Soul Mates and Two-Career Couple

Their Story in the First Six Novels



Ben is a free-spirited, nature-loving biomedical scientist with a backpack full of dilettante interests. He is very proud of his 36-foot Cheoy Lee ketch which he bought for $10,500, restored and lived on before he met Rebecca. Ben is also very proud of his liberal arts studies at Swarthmore College, of his interest in science and of his fluency in Cuban Spanish. Always a yachtsman and sometimes a live-aboard, Ben takes equal delight in bantering with marine mechanics at a Coconut Grove waterfront bar and pursuing a career in science.

In the Series, he progresses from a graduate student in pharmacology to a research assitant professor. Later in the Series, he makes a living as a free-lancer, taking on consulting projects.

      Rebecca Levis grew up in New York and did her pre-med studies at NYU. She meets Ben while a medical student at Bryan Medical School in Miami. By the end of the first book, she and Ben are a couple.

In the Series, she progresses from a medical student to a world health physician.

     "You have to see it with your own eyes. There are lots of cues you can observe. It doesn't make much difference whether they are East Indian, Latin American, Catholic or Jewish. A doctor should observe and find out what her patients hold dear, what they are afraid of, and show them how . . . "

      (A "fact-finding project" turns up evidence of murder by toxin.)

The first book tells the story of Ben's first experience as an amateur sleuth and the personal transformation that comes with it. Ben has a dead-end job at the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's lab. Dr. Westley "fires Ben for his own good" and encourages him to go into a pharmacology Ph.D. program at Miami's Bryan Medical School and to gather some information on the professors there. The latter project seemed hopeless until he met Rebecca.

      Rebecca meets Ben when she is a sophomore medical student. They fall in love and share everything. But Ben is not able to tell her about the clandestine investigation. When it blows up in his face and he blows town, her love for him is tested.
(Ben's high-paying consulting job turns nasty when he finds the inventor dead and 20 million dollars hanging in balance.)      

In the second book, Ben gets a chance to make some big money right before receiving his Ph.D.

Rebecca is doing her clerkship at Montego Bay, Jamaica, and will come back soon to Miami to receive her M.D.

      (Ben inherits a dead scientist's lab and a legacy of trouble.)

In the third book, Ben has his Ph.D. He and Rebecca are living happily aboard the Diogenes moored on the Potomac River. In order to follow Rebecca to Washington DC, Ben has taken a job at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. But at Rebecca's urging, he quits his Patent Office job to accept a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity a research assistant professorship at Miami's Bryan Medical School.

Rebecca has her M.D. and her first job a fellowship at George Washington University (Washington, DC) in world health. It is a desk job, evaluating medical treatment paradigms in Third World countries. After learning the ropes in world health, she wants to get a faculty position and apply for grants to work in the field. But she perceives that Ben is unhappy with his job at the U.S. Patent Office, although he won't admit it. When Ben gets a job offer in Miami, Rebecca is sure that their love is strong enough to endure six months of separation.

(Ben and Rebecca find a new kind of gold and fight together for their lives.)

In the fourth book, Ben and Rebecca are renting a 1920-vintage house on the Miami River. Ben is trying to make a career as a free-lance pharmacologist, consulting for lawyers and pharmaceutical companies. And if he can turn in an impressive report on emerging technologies and drug discovery, he might find a fast track to big money. But first, he takes off a couple of weeks to follow Rebecca part of the way to her first field project.

Rebecca has a Federal grant to study the health care needs of the Amazon Indians. The project includes field studies to be done with Prof. David Thompson of Bryan Medical School. She and Prof. Thompson will provide health care to the once-fierce Yanomama Indians. They let Ben tag along on the airliner and the river boat, but not on the dugout canoe that will take them the last 100 miles. Rebecca promises to send Ben an e-mail every day as long as Prof. Thompson's satellite dish is working.

In the fifth adventure, Bahamas West End Is Murder, Ben and Rebecca face a host of challenges in the middle of a sailing vacation: Salvaging a sinking cabin cruiser with a dead man at the helm, doing an impromptu crime scene investigation, dealing with an uninterested constabulary and thinking up countermeasures against a troublesome bureaucracy, and figuring out who did it and why for the sake of their own survival.

The sixth adventure, Yucatán Is Murder, starts with Rebecca (now a research assistant professor at Bryan Medical School) on a study of birth control efficacy among the Maya Indians in Yucatán, Mexico. Ben is tagging along and making it into a cultural tourism vacation. Earning a living as a consulting biomedical scientist is easy for him, and the money that he made at the conclusion of Amazon Gold has relieved him from financial pressure. Thus he can afford the time to sail the Diogenes down from Miami so they can explore coast of the Peninsula on weekends. They plan to sail waters plied by Sir Francis Drake and dive on the reefs. But the discovery of a corpse in the scrubland puts an end to all vacation aspects of the stay.

The tears of the victim's mother draw the couple into an amateur investigation. Ben puts his shoulder into it to save Rebecca from falling behind schedule on her world health project. When Rebecca must return to Miami for a few days to deal with a problem with her research consortium and the granting agency, Ben works solo. After taking a day off to fulfill a client company's request for patent literature information, he jumps back into the investigation with both feet. When Rebecca returns, the chase is on and both of their lives are in danger.

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