The Doctor Digs a Grave (Dr. Fenimore Series #1)

The Doctor Digs a Grave (Dr. Fenimore Series #1)

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by Robin Hathaway
     
 

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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--

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Overview

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 feet 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?

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YA-Hathaway introduces sleuth cardiologist Dr. Andrew Fenimore, whose expert medical knowledge helps unravel the mysterious death of a Lenape woman. When Fenimore spots a street kid named Horatio unsuccessfully trying to bury his dead cat in a public park on Philadelphia's affluent Society Hill, he befriends the youth and offers to help him lay his pet to rest in what is rumored to be an ancient burial ground of the Lenape. Descendants of this East Coast tribe still live in the eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey area. While burying the animal, the doctor and Horatio stumble upon the body of a young girl who is buried in an upright position facing east as is traditional with the Lenape. From this curious discovery, Hathaway's novel weaves the forgotten culture of this tribe, the doctor's unconventional avocation as a P.I., and a cast of lovable but eccentric characters into a well-crafted tale of suspense. Young adults will enjoy this witty novel that illuminates in wonderful detail the little-known ways of the Lenape and introduces a physician-detective who is expected to reappear in forthcoming novels.-Pat Bangs, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Dr. Andrew Fenimore, a late-30s bachelor, has an unlikely double professionþmedical doctor and private eye. He practices both from an old-fashioned office in his Philadelphia home, comforted by cat Sal and assisted by nurse-secretary Mrs. Doyle, a holdover from his late fatherþs practice. Into this serene milieu comes Hispanic teenager Horatio, caught by a park guard while trying to bury his catþkilled in an automobile accident observed by Andrew. The doctor remembers a tiny Lenape Indian burial ground in a nearby alley, and he and Horatio arrange to meet there that night. Horatio leaves after the burial in the alleyþbut Andrew, whoþs seen something suspicious, gets a bash on the head for his trouble. A call to his old friend Inspector Dad Rafferty of the Philadelphia police quickly uncovers the body of a Lenape named Joanne Field, a.k.a. Sweet Grass, recently reported missing by her fianc‚ Ted Hardwick, son of a prominent Main Line family headed by Dr. Nat Hardwick. Sweet Grass was last seen leaving the emergency room of the local hospital, complaining of feeling ill but refusing further treatmentþthis after a pre-wedding barbeque hosted by her future in-laws. It takes all Andrewþs knowledge of blood chemistry and herbal properties to pin down Sweet Grassþs killerþbut not before, with Horatioþs help, he narrowly escapes his own death. Newcomer Hathaway (winner of St. Martinþs Malice Domestic Award for the þBest First Traditional Mystery of 1997þ) maintains an easygoing, unpretentious touch even with her complex plot, Native Indian lore, heavily technical medical background, and nebbishy but nice hero. Loversof hospital drama, in particular, will welcome a return visit.

From the Publisher
"A perfect combination of the old and the new. The plot is as mysterious as old-fashioned mysteries, but the telling is sleek and fashionable and right up to date. The novel has charm, wiles, and its own underplayed style of humor. Robin Hathaway is a real find."— Ed Gorman, Mystery Scene

"Newcomer Hathaway maintains an easygoing, unpretentious touch even with her complex plot. Native Indian lore, heavily technical medical background, and nebbishy but nice hero. Lovers of hospital drama, in particular, will welcome a return visit."— Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466815070
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
04/15/1999
Series:
Dr. Fenimore Series , #1
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
195,387
File size:
342 KB

Read an Excerpt

The Doctor Digs a Grave

CHAPTER 1

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 4:45 P.M.

The driver edged the van carefully through the alley (there was no more than a two-inch leeway on either side) and entered a gloomy space about the size of a suburban backyard. Although still daylight, the enclosure was dim because it was surrounded by the rear ends of tall buildings—a bank, an apartment house, a parking garage, and a hotel.

Making a neat U-turn, the driver backed the van across the entrance to the alley, blocking a view of the enclosure from anyone passing by on the street. He jumped to the ground, moved around to the back of the van, and opened the twin doors. He drew a spade from inside and, choosing a spot a few yards from the van, began to dig. Now and then he stopped to wipe the sweat from his forehead with his sleeve. It was warm for October, and the dirt was packed down hard. It took almost an hour to dig a hole two feet by four feet and about five feet deep.

Satisfied, he tossed the spade into the back of the van and wiped his hands on his jeans. The rectangle of sky framed above the four buildings was still light. Too light to finish the job. The smell of hamburger reached him from a nearby McDonald's.He was hungry. Hopping into the rear of the van, he lifted a corner of an oil-stained tarpaulin. The tarpaulin covered a mound slightly smaller than the hole he had just dug. A quick glance underneath, and he let it fall.

Slamming the back doors, the driver made his way around to the front. The sound of the motor starting up reverberated in the small space. He backed the van carefully over the hole he had just dug and parked. He walked once around the van, checking to make sure the doors were locked, before turning down the alley on foot. It wouldn't hurt to leave for a few minutes, long enough for him to grab a bite. By the time he got back, it would be dark and he could finish the job.

THE DOCTOR DIGS A GRAVE. Copyright © 1998 by Robin Hathaway. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

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What People are saying about this

"A perfect combination of the old and the new. The plot is as mysterious as old-fashioned mysteries, but the telling is sleek and fashionable and right up to date. The novel has charm, wiles, and its own underplayed style of humor. Robin Hathaway is a real find."— Ed Gorman, Mystery Scene

"Newcomer Hathaway maintains an easygoing, unpretentious touch even with her complex plot. Native Indian lore, heavily technical medical background, and nebbishy but nice hero. Lovers of hospital drama, in particular, will welcome a return visit."— Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

Robin Hathaway (1934-2013) won the SMP/Malice Domestic Competition for Best First Traditional Mystery Novel in 1997 and the 1998 Agatha Award for Best First Novel for her book The Doctor Digs a Grave, the first book in the Dr. Fenimore series. She lived in New York City and Philadelphia.

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