When crossing paths with a clever murderer, Ben Candidi has a certain advantage over most amateur sleuths:
He was trained in forensic laboratory science!
And he has a couple of helpers:
Rebecca Levis, M.D.
Ben's fiancιe and resource person for medical questions
Chief Medical Examiner Geoffrey A. Westley
Ben's mentor who fired him "for his own good" and sent him to graduate school (Pharmacology Is Murder), fixed him up with a lucrative consulting job (Biotechnology Is Murder) and who doesn't always agree when Ben suspects murder (Medical School Is Murder).
"... technically accurate and exciting."
Ronald K. Wright, MD, JD, Chief Medical Examiner Emeritus, Broward County, FL
"... a potent mix of science, business and crime."
"Against the backdrop of this intriguing mystery, the author takes us on a tour through the Byzantine world of high finance and biotechnology."
Dr. Charles C. Ouimet reviewing for the HMS Beagle (BioMedNet)
"Nifty, light-hearted and deadly."
|"... Dirk Wyle skillfully pairs the tone of the hard-boiled
mystery with the intricate scientific detail common to the medical thriller.
The result is an excellent whodunit. . . . a first-class mystery that combines
elements of Michael Crichton, Patricia Cornwell, and even Edna Buchanan.
Booklist Mystery Showcase
|Working in my spirited, whiz-kid mode, I set up a second HPLC machine with a different type of separating column. It was nice to see the two machines working side by side, the little robot arms of the "autosamplers" dipping their hollow needles into arrays of test tubes, and slurping up little hummingbird-sized drinks of blood extracts which would set in motion the multicolored traces, telling the chemical stories of the deceased, the motorcycle casualty, the coronary and the Alzheimer patients. What nicer music than the clicks and whine of
a well-oiled and intelligent machine? And my little robot friends would produce a load
of answers in a few hours.
from p. 12 of Pharmacology Is Murder
I called Westley from a pay phone near the merry-go-round at the Omni Mall. I asked about the autopsy.
"No sign of wrongdoing on the corpse. If it were a death by smothering, it must have been done with velvet gloves in a padded room. There were no defensive marks. Nothing revealing under the fingernails. To wit, no sign of a struggle. It might be fatal arrhythmia while he was straining at stool. Could have resulted from vagal stimulation. There were, in fact, certain malformations of the heart."
"What about poisoning? Maybe he was drugged."
"No, Ben. The blood analyses failed to turn up anything. In absence of information to the contrary, we will have to list this one as sudden death resulting from arrhythmia."
After hanging up on Westley, I called Broadmoore's room.
from p. 178 of Biotechnology Is Murder
|My chain cocoon skipped a couple inches, then came to a stop. Then the anchor slipped and hit me in the chin. I used all my strength for another sit-up and let go. Clanked overboard and hit the water faster than I could gasp my for my last breath. Tried to twirl against the wrap of the chain as I sank. ...
(Ben fighting for his life in Biotechnology Is Murder, p. 242)
|Ten minutes later, the Marine Patrol boat moved into the Dinner Key harbor and out of sight. I was just making my way through the Stiltsville channel and out to the Atlantic when he reemerged and headed south with his blue lights flashing. They'd be looking for me down in the Keys like I told Dr. Taylor and Frenchie.
from p. 337 of Pharmacology Is Murder
The line was silent a few seconds before Dr. Westley answered, "The M.E. would have seen trauma. The autopsy was done by Xavier Martinez, one of my best medical examiners. And we were especially cognizant of the question because of the information in the police report."
"Could it be possible that Dr. Peterson received a lethal injection?"
"As in an assisted suicide?" he answered, impatiently.
"No, I didn't mean a voluntary I.V. injection. I was thinking of an intramuscular injection. Like someone walked up to him and stuck a needle in his arm."
At first, Dr. Westley did not answer. All I heard was a train of high-pitched grunts, accompanied by a rustling of paper. "A multi-drug screen was performed. It came out negative."
"And there were no needle marks?"
More grunting and rustling. "None was noted."
"So we can rule out an injection?" This time, Dr. Westley's high-pitched prevocalizations were louder. They covered a wide range of vowel sounds before landing and strengthening on the consonant m. "M . . . m . . . may I learn the basis of your persistent inquiries?"
from p. 139 of Medical School Is Murder
* Praised in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, The Midwest Review and mystery magazines
* Validated and applauded in reviews by biomedical scientists and a medical examiner
* Recommended supplemental reading for biomedical science courses at several universities
* Available in bookstores across the country
* Written by a veteran biomedical scientist, expert witness and award-winning author
* Advertised in The Scientist and in the Atlantic Monthly
* Exhibited and sold at major scientific meetings across the country