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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Written in Blood

Lowe, Sheila. Written in Blood. The author contacted me about this one, "A forensic handwriting mystery." I've written about my interest in graphology and handwriting analysis on both of my blogs (here is one post that covers 2 different books on the subject), so I was glad to have this one offered.

Sheila Lowe
is a handwriting expert with 35 years experience and has testified in forensic cases herself. Written in Blood is her second Poison Pen novel featuring Claudia Rose, a handwriting expert with much the same experience as the author.

Claudia is called upon by a young widow to verify the signature on her husband's contested will. After determining the signature to be genuine (interesting details about the analysis) and testifying in court, Claudia develops a friendship with the young widow who is the headmistress of an exclusive girl's school. On hearing about a troubled and suicidal student at the school, Claudia volunteers to help the troubled young woman with graphotherapy, and unexpected complications arise.

I loved the all the stuff about forensic handwriting analysis and found Claudia an interesting and likable character. Some brief sex scenes with the boyfriend could have been omitted -- they weren't terribly graphic, neither were they necessary.

Overall, it was a good mystery with an appealing protagonist--suspenseful and involving. Again, the forensic handwriting element is a huge draw, and Lowe uses it skillfully.

The handwriting element gives a different touch to the typical mystery and offers some interesting insight into the different reasons for wanting writing analyzed.

Fiction. Mystery/Suspense. 2008. 306 pages.


  1. The handwriting element does make it sound interesting. I've always enjoyed hearing handwriting experts talk about this subject. It is fascinating what people can learn and deduce from analyzing the way that people write.

  2. I've got this one on my stacks, so I'm glad to know you enjoyed it.

  3. Anything having to do with handwriting fascinates me - I'll be sure to add this to my to-read list!

  4. The forensic handwriting element sold it to me, and I'm not even a mystery person -- but I'd read this one.

  5. I've got this one on my radar list but you know me, I want to read the first book in the series first :)

    Sounds like a fun mystery.

  6. We have a large forensic handwriting section within our department so I must look out for this and pass it onto them. On the subject of the sex scenes, do you think the editor/publisher might have said words to the effect that we have to have these in order to draw in a wider audience? I do sometimes wonder about this.

  7. Carl - It is interesting what you can learn about other people--and yourself-- by examining handwriting!

    bookfool - It is a fast-reading little mystery.

    teabird - I do need to see about the first in the series as I really like the handwriting aspect.

    bybee - :0 Not a mystery person? How can that bee?

    iliana - I prefer to read them in order myself, but it does stand alone quite well.

    Ann - I think that is exactly why she included them. However, I think the kind of people who really like that kind of thing want lots of it, and people who like mysteries don't want that sideline unless it is some way connected to the plot.

    The language (and I've certainly been known to use those words) annoys me when it is used several times in a single paragraph (or sentence). It stands out in a distracting way...