Dr Mark Spencer is a forensic botanist – in other words, he helps police with cases where plants can unlock clues to solve crimes, from murder and rape to arson and burglary.
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 victims 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, it shows us how the ancient lessons of botanical science can still be front and centre in our modern, DNA-obsessed world.