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Guest speaker Cape crime author, forensic specialist

By Staff | Mar 10, 2009

Cape Coral crime novelist and forensic specialist Lisa Black will appear at the Southwest Florida Museum of History tonight to present her latest novel, “Takeover,” as well as participate in a meet-and-greet book signing.
Black’s readers will enjoy coffee and dessert during this month’s “Night at the Museum … An Author’s Evening.” The event kicks off at 7 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m., and costs $10 to attend including admission to the museum.
“Takeover” is Black’s third novel. She previously published two novels under the pseudonym Elizabeth Becka and will publish her fourth book, “Evidence of Murder,” in August.
“Takeover” follows fictional forensic scientist Theresa Maclean as her fiance is taken hostage during a bank robbery at Cleveland’s Federal Reserve. Maclean’s professional expertise mirrors Black’s, who analyzes crime scenes and fingerprints for the Cape Coral Police Department.
“It’s always hard to separate yourself from your main character,” Black said. “I wouldn’t have her doing anything that I wouldn’t do, and I wouldn’t have me doing anything that she wouldn’t do.”
Black said she tries to keep an element of realism in her writing, as many people are not properly educated on the subject of forensic science due to the dramatization of it on television.
“That’s why I try to stick with how things really are in the real world,” she said. “People are usually surprised to find out … ‘Wow, that doesn’t work the way it does on TV.’ Reality is interesting enough.”
Deciding to pursue a career in forensics, Black went back to school to get a degree in biology at Cleveland State University. She worked as a forensic scientist at the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office and later at the Cape Coral Police Department, where she is currently employed.
“I always wanted to be a homicide detective,” she said. “I like crime solving, but I don’t want to be a police officer and I really like science, so that’s the best of both worlds for me.”
Black will be at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival March 21 at the Harborside Event Center and Centennial Park in Fort Myers, and also will appear at Bubba’s Roadhouse and Saloon on Pine Island Road Monday for a book signing.