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Case Closed: The Real Scoop on Detective Work by Milton Meltzer

Meltzer, Milton. 2001. CASE CLOSED: THE REAL SCOOP ON DETECTIVE WORK. New York: Orchard Books. ISBN: 0-439-29315-4.


CASE CLOSED: THE REAL SCOOP ON DETECTIVE WORK is an excellent book for young adults interested in the world of criminal investigation.  This book examines the daily activities of detectives, crime labs, and investigators not associated with the police force.  Meltzer provides introductory information about the training, tools, risks, and rewards involved in detective work.   It is divided into three easy to read sections, including: “What’s It Like to Be a Detective,” “Behind the Scenes in the Lab,” and “Detective Work – Not on the Police Force.”  Each section is divided into chapters that provide information on topics ranging from “On the Crime Scene,” “Scared Witnesses,” “Fingerprints,” “DNA,” “Bullets with Signatures,” and “Going after the Mafia.”  Through descriptive text and real life examples, Meltzer discusses the difficult and dangerous work that detectives go through.  Captivating titles and photographs accompany the informative text inviting even reluctant readers to pick up the book.  Various stories included in the book range from the discovery of penicillin, the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping, Pinkerton Detectives, and the John Gotti Story.   Meltzer also includes an extensive index and bibliography for further reading on the subject of detective work.  Booklist states that Meltzer “has put together a solid introduction that students can use to frame further research into detective work and forensic science as well as satisfy their curiosity.” This is one of those books that make it fun to learn, turning a young reader into an amateur sleuth. 


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