New Book THE REALTOR’S CURSE, My 3rd Medical Biotech Murder Mystery

My third medical biotech murder mystery, my new book The Realtor’s Curse, will be released in October for sale online and in bookstores near you, so how about a little background? In my late twenties, I temporarily lost my mind and decided to pursue a doctorate in pharmacology at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. Being a workaholic of epic proportions, I did this while I was at the same time working for the FDA. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

I finished the doctorate and spent 40 years working in the pharmaceutical and medical biotech industry, for the FDA and then later for industry. You gotta be a little looney-toons to take this career path. (Just ask my wife. She’ll tell you. One weekend while I was heavily involved in writing my doctoral thesis at home, she delivered my lunch to me in the buff, and I didn’t even notice. That was 40 years ago, and I still hear about it today). New Book The Realtor’s Curse

This industry is very high pressured; “we’re losing millions of dollars every minute our new drug is not on the market” type pressure. I did risk assessments at the FDA, comparing a drug or biopharmaceutical’s therapeutic effects to its toxic side effects. I made recommendations as to whether or not the drug should be licensed for sale in the US. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

Medical biotech products, or biopharmaceuticals, have toxicities that are often worse than drugs. With these products, scientists are playing around with your immune system (protects you from infections, like Covid-19, and heals wounds), cell and organ systems (keeps you alive), and your DNA (that stuff that determines your species, intelligence, race, gender, health, appearance, how many heads, arms and legs you have, the ability to walk and breath at the same time…you know, important stuff like that). New Book The Realtor’s Curse

Monoclonal antibodies and cytokines can mess with your immune system, causing anything from immunosuppression (less protection from infections) to autoimmunity (as in your own immune system attacking you). Cell therapies can cause cancer and cytokine release syndrome (massive systemic inflammation and shock). New Book The Realtor’s Curse

Then there are the gene therapies, where you incorporate a specific gene sequence directly into the patient’s DNA. This causes the patient’s cells to make a specific protein, forever. For example, you might stimulate the patient’s cells to produce insulin in diabetic patients, or levodopa in Parkinson’s patients, which should help treat the disease. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

These gene therapies have some of the scariest potential side effects. These include cancer, the transmission of the gene therapy to your progeny (your child is born making this same protein, also forever), accidental production of the wrong protein product (for example something that might kill you) and autoimmunity, to name a few. Your DNA is a pretty important to you, and it’s not a good idea to mess it up. The FDA is generally extra careful with these products. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

When I retired, I wanted to become a writer. I could have written procedural books on how to get your drug or biopharmaceutical licensed by the FDA, or books on pharmacology. But, where’s the fun in that? I spent all those years looking at the toxicities (harmful side effects) of new drugs and biopharmaceuticals, and I saw some scary stuff. With all that gloom and doom perhaps a few of my screws had loosened. I wanted to write books that would be fun for people to read, and fun for me to write. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

So, I thought, “Why not turn things around, and try to find a humorous side to the pharmaceutical and medical biotech industry?” You know, like “what can go wrong when scientists play with your immune system, cells or DNA?” I have always loved murder mysteries, so I came up with the “medical biotech murder mystery”. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

In my medical biotech murder mysteries, the murders are all staged in the pharmaceutical/medical biotech industry, and the main character is a bored FDA reviewer who decides to try his hand at being a private eye. The murders are all based on the premise that something has gone wrong with medical biotech development. (Hmmm. Assess toxicity of medical biotech products versus write murder mysteries about same…maybe I didn’t stray as far from my original career as I thought. But, I digress.) New Book The Realtor’s Curse

With these books, the reader gets to solve an intriguing murder mystery with lots of twists and turns, learn a little something about medical biotechnology and gets a few laughs in the process. I have always been an avid fan of comedy murder mysteries, and Inspector Clouseau, Adrian Monk and Mrs. Fletcher were my favorites. So, that should give you some perspective into my PI character. Laughter really is good for your health, especially after this damned pandemic. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

I wanted to start with a plot that was really out there, a murder mystery so unique that once you read it you’d never forget it. The first book in my medical biotech murder mystery series is PLEASURIA: TAKE AS DIRECTED (Koehler Books). The main character is Dr. Jason Longfellow, a bored FDA drug reviewer who decides to try a new career path as a private eye. His wife won’t let him quit his day job, so he can only investigate murders on the weekends. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

