|Reviews for Death by Autopsy
My first review! and it's a doozy.
Death by Autopsy: A Toni Day Mystery
by Jane Bennett Munro
reviewed by Peter M. Fitzpatrick
Toni Day, M.D. is a hospital pathologist who witnesses a car crash into the frigid waters of a deep canal in Twin Falls, Idaho. She selflessly stops to help, but becomes trapped herself. After the car is extricated and one Beulah Mae Pritchard is brought from the car to the hospital where Dr. Day works, she finds herself called in to perform the autopsy. However, once she initiates the procedure, indications are that Beulah may not be so dead. Beulah's husband's dead body is also found stuffed into Beulah Mae's trunk, and his autopsy is piled on to keep Toni busy all weekend. Beulah's injuries lead to her eventual death, but Toni begins to have self-doubt on whether she in anyway contributed to Beulah's death. Events begin to cascade out of control, and a lawsuit charging Toni with just such a complicity are filed in a malpractice suit.
This medical mystery is a page-turner, with plot twists and tensions that keep the reader engaged. The techniques and terminology of pathology and autopsies are a subtheme, the politics of malpractice lawsuits also illustrated. Her cast of characters are charmingly portrayed and recognizable to the mind's eye. The first person voice is well executed, making one feel swept up along with the swirl of action. The theme is perhaps one of how old family secrets and alliances can extend forward into present time. A snapshot of small town Idaho is rendered along the way. Fans of medical drama and mysteries will be sure to love this fast-paced and fact-laced romp through the world of pathology. General readers can also enjoy learning about the world of autopsies, murder, and cover-ups. The author speaks with authority while being creatively entertaining.
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A 5-star review on Goodreads!
This book is definitely a page turner and never had a dull moment within it,Nov. 12 2014
This review is from: Death by Autopsy: A Toni Day Mystery (Kindle Edition)
Death By Autopsy is a thriller novel about Toni Day, a doctor in her city. The novel starts out full of action as Toni witnesses a car go off-road into a canal. Toni attempts to save the driver by jumping into the frigid water. The victim, Beulah Pritchard, is identified as the driver and was seen as dead. This was until Toni was about to complete her autopsy on Beulah. She is still alive, but only for 2 more days. After she is finally pronounced deceased, a court order shows up and Toni and the hospital are being sued for malpractice, Death By Autopsy. This book is definitely a page turner and never had a dull moment within it. There were constant twists that made for a roller-coaster of a read!
I thought the writing was very descriptive and enticing. The story hooked me from the beginning which is very hard to find these days.
I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good crime-thriller. I can compare it like an adult Nancy Drew or a better written CSI novel.
Thanks, Samantha! You rock!
THE CREATOR’S CORNER
Jane Bennett Munro’s Death by Autopsy-Toni Day Mysteries 4
NOVEMBER 24, 2014 / LILMIZFLASHYTHANG
I received this book courtesy of Ms. Munro for the purpose of a fair and honest review.
Overview: Toni Day is driving her mother and step-father home from the airport. When they witness a car drive into the canal, Toni pulls over to help, to no avail. Later on, she is called in to perform the autopsy on the driver. Surprise! She isn’t dead…yet.
Story Telling: Ms. Munro has some strong characters. Her story was well written.
Likes: Toni and her family were fun. She may have had issues with Beulah, but she was determined to do her job without letting her feelings get in the way.
Dislikes: I had a hard time reading past the medical terms. I think you need to have some doctorate in order to even pronounce them. It’s one of those books that makes it a pain to read out loud. The character that I liked the least was Brenda. In second place was Carole.
Favorite Character: My favorite character was Nigel. Retired and cancer-stricken, he still had to use his police knowledge. He also had a great sense of humor.
Favorite Quote: My favorite quote was one of Ms. Munro’s opening quotes. “Defer not ‘til tomorrow to be wise, Tomorrow’s sun to thee may never rise.” William Congreve.
Favorite Scene: My favorite part was when Toni managed to make Clark Dane, counsel for Brenda and Mortimer Duke, sick. A close second was her showdown with the antagonist.
