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Publisher Description

'Far from the magic we see on TV, Working Stiff describes forensic pathology in the real world. The book is a compelling and absorbing read.' - Kathy Reichs

'In this engrossing tale of how Melinek became a forensic pathologist, she pulls back the sheet to show readers just what goes on after someone dies... Armchair detectives and would-be forensic pathologists will find Melinek's well-written account to be inspiring and engaging.' - Publishers Weekly

'Melinek's enthusiasm for her calling is always apparent, and her writing is un--self-consciously bouncy, absorbed and mordant (though not caustic)... A transfixing account of death, from the mundane to the oddly hair-raising.' - Kirkus Reviews

'Working Stiff is the grossest book you'll ever love. But it is also so much more than that: Seamlessly fusing memoir, science journalism, riveting whodunit mysteries, and light humor about a dark topic, Working Stiff is a relentlessly fascinating and informative book from the first page to the last. - Scott Stossel, editor of The Atlantic magazine, and author of the New York Times Bestseller My Age of Anxiety

The fearless memoir of a young forensic pathologist's 'rookie season' as a NYC medical examiner, and the cases - hair-raising and heartbreaking and impossibly complex - that shaped her as both a physician and a mother.

Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband TJ and their toddler Daniel holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation - performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy's two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines flight 587.

Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of America's most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies - and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on shows like CSI and Law & Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue.

Biographies & Memoirs
1 December
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin Pty Limited

Customer Reviews

princesslyn1973 ,

Working Stiff

An excellent read. I loved it.

Madasen W ,


What a great read! Educational, humorous & a slew of people to respect & admire for their intelligence & work speaking for the deceased. Thanks Judy for showing your side of a part of 'life' most everyday people never see or talk about. You have lifted the lid a little on this mystery & I personally am very grateful, realising the love you have for your job but also the care with which you treat the departed. You are amazing

subi63 ,

Great read - you won't regret buying this book

Written in such a way that you can feel the empathy that this amazing woman has for each and every person she works on, I found myself disappointed to get to the end. I could have read her case studies for so much longer and would love for her to write more on these interesting challenges. The author truly "speaks for the dead" and shares great detail and insight in a plain, easy language without too much of the medico speak. Highly recommend!

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