Yesterday, I went over three special non-fictional books I possess. They are part of the “Howdunit”-series and I simply wanted to get a little look at the topics again: “Forensics,” “Police Procedure & Investigation” and “Book of Poisons.”
The topics themselves can be easily guessed from the titles, of course, and while “Police Procedure & Investigation” is mostly based on the American structures found in the US, it still is quite interesting, as some of the stuff will apply everywhere.
Simply sheaving through the books gave me some new and evil ideas, actually. After all, you can’t really write a book about forensics without mentioning which ways people can be killed (accidentally and otherwise). And, naturally, a book about poisons mostly delivers information about what can be done with certain plants, animals, drugs, germs or other substances.
I’m far from firm in those areas yet, but will remedy that soon enough with those books and other information that can be found online. And it doesn’t really matter whether you write a crime story with a forensic as the lead character. The basics (how long will it take for a victim to die of a certain poison, what effects can be found etc.) are important for every crime story.
It’s always good to do a very varied reading as a writer. You never know what might become of a new area of knowledge you enter…