Conclusion: This was an excellent book. Once we got past the medical terms, it was a quick and fun read. I hope you enjoy it. After all, it made my library.
BLUE INK REVIEW
Death by Autopsy
Jane Bennett Munro
iUniverse, 257 pages, (paperback) $17.95, 978-1-49174-479-6
(Reviewed: November, 2014)
Jane Bennett Munro is a veteran mystery writer, with three earlier novels already on the shelf.
Death by Autopsy brings back her regular cast of characters, all revolving around Toni Day, a
hospital pathologist in Twin Falls, Idaho…just like Munro in real life.
Munro has been a hospital pathologist in Idaho for 37 years. Her protagonist Day is an amateur
sleuth who seems to attract death and crime (and not just because she cuts up dead bodies for
Death by Autopsy begins with a car crash into an icy canal, which Day witnesses. She promptly
dives in to try and help. The body that’s pulled out turns out to be a little-liked nurse at the
hospital, who’s known for her nastiness and gossiping.
As Day prepares to perform an autopsy, she draws blood from the victim’s heart, then discovers
the woman isn’t actually dead. She dies two days later, causing Day concern that drawing the
blood may have led to her death (“death by autopsy”). That worry becomes concrete when the
woman’s relatives sue Day, her partner and the hospital.
But Day finds the victim and her husband (who was stuffed in the trunk of the car when it drove
into the canal) were murdered, and the intrepid pathologist, who has a knack for asking
questions, soon becomes a target herself.
Munro has created a pantheon of likable and believable characters, and her experience as a
pathologist informs her writing. She doesn’t spend much time describing the Idaho landscape or
scenes, but just enough to paint a picture of each setting. The story reveals itself primarily
through rapid-fire exchanges of dialogue between the characters, who think out loud and fill in
Munro’s prose is clean, spare and without much artful flair. Still it’s engaging and pulls in
readers effortlessly. If this is your first Toni Day novel, you’ll want to go back and start the series
from the beginning.
Also available as an ebook.
Marjorie's Reviews > Death by Autopsy: A Toni Day Mystery
Death by Autopsy: A Toni Day Mystery
by Jane Bennett Munro (Goodreads Author)
Nov 24, 14
5 of 5 stars
Read in November, 2014
Given To Me For An Honest Review
Death by Autopsy: A Toni Day Mystery by Jane Bennett Munro is a book that is going to grab you from page one and hold on to you until the final page. You'll be on the edge of your seat finding yourself turning page, after page, after page and turning more pages. This book is about, Toni Day, a pathologist. One night she witnesses a car drive off a bridge into frigid water. She discovers that the victim is Beulah Pritchard. Thinking Beulah is dead, she is brought to the morgue for an autopsy. When the autopsy is almost complete, Toni sees that Beulah is alive. Beulah lives for 2 more days. Toni then receives a court order that both she and the hospital are being sued for malpractice. There are twists and turns in this book. Including Beulah’s husband found dead in the trunk of her car. Why is he dead and in the trunk? What caused Beulah's death? The malpractice suit ... what will happen with that? This book is a fantastic crime thriller. You won't be able to put it down until you finish reading it. I loved it. I gave it 5 stars but it deserved many, many more. I highly recommend this book to everyone especially if you enjoy crime and thriller books. You will love this one. I look for more from Jane Bennett Munro.
Marjorie Boyd-Springer for Goodreads
5 stars Toni Day, Pathologist, Brings Different Perspective to Autopsies!, December 4, 2014
Amazon Customer "Glenda"
This review is from: Death by Autopsy: A Toni Day Mystery (Paperback)
It wasn't hard to picture Toni Day--she's a brainiac that cannot help by speak in intelligent, technical terms regarding her cases... She's a pathologist... but then carries it over into daily life as well. She has a sly sense of humor which you have to watch for in between the medical terms she discusses as she performs her duties, including doing autopsies when necessary.
Although she happened to be the individual who had discovered a car accident and had tried to free the passenger, she was quite willing to talk about her once she found out who it had been... In other words, most people were saying that it was good riddance to an ongoing troublemaker and rumormonger...
