On March 19, 2011, I did a guest post over at Historical Boys. Check out the excerpt below, and click over to Historical Boys to read the full post.
To be honest, I felt a lot like Sherlock Holmes. I knew there had been a murder. But why? What was it about blood transfusion that would lead someone to kill? In the first year or two of research, I had my sights set on a single man. I can’t name him here – because he still figures prominently in the book. I spent weeks in the archives of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris pouring over case reports and experiment records. Nothing. I found nothing that would allow me to say with certainty that he did it.
I spent the months that followed feeling dejected. Maybe no one had ever revealed the names of the murderer or murderers because their identities were simply unrecoverable. Still, I refused to give up. I headed back to France, three more times. I worked in the archives of the Paris Faculty of Medicine and the French National Library, as well as in the special collections at the Méjanes Library in Aix-en-Provence. Nothing.
I was truly ready to throw in the towel and actually began to box up my research materials. One by one, I skimmed through the hundreds of documents and manuscript reproductions that I had collected. One by one, they went into the box.