As Heard on The Daily Gardener Podcast:
Murder Most Florid by Mark Spencer
The subtitle to this book is: Inside the Mind of a Forensic Botanist
Mark is a passionate plantsman, and he's a champion of plants and the study of Botany.
Mark is also passionate about connecting people with the natural world.
Creating a niche for himself, Mark is a consultant botanist who specializes in Forensic Botany as well as the history of botany.
Murder Most Florid is a book where Mark shows us how plants and the environment can help investigators solve crimes.
Mark didn't train to become a forensic botanist. He became one through an accidental event in his life. It started with the phone call asking for help with a murder.
Forensic Botany actually goes back to the early part of the 20th century and was memorably used to convict the kidnapper of the Lindbergh baby.
“Murder Most Florid is an enthralling, first-person account that follows Mark's unconventional and unique career, one that takes him to woodlands, wasteland, and roadsides, as well as police labs, to examine the botanical evidence of serious crimes. From unearthing a decomposing victim from brambles to dissecting the vegetation of a shallow grave, Mark's botanical knowledge can be crucial to securing a conviction. More widely, this gripping book challenges our attitude to death and response to crime. It picks holes in the sensationalized depictions of policing we see on TV and asks pertinent questions about public sector funding in the face of rising crime. Most importantly, Mark's book shows us how the ancient lessons of botanical science can still be front and center in our modern, DNA-obsessed world.”
And before I forget, let me just tell you that there is a fantastic video podcast of Mark presenting to the Linnaean Society Where he's been a fellow for over 20 years.
Mark is an honorary curator at the Linnaeus society’s herbarium. He has worked for over a decade at the Natural History Museum in London.
In this presentation, Mark talks about the book and his work. I thought it was fascinating. If you get a chance to watch it, you really should.
I have created a link to it in today's show notes.
SI HORTUM IN HORTORUM PODCASTUM IN BIBLIOTEHCA HABES, NIHIL DEERIT.