Blood, Sweat, and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver's First Forensic Investigator by Eve LazarusBlood, Sweat, and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver's First Forensic Investigator by Eve Lazarus

Blood, Sweat, and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver's First Forensic Investigator

byEve Lazarus

Paperback | May 1, 2017

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Finalist, Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award

During his forty-two-year-career he helped detectives in Vancouver, Victoria, and throughout BC solve hit-and-runs, safe-crackings, and some of the most sensational murder cases of the 20th century. Vance was constantly called to crime scenes and to testify in court because of his skills in serology, toxicology, and autopsy.

When Vance was first called to a crime scene in 1914, forensics was in its infancy. Vancouver was the first police department in Canada to have a scientist on staff and one of the few police departments in North America to use forensics in investigations. Vance's knowledge of poisons helped solved a sensational death case, while his work in blood analysis allowed him to distinguish human from animal blood--and thereby send a murderer to the gallows. His work in firearms examination was leading-edge, and Vance was able to bring his expertise in trace evidence and explosives to solve dozens of robberies, earning him front-page headlines.

Vance's skills and analytic abilities were so effective that in 1934 there were seven attempts on his life, and for a time, he and his family were under constant police guard from criminals afraid to go up against him in court.

Blood, Sweat, and Fear delves into some of the most notorious cases in BC's history while giving a sense of what life was like in Vancouver during the first half of the century. At the same time, it reveals the untold story of the personal struggle of John F.C.B. Vance, a scientist who never lost his moral compass in the midst of corruption that reached to the top of the police force and to City Hall.

Eve Lazarus is a Vancouver writer with an Aussie accent and a passion for true crime stories, cold cases, and non-traditional history. She is the author of three Arsenal titles: Cold Case Vancouver: The City's Most Baffling Unsolved Murders (2015), a BC bestseller and 2016 finalist for the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award at the B...
Title:Blood, Sweat, and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver's First Forensic InvestigatorFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.5 inShipping dimensions:9 × 6 × 0.5 inPublished:May 1, 2017Publisher:Arsenal Pulp PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1551526859

ISBN - 13:9781551526850

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from I think I was hoping for something different It's well written, and I appreciate that. And I finished it, which I guess is something. But after each of the first six or seven chapters, I considered putting it down for good. I guess I was hoping for something different, maybe more details of the techniques they used. Or maybe I had hoped that the forensics would solve a lots of cases that had regular investigators stumped. I don't know. The problem is that most of the cases weren't that interesting from a forensic point of view (though some were interesting for other reasons). My take-away is that crimes in the early 20th century usually followed this pattern: 1) Crime is committed. 2) Police know exactly who did it. 3) Criminal confesses. 4) Forensic investigator does his stuff, but it's irrelevant. There's no consistent story, so there's nothing to hook you in. It picked up occasionally when people started trying to kill him, but it's never heart-pounding or anything like that. One nice thing about the chapters being largely independent of each other is that they are also short, so they make quick and easy reads when you have a few minutes with nothing else to do. You might bring this along when you go to the dentist, or when you're picking up the kids from school. You probably won't curl up on the couch with it into the wee hours of the morning. I did enjoy the selection of Vance's journal entries, and the photographs added a lot. He had clear frustration with the politics of a large (and largely corrupt) organization, and some apparent bitterness at being underpaid relative to what he could have made in the private sector. The way he expressed that amused me (plus ça change...); I formed a bit of a connection with him in that respect, and that's why I don't regret having spent time with this book. But I don't think I'll ever go back and read it again.
Date published: 2018-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it It was extremely interesting to learn about history in Vancouver that I've never heard of.
Date published: 2017-09-20

Editorial Reviews

In Blood, Sweat, and Fear, Eve Lazarus rescues one of the most important actors in the history of forensic science in Canada from obscurity ... Lazarus writes in a highly readable style, demonstrating an ability to distill what was probably a tremendous amount of archival information into a narrative that does not overwhelm the reader with excessive detail. -Ormsby Review