit: Forensics: A Guide for Writers, as well as thrillers, Devil's Playground,  Double Blind, and Stress Fracture.

 HOT LIGHTS AND COLD STEEL, his next medical thriller, will be released in June 2011.

Dr. Lyle, a practicing cardiologist in Orange County, California, has worked with many novelists and the writers of popular TV shows such as Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Diagnosis Murder, Monk, Judging Amy, Peacemakers, Cold Case, House, Medium, Women's Murder Club,1-800-Missing and The Glades, one of this years hit series.

Through his website, The Writers' Medical and Forensics Lab ( he works with writers and readers to enrich their understanding of complex medical and forensic issues in the stories they write and read.

Here's what experts have to say:

"A terrific resource for crime writers and anyone interested in forensics . . . will jump-start your imagination about all kinds of ingenious crimes, crime-solving techniques, and plot twists." Matt Witten, supervising producer of the Fox TV show, House.

"Every crime-fiction author's best friend . . . as essential to my library as my Strunk and White." -- Hallie Ephron, author of Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel.

"There's damn good reason why Dr. Doug Lyle's e-mail is in every crime writer's address book and why his reference books belong on every aspiring writer's book shelf: His advice comes from the head of a medical expert but also from the heart and imagination of a writer. Whenever I paint myself into a forensic corner, Dr. Doug is always there to rescue me." -- P. J. Parrish, author of An Unquiet Grave

What he Says About his Books
 Doug Lyle says his  plan all along was to write the definitive book on forensics for writers. He wanted to cover each and every subject. When he did Forensics for Dummies he was able to cover many of the subjects, just not in the detail he wanted. And they did not want any historical information but rather only current information on forensics. This book has a great deal of historical information about things such as how forensic toxicology or fire arms examination or fingerprinting came to be.  He states he finds this material fascinating and he knows that many writers tell stories that are not set in the present day and indeed can be back to prehistoric times or even just fifty years ago. They need to know what the state of the art was at that time in order to make their stories real and believable and he believes  this book gives them much of the information they will need.

Things covered in this book are DNA, blood analysis including blood spatter, fingerprint and shoe print patterns toxicology, psychiatry, document examination, forensic chemistry and biology, and a host of other topics.

When talking about his question-and-answer books, he always points out that he's not responsible for the questions, only the answers. He says the questions are amazing and truly point out how the creative mind works.He says he is always fascinated by how people create their stories and the questions he gets asked for a peek into that world.

" Some questions in the book  FORENSICS AND FICTION, deal with how crucifixion causes death, do zombies leave behind forensic evidence, does a corpse decay on Mars, would Abraham Lincoln have survived with modern medical care, was DNA available in the early 1990's, can mercury be found in a murder victim's hair a year after death, and many others. The answers are asphyxia and shock, zombies have fingerprints and blood and hair and fibers, Mars is too cold for decay to occur, Honest Abe would have easily survived today (so would Princess Diana had she been in the U.S.), DNA fingerprinting was discovered in 1984 and first entered the courtroom in the U.S. in 1987, and mercury can be found in hair even hundreds of years later."

Come join us tomorrow for an excerpt from his new thriller, HOT NIGHTS, COLD STEEL.

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