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November 16 , 2009

The Maltese Murders


The Maltese Murders is the third in a trilogy of medical murder mysteries, following on the heels of Murders at Hollings General and Murders at Brent Institute. In addition to main character Dr. David Brooks, the novel features the return of mobster Frankie Brick and Juan Carlos Sultanban, the deposed president of Radonia, South America. Fans will remember David as a part-time physician and not-entirely-hard-boiled detective with brains and sensitivity, a sleuth for the new millennium. Also back are David's petite and spunky fiancée, police detective Kathy Dupre, and sidekick, Musco Diller, a cabdriver with some unexpected sleuthing skills.

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Medical, biological and technological research, particularly in the areas of genetic engineering, cloning, supergerms and bioterrorism are turning up some awesome and chilling scenarios for the human race, and forms the background for this latest installment. The action begins when Professor Kater Weld, the Associate Director of Brent Institute of Biotechnology, is found shot to death. Weld has developed a revolutionary new inhaler that reportedly blocks the harmful effects of any germ that might be used in a bioterror attack, even before it is identified. Specifics about the inhaler's formula were to be unveiled by Weld at an Interpol-sponsored summit in Malta.

David investigates this and a succession of other murders related to Brent, the inhaler and the summit. His own life is jeopardized as mobs from four different continents compete for rewards offered by terrorist groups. He is twice ambushed, once in Venice, an episode that results in a gondola chase; the other on a mountainside quarry in Connecticut. During the Malta summit, he must handle the sexual advances of a stunning Interpol official from Amsterdam.

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