Toni Day had first tried to save a life when she had come across a car accident but had not been able to get to the driver of the car.
Later she does save her life when, as she began to conduct an autopsy, she realized that the woman, Beulah Pritchard, was not dead! She got her back into the emergency room, and they worked to save her; however, she did die several days later...
Toni Day...and the hospital...are now being sued for "Death by Autopsy..." By the fraternal twin sister of Beulah...
Now, during the time that the body had been on Day's autopsy table, she did draw blood... Without going into all the medical stuff you'll learn about this, Toni realized that this one action "could" have led to her death, if...
So, of course, she gets totally involved in solving the case...again... At least she had a personal reason, right?!
It gets really complicated fast, since it was apparent that somewhere along the way, Beulah had been murdered....
In the meantime, however, on the day that Beulah had been hurried back to the ER, Toni is called to do another autopsy...Beulah's husband, Dwayne, had been found in the trunk of the car that Beulah had crashed... He had been dead before placed there...
Toni had been coming back from the airport on the day of the original accident, having just picked up her mother and her second husband, Nigel. It was later that Nigel came to talk to Toni privately, showing her his records and diagnosis for prostrate cancer.
The addition of the family being involved brought a much broader, interesting and warm perspective to the novel. Toni was cornered by her mother, as mother's do, each time she was going to be, or her mother thought she could be in trouble... Also, Nigel was retired from Scotland Yard, so everything that was happening with the case is digested and regurgitated once Toni went home each night. Because of this, readers get a much more heavy dose of medical jargon, procedures, and details than in many novels. So if you are a fan of medical thrillers, you'll especially enjoy this one. Myself, I was fully into the mystery of solving who did all the murders!
It got to be comical when, their next door neighbor, turned out to be the lawyer Toni talked to, in case she personally would have to respond to the legal suit... So, now readers have the details of the legal side of the murder case...all while everybody is eating pizza! Geesh!
And then attempts on Toni's life starts! What's really going on?! I suggest you do check this twisting, turning mystery out and have fun along with Toni as she gets close enough that now her life is being threatened! Enjoy!
Book provided for review
Book Readers Heaven
Thanks Glenda! I hope everybody does exactly that!
If you enjoy medical mysteries that twist and turn-you will enjoy this one, December 11, 2014
This review is from: Death by Autopsy: A Toni Day Mystery (Kindle Edition)
Another book written by an MD--I am truly beginning to wonder whether there will be any doctors left--they all seem to be writing fiction and are extremely good at it! Maybe because they are writing Medical Mysteries and they know about it first hand? If you enjoy medical mysteries that twist and turn-you will enjoy this one. This is actually the 2nd book I've read by this author.
You know that old saying--"No good deed goes unpunished"? Well that certainly holds true in this novel! Pathologist Toni Day tries to save the occupants of a car that slid off the road into VERY cold water. Both occupants of the car (one who was found in the trunk) are dead--until the female is on the autopsy table-----it just keeps getting better and better. Toni's husband (also a doctor) spends most of his time saying oy veh or oy gevalt (with good reason)--her Mom is always reminding people to mind their language--there is quite a bit of comic relief in this book! No one can stop Toni from trying to figure out the mystery--and she keeps getting deeper and deeper into trouble--The woman's sister even wants to sue for wrongful death!!
DEATH BY AUTOPSY
A Toni Day Mystery
Munro, Jane Bennett
iUniverse (268 pp.)
$17.95 paperback, $3.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1491744796; October 7, 2014
A body comes back to life on the autopsy table, igniting a string of events that includes murder, in the fourth novel
featuring pathologist Toni Day.
It’s been one of those days for Day. She sees a car go into a canal and almost drowns herself trying to save the driver, a
woman named Beulah, whom she actually knows. Later, just as Day is about to begin Beulah’s autopsy, she realizes that
the woman is still alive. As she digs deeper into Beulah’s past, her investigation uncovers some apparent embezzlement
occurring at the local canal company and the decades-old death of a young boy. She knows she’s getting uncomfortably
close to pay dirt when she starts getting threats to back off. Will she find the truth before the threats turn deadly?
