Sara Almquist, the protagonist of my thriller/mystery series, will try anything once. She describes her job as an epidemiologist as being a professional snoop who tackles practical problems: flu epidemics, dangerous diet schemes, addictive drugs, and questionable international scientific exchanges.
I try to make Sara’s exploits realistic and gritty by including researched science tidbits and my travel to Bolivia, Cuba, and Lebanon, sometimes as a science consultant. For example, I really did climb to the roof of Iglesia de San Francisco to look down on the Witches' Market in La Paz, but no one was chasing me like Sara is chased in Ignore the Pain. And in case you doubt the science, I include a short Scientific Epilogue at the end of each novel with references.
If you’re a romantic, you might think Sara sounds too tough. Forget that idea, she meets a number of interesting men but loves her main male—a Japanese Chin Dog named Bug. The real Bug is shown in the attached photos.
- In the medical suspense novel, Coming Flu, learn whether the Philippine Flu or a drug kingpin caught in the quarantine for the flu is deadlier.
- Next in the medical mystery, Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight, discover whether an ambitious young “diet doctor” or an old-timer with buried secrets killed the diet doctor.
- In medical thriller Ignore the Pain, feel the fear as epidemiologist, Sara Almquist, learns too much about the coca trade and too little about a sexy new colleague, Xave Zack, while on a public health assignment in Bolivia.
- Join Sara Almquist as she travels to Cuba in the thriller, Malignancy. In her haste to escape further entanglement with a drug czar and to see Xave Zack again, she accepts a questionable State Department invitation to arrange scientific exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba.
- Sara Almquist is drawn into the plan to identify and rescue a nuclear scientist, known only as F, from Iran. However, she doubts that her memories from her career as a globe-trotting epidemiologist are relevant. After repeated attacks, she doubts she’ll survive the search for F in I Saw You in Beirut.
I hope my novels encourage more women and minorities to select careers in the sciences. But don't worry if you're not "into science," the action, plot twists, and quirky characters will keep you reading these novels.
Malignancy won first place in the annual Public Safety Writers Association contest in 2015.