The Mystery Puzzle

Mystery Puzzle


The mystery’s puzzle can be introduced early like in Murders at Hollings
Below are excepts from the first pages of  this novel.

First, a hint


    Dr. David Brooks remembered the man behind the surgical mask as shorter and left-handed.

    “Strange,” he whispered, turning to Dr. William Castleman, the young Director of Emergency Medicine, “back in the Navy, he was a little man…"


Second, set the stage


    They sat together in the center of the first row overlooking Suite 7, the surgical amphitheater of Connecticut’s venerable Hollings General Teaching Hospital, on a viewing balcony crowded with doctors, nurses, medical students, administrators and news reporters. Frozen forward, eyes homed in on the operating surgeon, their breathing stalled for a collective silence. Before them, bright lights reflected off an otherwise invisible glass partition. On the wall, a clock’s second hand cogwheeled to precisely three thirty. The balcony smelled scrubbed and antiseptic.

David asked himself whether he remembered wrong.


Third, describe the scene


    “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m Virginia Baldwin, the Nursing Supervisor of our Surgical Department. We’re indeed honored to have Dr. Raphael Cortez here with us today. He’s about to make his initial abdominal incision and the pancreatic transplantation will begin." 


Fourth, set the timing. 


    Castleman stretched up and cupped his hand around David’s ear. “Doesn’t a doctor like Cortez deserve prime time-like eight in the morning? Why three-thirty?”

    David cupped back, “He may be famous, but he’s just a visiting dignitary"


    David pushed down on his feet, leveraging his six-five frame for a better view of the surgery forty feet away. He saw the surgeon’s eyes flit over the abdominal cavity, toward his assistants and back. They tugged on retractors and applied internal sutures while a nurse dabbed the surgeon’s forehead.


Finally, the murder…


Two minutes into the operation, the Chief screamed, “No, not there, Doctor!” Blood spurted against the palm of his gloved hand. “What are you doing? Where are you cutting?”


Then there is confusion. 


    The Chief said, “Christ, let me get in there!” He ran around to the left of the table and tried to muscle aside the operating surgeon.


hunt begins in the murder mystery. 


Good luck, Jerry

p.s.:  Murders at Hollings General is available in Hardcover form
or eBook for Amazon Kindle at

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One Response to The Mystery Puzzle

  1. Jay Squires says:

    I’m well-past the murder scene which was indeed exquisitely written. The more I deepen my experience in your novel the more I realize the importance — beyond any type of research — of experiential immediacy in the writing of your novel. It has the ring of authenticity and rivets the reader to the page. The scenes contain a mininutia of delicious details only the initiated could be privy to. I can only read and shake my head, humbled.

    Excellent work, Jerry.

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