Munro’s (Grievous Bodily Harm, 2013, etc.) novel takes the reader deep into the world of pathology, made popular by
television shows like NCIS. The title comes from what has to be a pathologist’s worst nightmare—beginning an autopsy
on a person who is still alive. Day is worried that she might have caused Beulah’s death because she inserted a needle
into the heart cavity to draw some fluid out just before realizing that Beulah was still alive on the operating table. A
pathologist herself for nearly four decades, Munro knows her way around an autopsy, and the book rings with
authenticity yet doesn’t bury the reader in a blizzard of insider facts and tidbits. Day is no supersleuth but a typical
working person doing a job that she’s good at, then letting her curiosity take control. A strong cast of supporting
characters surrounds her, including a somewhat befuddled husband, her extended family and two dogs that act as living
burglar alarms. The book is paced well, and every time the story flags, Munro tosses in action or an ominous sequence
that reinvigorates the story and refocuses the reader. Readers may know in their heart of hearts that Day is too competent
to cause a death, but this lively whodunit will keep them guessing until the end.
A solid mystery far from DOA.
AUTOPSY DEATH OR NOT?, December 17, 2014 (4 stars)
gayle pace "May A Rainbow Shine Down On You!"
This review is from: Death by Autopsy: A Toni Day Mystery (Paperback)
She is such a brain that Toni Day speaks intelligently with such techncial terms. Her vocation is a pathologist.. but it also enters into her daily life too. She slides a little humor in while she is doing her autopsies. As most people were talking of the car accident as the death getting rid of a constant troublemaker and rumor teller. Toni Day was the one who found the car accident and had tried to save the passenger. She couldn't get to the driver of the car. Quite a shock was to prevail when she was doing an autopsy on Beulah Pritchard and found out that the woman was not dead. No, NOT DEAD. However after working on her in the Emergency room she died several days after.Now, on top of everything else, the hospital and Toni Day are being sued for "Death by Autopsy" The author put in a little twist.The suit was by the fraternal twin sister of Beulah. Toni came to the conclusion that drawing blood from Beulah could have led to her death. Now she had a personal reason to become involved in the case again.The author makes the story rather complicated. Who really killed Beulah.? Was it Toni Day or someone else. that murdered her? During all of this when Beulah was in the ER, is off to do another autopsy and who might that be? Beulah's husband,Dwayne. He was found in the trunk of the car Beulah crashed. Did Beulah murder him or did he die of natural causes? Maybe he had an enemy. Later in the day, Nigel talked to Toni privately, showing her his medical records and diagnosis for prostrate cancer. Adding a family member to the plot made the story a little more interesting and caring of thee characters.Then attempts on Toni's life begins. What's going on? Can you as the reader answer all the questions? There's quite a few twisting, turning and winding trails in this plot. Fascinating and page turning.
DEATH BY AUTOPSY: A TONI DAY MYSTERY BY JANE BENNETT MUNRO
JANUARY 10, 2015 NANCY NO COMMENTS
Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair
To say that Toni Day has had a rough week is an understatement. First she witnesses a car plunging into a canal, then when the car is raised and the driver extracted she realizes she knows (and doesn’t particularly like) the woman. In fact, Beulah Pitchard was not liked by many people. But the real shock comes when Toni is just about to cut into the corpse on her autopsy table she realizes that Beulah isn’t dead. Later things get stranger when police inform her that the woman’s husband’s body was stuffed in the car trunk. And to top it all off, after Beulah does die, Toni and the hospital are sued for malpractice!
Although this is the first of the Toni Day books that I have read, it is actually the fourth in the series. Sometimes this presents a problem for readers because they don’t know the back story of the characters, but it was not a problem at all with this book. There were very few references made to what had come before . We quickly learn that Toni is a pathologist at a hospital in Twin Falls, is married to a college professor and has no children. There really isn’t anything else readers need to know about Toni.
