(for the Ben Candidi Mystery-Thriller Series, by Dirk Wyle)

For Pharmacology Is Murder, by Dirk Wyle

  • Ben Candidi and Geoffrey A. Westley -- personality dynamics in counterpoint

  • What Margaret Westley brought to the story

  • Does the guilt reside in more than one person?

  • The transforming experience of higher education

  • Mentoring

  • Humanizing vs dehumanizing influences of science: Did one or more of the scientists exert a humanizing influence?

  • Was justice served?

  • Was crime fought with crime?

  • Is there a moral to the story? A moral "center of gravity"?

  • The role of Rebecca Levis

  • Can poetry be found in science?

For Biotechnology Is Murder, by Dirk Wyle

  • British cultural hegemony in the U.S.A. -- alive and well or a thing of the past?

  • Rosenkrantz, Guildenstern and on-the-job self-training

  • "Capitalist Rats"

  • Barcarole -- how boats give people license to act differently

  • Greed vs greed

  • Must distrust and duplicity always come with the venture capitalist territory?

  • Was justice served and who cares?

  • Miami as a character in the story

  • Dr. Brian Broadmoore as a taskmaster

  • Ben's level of self-awareness

For Medical School Is Murder, by Dirk Wyle

  • The love of Nature and the demands of civilization

  • Love for partner vs the need for self-realization

  • Ideal World vs Real World

  • Ben's level of self-awareness

  • Science in religion; religion in science

  • Professor Peter Peterson's legacy

  • Medical school as a center of higher learning

  • Dr. Thomas Stockmann: Enemy of the People

  • Moral choices made by Ben's colleagues

  • Idealists at war with each other

  • Psychological autopsy of Prof. Peter Peterson

  • What was at stake in the story?

For Amazon Gold, by Dirk Wyle

  • Jungle exploration do attitudes change with latitudes?

  • Developed- vs undeveloped nations and their indigenous peoples

  • Theodore "Pops" Harvey: Too good to be true?

  • Michael Malencik: Does that personality come with the territory?

  • Personality dynamics of Ben with Dr. Westley

  • Edith Pratt: What's making her tick?

  • Personality dynamics of Edith Pratt with Sanch Riquez

  • What really happened that night at Captain Walley's?

  • Yanomama culture

  • Who is fighting for what?

  • Psychological makeup of Rebecca Levis, M.D.

  • Psychological makeup of Ben Candidi, Ph.D.

For Bahamas West End Is Murder, by Dirk Wyle

  • The Gulf Stream water and the Little Bahama Bank

  • Island landfall

  • Bahamian bureaucracy and American boaters

  • The sociology of the West End Marina. Out-of-the-ordinary or predictable? Does boating or resort living bring out a different kind of personality?

  • Couple dynamics of Ben and Rebecca

  • Bahamians at West End

  • Ben's dealings with the marina neighbors, Dr. Brian Broadmoore and matters arising

  • Sir Hector: What makes him tick?

  • What makes Freeport tick?

  • Sgt. Leonard Townsend

  • Symbolism in the final struggle?

  • Disneyfication of Grand Bahama Island: Economic salvation or cultural ruin? Could they really use a Pirates Hall of Fame?

For Yucatán Is Murder, by Dirk Wyle

  • Discuss the various ways in which the Yucatán Peninsula serves as the background for this story: historical, cultural, anthropological and geographical.

  • In what ways does the Peninsula's history affect the present-day cultures existing within it?

  • Is the book essentially a crime story or a story of present-day Mayas confronting modernization?

  • What is Rebecca's quest? What are her methods? What makes her tick?

  • What things are important to Ben? What is his business and how does he go about it? What are his strengths and weaknesses?

  • Discuss the couple dynamics of Ben and Rebecca

  • How many different cultures or areas of endeavor are described in the book as existing in Yucatán? Which are working together and which are in competition?

  • Using information given in the book, what influence does the ancient Mayan way of life exert on present-day Yucatán?

  • Do the Mayas have a sinister or bucolic past?

  • What are the possible models that could define historical Yucatán in the popular imagination of Mexicans? Or of North Americans?

  • What do we learn about Arturo and Esmeralda Zapo? Can more be inferred?

  • Consider and discuss B'alam Chuc.

  • Symbolism in the final struggle?

  • Disneyfication of Grand Bahama Island: Economic salvation or cultural ruin? Could they really use a Pirates Hall of Fame?

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