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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Medical
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Dr. Stuart Mysteries
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:340
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098326975

Five South

A Dr. Stuart mystery

by Steve Skinner

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Overview

Five South, begins with a series of surgical complications and deaths in a San Francisco university hospital, all associated with the orthopedic surgery department. The department has a multi-million dollar building proposal before the hospital board and the timing of the complications creates questions about the quality of the care. A young chief resident and his nurse girlfriend begin to investigate. They quickly draw in Dr. Raymond Stuart, a prominent surgeon who lost an eye in a major auto accident, no longer operates, but is a superb diagnostician. Assisted by a young pathologist and his partner, a San Francisco detective, Dr. Stuart and his team uncover the deadly truth. More than medicine is happening in Five South.

There are two separate and parallel worlds in modern American health care. The world of clinical medicine is almost unaware of the health care business world.  Only by crossing into the business world can the physician/detectives solve the case.

Description

Innocent people undergoing elective orthopedic surgery at a university hospital in San Francisco are suffering infections at an alarming rate. Dr. Keith Grant is the chief resident in orthopedics at the hospital. Keith lives in a low-rent apartment with a parakeet named Baby, rides a motorcycle, and is totally in love with a tiny Filipino pediatric nurse named Mary. He was called to treat one of the infections and another case with an even more serious complication. The experiences of these human tragedies profoundly affect Keith. When Keith is asked to investigate the complications, he and Mary become a team of detectives. They share the mystery with Keith's best friend, Matt, a pathology resident and his partner, Duane, who is a San Francisco homicide detective. When the data prove to be too baffling, Keith and Mary call in Dr. Raymond Stuart. Dr. Stuart is a senior member of the faculty, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon who Mary knows and respects for his diagnostic skills. Dr. Stuart lost an eye in a horrible automobile accident and no longer performs surgery. Dr. Stuart agrees to help work on the problems of the complications and becomes the leader of the investigating team. Complications continue and patients die. Other people associated with the hospital are killed in seemingly unrelated incidents. Duane, the SFPD detective, friend of Keith's and partner to Matt, is assigned to the cases which occur outside the hospital. An irascible, foul-mouthed lawyer who is a member of the hospital board undergoes knee replacement surgery at which Keith is the assistant. After surgery, the lawyer barely survives a horrible complication because of Keith's timely intervention. Mary and Dr. Stuart struggle together to treat mysterious illnesses. Dr. Stuart discovers a common factor which links many of the complications and deaths. Stuart deduces that foul play is at work, and that the killer is someone in the hospital. However, the motive and identity of the perpetrator remain elusive. Bits of evidence from the murders outside the hospital and the complications within fall together as Stuart's team investigates. Even the irascible lawyer lends a hand to unravel the mystery.

About the author
Steve Skinner is an orthopedic surgeon. He went to medical school on a marital scholarship provided by a loving yet tough little nurse to whom he has been married for more than half a century. Steve's career was spent in teaching, research, and patient care. His patients were mostly poor children, many with chronic conditions like cerebral palsy and spina bifida. He had experience in university practice, private charity, and private practice. Creative writing has been a love since high school.
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