The technical detailing of a hospital morgue and autopsies was fascinating. It also gave readers an interesting perspective into the crime. With many mysteries, evidence at the crime scene is a major factor and readers find out about the cause of death through the sheriff’s eyes when he gets the autopsy report back. But in this book-and I presume this series, readers follow along as the autopsy is performed and we not only find out death was caused by a contusion to the head, but “see” the wound as the doctor sees it.
I was not at all surprised to see that the author is a pathologist. It is to her credit that she is able to write a mystery with so much technical detailing involved and makes it so very interesting-not at all like a classroom lecture.
Caryn St. Clair
Mysteries Galore.com <http://mysteriesgalore.com/>
Precision Strikes – A review of the novel ‘Death by Autopsy’
“By medicine life may be prolonged, yet death will seize the doctor too” - William Shakespeare
Author Jane Bennett Munro’s latest novel ‘Death by Autopsy: A Toni Day mystery’ is the fourth book in the Toni Day series of mystery books. As the self serving title suggests, it tells the tale of Toni Day, a pathologist by profession who takes it upon herself to solve a couple of mysterious deaths when she is accused of causing death to a patient, death by autopsy. Beulah Mae Pritchard was the woman Toni was supposed to conduct an autopsy on but when she wakes up alive on the table; it sets in motion a series of events that spells trouble for all those involved in the case. Accused of malpractice and being sued, Toni works hard to get her name cleared while also dealing with multiple threats, including one from the actual killers of Beulah and her husband Dwayne.
Now although this is the fourth book the titular protagonist Toni Day makes an appearance in, Death by Autopsy is the first book I’ve read in the series. But that didn’t stop me and I’m sure it won’t stop you either from enjoying this book as a standalone mystery novel. All the characters have been developed in such a manner that you will get to know each person intimately through the course of the book. Toni, her husband Hal, mother Fiona, step father Nigel and a host of secondary characters, including the antagonists are all real and life like and this helps in connecting with their story and emotions. And although it takes advantage of a few fictional liberties to move the narrative forward, it still turns out to be a highly credible and believable story.
This is a medical mystery novel that is thoroughly researched but that’s no surprise considering the author is a board certified pathologist in real life. She takes you through the day to day happenings in the life of a pathologist and lets you know that the job isn’t as glamorous or easy as it’s portrayed on television. And you really got to have a hard stomach to sit through some of the passages as she literally dissects the autopsy procedures, in graphic detail too and it isn’t recommended for the squeamish readers. The strength of the research can be felt in other areas too when she’s discussing about the irrigation company, law enforcement agencies and the judiciary as well. And unlike a lot of other books in this genre, Jane hasn’t tried to dumb it down to reach a wider audience. And I appreciate this because even if you can’t follow all the medical terms and procedures at least you feel that the characters uttering these lines know what they are doing, making the proceedings seem more real.
Toni Day is a woman of strong principles who is intelligent, honest, energetic and exuberant. She has got great attention to detail and the tenacity to follow up on even the hardest of leads, two qualities that any successful detective or sleuth must possess. The first person narrative will take the reader into the thick of the action and the author has managed to make this work throughout the length of the book without it ever becoming monotonous or stale. She also has a great mix of secondary characters who will keep you entertained with their quirks and dysfunctional interpersonal interactions.
A lot of the story moves forward on the strength of some nicely written rapid fire dialogues spoken between the various characters, this also help in creating artificial urgency in the narrative. With almost every chapter ending on a cliff hanger note, you will be hard pressed not to finish the book in a single sitting.
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: iUniverse (October 7, 2014)
Buy From - http://www.amazon.com/dp/1491744790/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Classic, Engaging Whodunit..., January 24, 2015
This review is from: Death by Autopsy: A Toni Day Mystery (Paperback)
This is my first experience with charming heroine Toni Day, pathologist by day and super sleuth by night (or whenever it strikes her fancy). She is a likeable character, smart, fearless and determined. She is surrounded by a host of wonderful secondary characters, especially her husband Hal, her mother Fiona, stepfather Nigel, and son-in-law Pete all of whom help her reason out the whys and wherefores of whatever mystery she is in the middle of solving. I got a kick out of Nigel and Fiona who add a touch of humor and dignity to whatever scene they are in. Although I haven't read any of the other Toni Day mysteries (a fact I intend to remedy shortly), it appears the good doctor has been falsely accused of murder in the past which makes her all the more determined to prove that she did not kill Beulah Pritchard by autopsy.
