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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Review - Disappearance at Mount Sinai by Jim Musgrave

Detective Pat O’Malley Series

 Review

In  'Disappearance at Mount Sinai, Detective Pat O'Malley is challenged to solve one of the biggest cases in his career. O'Malley is faced with solving the mystery of the kidnapping of a wealthy inventor and entrepreneur. The year is 1866 in New York City.  The innovator, Dr. Mergenthaler, mysteriously disappears from the Mount Sinai Hospital.  In his investigations, Pat O'Malley uncovers a sinister plot that may have worldwide repercussions.  There is a conspiracy so complex and far reaching, involving politicians, high ranking military, and the President of the United States. Disguised as an English Professor from Oxford, the detective follows clues to Tennessee, the Deep South of America.  O'Malley has to face racist and anti-Semitic groups in his inquiries and search for Dr. Mergenthaler.

The author, Jim Musgrave, has cleverly used historical fact, imaginative fiction, and suspense in the story.  Jim enlightens the reader on the post-civil war era and the bigotry of the period through Detective Pat O'Malley's eyes.  O'Malley is a character Jim introduced in his first book of the O'Malley mini-series and continues in future books.  The detective is a logical man in his analysis and deductions of the facts surrounding the case. Yet the author has created a softer side to the detectives personality.  Madame Rebecca Charming and Dr. Mergenthaler's son Seth bring out a more tender part of O'Malley's personality. Musgrave keeps you turning the pages and guessing to the end of the book. The conclusion is surprising and dramatic. 

A complex plot, mystery and suspense kept me reading. I found Pat O'Malley somewhat irritating at the beginning of the story.  But I warmed to the detective as he continued his narration.   Jim Musgrave has a way with words that created very colorful pictures in my mind. The historical events, racism and bigotry astutely woven into the story are both informative and interesting.  The scenario of a worldwide eugenics group, and Jewish folklore of a mythical identity are an intriguing combination.  Jim is a skilful writer and I will seek out more his books for my reading pleasure.

About author

James Musgrave (aka, Efraim Z. Graves) is an author and college educator in San Diego, California. His recent non-fiction title, The Digital Scribe: a Writer's Guide to Electronic Media (AP Professional, ISBN 0-12-512255-1) has been internationally published. He has a M.A. degree in Creative Writing from San Diego State University. He was awarded the Ebook of the Year Award, 2001-2002 from Bookbooters.com for his thriller, Russian Wolves. In addition, Mr. Musgrave has finished as a Finalist in the New Century Writer Awards for his novel excerpt, Iron Maiden. Runner-Up in the $10,000 Annual Heekin Foundation Awards for New Fiction Writers (1994). He has published short fiction in many literary journals, including: San Diego Writer's Monthly, FirstDraft, Sniplits Audio Short Stories to Go, Back Channels, Pacific Review, California Quarterly and Cowles Mountain Journal. He has also been published at CIC Publishers with four novels: Sins of Darkness, Russian Wolves, Iron Maiden and Lucifers Wedding and a collection of short fiction, The Presidents Parasite and Other Stories. Mr. Musgraves story, Speculum was an Honorable Mention in the Fog City Writers Awards, and Turning the Law Wheel was an Honorable Mention in the Cedar Hill Press Short Fiction Contest.

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