The Deadly Dinner Party: and Other Medical Detective Stories

Overview

Picking up where Berton Roueché’s The Medical Detectives left off, The Deadly Dinner Party presents fifteen edge-of-your-seat, real-life medical detective stories written by a practicing physician. Award-winning author Jonathan Edlow, M.D., shows the doctor as detective and the epidemiologist as elite sleuth in stories that are as gripping as the best thrillers.

In these stories a notorious stomach bug turns a suburban dinner party into a disaster that almost claims its ...

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The Deadly Dinner Party: and Other Medical Detective Stories

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Overview

Picking up where Berton Roueché’s The Medical Detectives left off, The Deadly Dinner Party presents fifteen edge-of-your-seat, real-life medical detective stories written by a practicing physician. Award-winning author Jonathan Edlow, M.D., shows the doctor as detective and the epidemiologist as elite sleuth in stories that are as gripping as the best thrillers.

In these stories a notorious stomach bug turns a suburban dinner party into a disaster that almost claims its host; a diminutive woman routinely eats more than her football-playing boyfriend but continually loses weight; a young executive is diagnosed with lung cancer, yet the tumors seem to wax and wane inexplicably. Written for the lay person who wishes to better grasp how doctors decipher the myriad clues and puzzling symptoms they often encounter, each story presents a very different case where doctors must work to find the accurate diagnosis before it is too late. Edlow uses his unique ability to relate complex medical concepts in a writing style that is clear, engaging and easily understandable. The resulting stories both entertain us and teach us much about medicine, its history and the subtle interactions among pathogens, humans, and the environment.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mimicking the style of his favorite genre, the detective story, author and doctor Edlow (Bull's Eye: Unraveling the Medical Mystery of Lyme Disease) retells 15 stories of "shoe-leather epidemiology" that delve into the complex world of diagnostic medicine. In the title story, three cases of botulism are traced, with the work of physicians, local health department officials, and CDC representatives, to a jar of oil-packed garlic. Other chapters cover typhoid fever in restaurant orange juice, gastrointestinal infestation via fish tank water, and illnesses caused by excess vitamins A and D. Readers, especially those already alarmed over everyday pathogens, will find plenty to worry about, including herbal teas grandfathered out of FDA regulations; sudden changes in diets that may, literally, plug up your pipes; and all-natural, fresh-pressed cider that may harbor dangerous e. coli. Readers will also find that every medical diagnosis is a puzzle to be solved, often by gathering and analyzing data with the help of a team. Much like a true-life version of television's House M.D., these fast-paced, detail-heavy stories will prove compelling for fans of mystery and medicine.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sydney Morning Herald
With Atul Gawande and Jerome Groopman, Edlow is one of a distinguished group of literary Harvard medical professors who write lucidly about complex medical issues. . . . Edlow's stories are told with the easy grace of an accomplished writer who builds on, then hides, the depth of his research.—Hugh Dillon, Sydney Morning Herald

— Hugh Dillon

Herald Sun

"If you watch House for the medical mysteries, this is for you. Edlow tracks a series of unusual diseases or conditions from the initial illness, though the clues, dead ends and inspired deductions that littered the path to effective treatment.--Herald Sun
Sunday Mail

"Anyone with a penchant for the TV show House, or even a general interest in the more puzzling illnesses, will be engaged by the entertaining case studies. Edlow explores the history of disease through individual cases, without too much scientific jargon."--Sunday Mail
Lancet
. . . the book flows well and is easy to read. . . .I wholeheartedly recommend this book and hope that it inspires the hidden detective in all of us.—Emma Hill, Lancet

— Emma Hill

Philip A. Mackowiak

“Offers mystery stories in the tradition of Berton Roueché that are every bit as exciting and illuminating as the originals. Edlow’s stories are replete with information about strange medical adventures and treatments that any of us might experience one day.”—Philip A. Mackowiak, M.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine

Stephen H. Zinner

“An intriguing collection of medical ‘detective’ stories, this book both entertains and meets the general need for medical knowledge.”—Stephen H. Zinner, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Mount Auburn Hospital

Sanjiv Chopra

“Drama, intrigue, solid detective work are the fabric on which Edlow weaves a bountiful collection of fascinating stories. It will inform and keep you spellbound. The pulse is exciting, the thrill of discovery palpable. Masterfully written.”—Sanjiv Chopra, M.D., Harvard Medical School, author of Dr. Sanjiv Chopra’s Liver Book
Sandeep Jauhar

“These interesting medical tales educate as well as entertain.”—Sandeep Jauhar, M.D., author of Intern: A Doctor's Initiation
Lancet - Emma Hill

“. . . the book flows well and is easy to read. . . .I wholeheartedly recommend this book and hope that it inspires the hidden detective in all of us.”—Emma Hill, Lancet
Sydney Morning Herald - Hugh Dillon

"With Atul Gawande and Jerome Groopman, Edlow is one of a distinguished group of literary Harvard medical professors who write lucidly about complex medical issues. . . . Edlow's stories are told with the easy grace of an accomplished writer who builds on, then hides, the depth of his research."--Hugh Dillon, Sydney Morning Herald
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300171266
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 2/22/2011
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 444,274
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.75 (d)

Meet the Author


Jonathan A. Edlow, M.D., F.A.C.P., is vice chair of emergency medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School. He is the author of the award-winning Bull's Eye: Unraveling the Medical Mystery of Lyme Disease and Stroke. He lives in Newtonville, MA.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Part 1 Human Meets Pathogen

1 The Deadly Dinner Party 3

2 Everywhere That Man Went 18

3 The Baby and the Bathwater 34

4 Rubbed the Wrong Way 46

5 The Forbidden Fruit 58

Part 2 The External Environment

6 Two Ticks from Jersey 75

7 An Airtight Case 88

8 Monday Morning Fever 102

9 The Case of the Wide-Eyed Boy 116

Part 3 The Internal Milieu

10 A Study in Scarlet 131

11 The Case of the Overly Hot Honeymoon 144

12 Feeling His Oats 158

13 The Case of the Unhealthy Health Food 170

14 Little Luisa's Blinding Headache 184

15 Too Much of a Good Thing 197

Sources 211

Index 237

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Sherlock Holmes at the dinner table:

    a fascinating series of vignettes of things that go awry at the dinner table. Doctor Edlow sets the scene with puzzling symptoms which, through clever epidemiological sleuthing, eventually uncover what shouldn't have been ingested and why. Scombroidosis: when the fish has not been properly cared before cooking, the innocent consumer may turn scarlet, suffering from toxic histidine levels. Usually alarming, but rarely fatal, and almost always puzzling, this is a good example of need for kitchen hygiene. Many other interesting chapters cover a wide variety of puzzling disease presentations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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