This is always a biggee with crime fiction, since the vast majority of mysteries and thrillers includes at least one murder. Just how does the Medical Examiner determine time of death, anyway? The Australian web site Death, the Last Taboo has a section on "What Happens After Death?" which takes a look at body changes after death (when the heart stops beating, rigor mortis, and grave wax), as well as the stages of decomposition. A note for the squeamish -- the grave wax photo and the decomposition photos (although they use a pig), might be tough for some to take.
The section on determining a time of death has an overview on body temperature, rigor mortis, and insects, then moves on to detailed entomological calculations, as well as case histories. There is a good bit of information devoted to insects, since the presence of insects in a corpse is a critical clue towards estimating time of death for bodies dead for longer periods. There are pictures of the most commonly-found fauna associated with corpse decomposition (squeamish alert here again).
Since Fall is approaching (and even Starbucks has switched from their berry offerings to pumpkin scones and lattes before Labor Day even gets here), it's not too early to be thinking about Halloween and some fun party facts. For instance, although an exposed human body in optimum conditions can be reduced to bone in 10 days, a body that is buried 1.2 m under the ground retains most of its tissue for a year. Boo!