Ghost stories and morgue jokes aside, it's got to be pretty darn creepy when what you think is a corpse grabs your apron strings and actually takes a breath... me, I would have passed out but Toni, while horrified that she almost used an electric saw on a live person, takes it pretty much in stride and sends for a crash cart to help revive her not dead patient. Sadly (or maybe not since Beulah appeared to me toxic to the people in her life) the patient actually dies for good a couple of days later, but it gives her money grubbing estranged sister just the ammo she needs to sue Toni, her partner and the hospital for big bucks. So even though the police and her lawyer are on the case, Toni starts digging around on her own and finds herself discovering a web of deceit including embezzlement, murder, a missing toddler and the list goes on, all taking place right there in her own little town of Twin Falls, Idaho. Of course that puts her in the sights of a killer and the game is on.
I found myself thinking of Miss Marple in the Agatha Christie novels or Hercule Poirot since it reads very much like a classic whodunit. I actually read this book in one sitting so it's obvious that I was entertained and intrigued by the story and its characters. Since the author is a doctor and long time pathologist, the descriptions of Toni's job,etc are vividly realistic and I found them fascinating to read, but some may find themselves skimming over the more technical parts of the story. Told very effectively in the first person, the story moves along at a good pace as Toni slowly peels back the murder mystery like the layers of an onion and I look forward to the next Toni Day Mystery. Five stars for Jane Bennett Munro and Death by Autopsy.*
*I received this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I do not know this author and no other form of compensation took place
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Pathologist Toni Day is faced with a situation most pathologists only joke about. Beulah Pritchard comes back to life on her autopsy table. Beulah was a coworker of Toni’s at Cascade Perrine Regional Medical Center, where she was known as a merciless gossip, happiest to attack female doctors with slander and lies.
Beulah drove her car off a snow-covered road with her husband’s dead body in the trunk. Although Beulah survived her injuries and hypothermia, she died, only to come alive on Toni’s table—and die again. Beulah’s estranged sister threatens to sue both Toni and the hospital for wrongful death, but it’s soon apparent both Beulah and her husband were murdered.
To save her career and the hospital, Toni investigates the mysterious deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Pritchard. Her inquiries uncover a decades-old scheme of embezzlement, blackmail, and more. Soon, someone is on Toni’s tail: the killer, desperate to stop the curious pathologist from uncovering the truth. In order to stay alive, Toni must confront a vicious and clever murderer who will do anything to keep the past under wraps.
This is my first book by this author and trust me it will not be my last. This is a medical and criminal thriller that will take you on such a ride. Toni is a pathologist that is also a super sleuth in her free time. And the poor girl is shaken by a dead person come back to life on her table and the mayhem continues they must find the killer before it’s too late.
Toni is a very educated character who has very strong morals and is very exuberant. She is a very goal oriented and is like a dog with a bone when on the job. She will go the distance to find the clues and ultimately take down the bad guy. She kind a reminds me of Isles from Rizzoli and Isles . She is smart, quirky and does her job really , really well. She cracks a joke to break up the silence while doing autopsies. She is so much fun to read, and honestly doesn't get boring with the all the technical wording . The secondary cast of characters help round out the whole story .
This is a medical mystery that will take you on a twisty turny roller coaster ride. Even with the medical terminology it is a very enjoyable read . Toni will take you on the every day adventures in the morgue. The book is so well researched and it should be seeing as the author is a pathologist in real life . So she knows what goes on in the morgue on a daily basis. From the boredom and the jokes that they have about people coming back to life on the table. There are some disturbing scenes in the book. When she is describing in detail the autopsy incisions in detail . Yes I admit it I did groan a few times .But did not put the book down I just kept reading and loved it . Loved the twists and turns . So if you want a medical thriller that will keep you reading all night long this is the book for you . Check it out . I know you won't be disappointed . I know I wasn't
Posted by Patricia Statham at 9:39 AM
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