Mystery/Thriller Book ReviewsPage Three of Four
Eat, Drink and Be Wary by Tamar MyersSignet, September 1998.
Paperback, 272 pages.
Magdalena Yoder, amateur sleuth and Mennonite owner of the popular inn in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, is back in another installment of the popular series. Brokenhearted over her former spouse's unfortunate failure to tell her that he was already married to someone else, Magdalena determines to keep her mind on her work. But when she agrees to allow her inn to be the site of a cooking contest with a large cash prize at the request of her cook Freni (who is one of the contestants) trouble quickly follows. The contestants are a motley crew bent on causing trouble at the comfortable inn, then the corpse of George Mitchell, the CEO of the gourmet food company sponsoring the cooking contest, is found in the barn. It's up to Magdalena, with her powers of observation and her sly Pennsylvania Dutch sense of humor to find the killer before he strikes again.
Magdalena's latest adventure will please cozy fans and those who enjoy an inside look at the Amish and Mennonite way of life which is entertainingly portrayed by the eccentric and yet down to earth Magdalena.
The Eleventh Plague by John S. Marr, M.D., and John BaldwinHarper Collins, January 1999.
Paperback, 516 pages.
After an outbreak of anthrax violently kills two children who were on a field trip to the San Diego Zoo and a strange disease starts killing horses in Churchill Downs, virologist Dr. Jack Bryne starts feeling the pressure of his position as monitor of ProMed. ProMed is a medical network on which recent outbreaks and unsolvable illnesses are posted in the hopes that other physicians around the world can help give input and solutions. As monitor, Bryne is in charge of determining what news items are posted to the network. Bryne is also called in to personally investigate and begins to notice a pattern in the bizarre disease outbreaks. He knows he is definitely onto something when he starts receiving strange emails, that he can neither save or print, which contain accounts of horrible things that have happened to people. Checking the facts from the graphic accounts in the emails, he finds that they have actually happened. Diseases including botulism, anthrax, pork tapeworms, ergotism and ciguatera are occurring. Bryne and his staff began a race to discover the source of the plague outbreaks, inform other Medical officials and convince the FBI that Bryne himself is not the killer.
This disease thriller starts out with a swarm of agitated bees that attack a group of people in River Walk, a scenic tourist sport in San Antonio, killing two. Throughout the novel are additional plagues, poisons, human parasites, killer diseases and other horrors with the complete grotesque details of what they can do to a living person included in graphic detail. The medical terminology and disease symptoms are accurate thanks to the expertise of author John S. Marr M.D., M.P.H., who served as director and principal epidemiologist for the New York City Department of Health, and has authored nonfiction books and articles on communicable diseases. An array of horrible diseases, old and new, are introduced in The Eleventh Plague, which is sure to please fans of the disease thriller subgenre.
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