Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Doctor Digs a Grave

The Doctor Digs a Grave by Robin Hathaway won the Agatha Award for best 1st novel in 1998 and the St. Martin's Press/Malice Domestic Competition for Best First Traditional Mystery Novel in 1997.

from the back of the book:
Available for house calls-- and homicide...

When cardiologist Dr. Andrew Fenimore isn't mending weak hearts, he's solving crimes in Philadelphia's wealthy Society Hill. But murder is the last thing the good doctor expects when he befriends a teenage boy trying to bury his dead cat. As the two dig a grave for the cat's final resting place in a vacant lot-which happens to be an ancient burial ground-they discover a fresh corpse, buried flexed, facing east, according to Lenape Indian tradition.

Fenimore's P.I. pastime starts to become a distinct health hazard as he and his young sidekick follow the trail of the deceased young woman straight to the son of a colleague, one of Philadelphia's most prominent surgeons. Surely the scion of a fine old Philadelphia family and his Indian fiancee ignited some powerful passions. But are they enough to risk trying for the perfect murder in a place where civility rules with an iron fist in a velvet glove?

It was a good, easy read with lots of information about heart conditions and Native American herbalism imparted without too heavy an info-dump feel. If I see more in the series I'll pick them up. I liked the characters, and I'd like to try another of the books.

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