This episode of Policing Matters features a fascinating story of a dogged, multidisciplinary investigation that started at an arson fire scene and ended nearly a year later with the case solved. And it is all detailed in “When the Smoke Cleared: A Murder Mystery in Malden” by Bill Powers.

Host Jim Dudley speaks with Powers, a retired Detective Lieutenant from the Massachusetts State Police and currently back with the department as a civilian training coordinator and classroom instructor, about his book, which follows an extraordinary murder investigation from the crime scene through to the arrest and into the courtroom.

The book is an excellent source as both a police and courtroom procedural, but there is also the heartbreaking yet inspiring story of how the victim’s family dealt with their loss and instead of spinning out of control, found a way to succeed and thrive because of it.

The book is written for those who enjoy reading true crime, but more importantly, it is a primer for college classes on police procedures, forensic and fire sciences, criminal law and courtroom procedures, and some courses on deviant sociology and psychology.