His first case includes the attempted murder of his fellow carpooler, and the murder weapon is so unusual that it is embarrassing and impossible for him to explain it to the ER doctors, and even more difficult to explain to his nurse wife. (Warning! This book contains very little violence, very little foul language, no smoking, and no nudity. However, it does contain the word “orgasm”. Shocking, I know!). New Book The Realtor’s Curse

I told you I went for something really out there, unique, for the first book in this series. There are several murders and/or attempted murders, our amateur PI investigates the case on weekends (his wife won’t let him quit his day job), and you simply won’t believe how the murders are carried out, who the killer is, or how he catches…well, I’m not going to give anything else away. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

The good news, PI Longfellow…Jason…doesn’t quit his day job as an FDA reviewer. Better news, Jason’s wife doesn’t kill him (or there wouldn’t have been a sequel). Best news, I’ve sold lots of copies of the book, the reviews are excellent, and the Koehler editors and various people who’ve read the book have told me the book is fun to read, contains a great mystery and some laugh out loud comedy. Since laughter is good for your health…well, you get the idea. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

The second book in the series is MURDER BY ROAD TRIP. I was looking for something different again, but still following the theme of murder by something going wrong in the field of medical biotechnology. Back in July 2016, my youngest daughter and I did something wonderful, probably the highlight of my life. We took a 30-day, 7600-mile road trip across the USA and back, heading west on the southern route and returning to Virginia on the northern route. We saw incredible things, had wonderful experiences and met all kinds of friendly Americans, and we had an awesome time together. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

This daughter also has a degree in media arts and design, with a minor in English. She designs some of my book covers and does early edits of my books. I was looking for a way to stage my second book, we discussed it, and decided I would use our trip as the stage. She agreed to co-author the book with me, since she was very familiar with the subject matter. That’s how MURDER BY ROAD TRIP came about. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

In this book, Dr./PI Jason Longfellow wants to quit his day job as an FDA reviewer and do the PI thing full time. So, of course, he gets invited to interview for a high paying job with a medical biotech company on the West Coast. His wife, Chelsea, likes the idea a lot…more money. However, Jason is not so enthusiastic about it because this job would require even more of his time and force him to put PI Longfellow in the closet for an extended period. This is how Jason finds himself in a gigantic RV with Chelsea and their three daughters, on a cross-country road trip to California. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

The more Jason tries to get away from the PI thing, the more crime seeks him out. His trip begins with a root canal in Shreveport, and goes downhill from there. He gets shot at, kidnapped, bitten by comfort animals, solves the great cheese caper, and investigates the RV park jewel thief. He is attacked by mannequins, holographic cowboys, a large lesbian biker and a ‘mad’ dentist, all trying to kill him and steal his teeth. The book is non-stop action, and you find yourself asking, what the heck is going on? New Book The Realtor’s Curse

Trust me, there is a great murder mystery in there based on a medical biotech premise, complete with lots of laughs, and Jason survives the adventure. This is good, because I wanted to write a third book in the series. Readers have told us they enjoyed all the stops along the way (Shreveport, El Paso, Tucson, San Diego, Gold Beach, The Dalles, Sioux Falls, Madison, to name a few), and others have said they can’t figure out why Chelsea hasn’t committed husband-i-cide yet. One reader told us she loved the twists and turns of the book, all the action and the crazy characters. Everyone seems to agree that the book is fun to read. I know the world has gone a little wacko what with a pandemic and all, but as far as I can tell fun is still a good thing. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

Dr./PI Jason Longfellow returned safely from the West Coast, and it was time for a third book in the series. What to do? What to do? Well, it is said that a writer should write what he/she knows. A few years ago, my wife and I bought a condo in Florida, we have since moved to Florida, and we have had some notable experiences along the way. This gave me the idea for my next book, The Realtor’s Curse, coming in October online and in bookstores everywhere. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

Chelsea decides that she and Jason are working too hard, they need a break, and they should buy a condo in Florida as a vacation home where they can go to recharge from time to time. Jason is still a full-time FDA drug reviewer and part-time private eye. The loving couple travel to Florida, this time without the kids, to unwind and buy a vacation home. New Book The Realtor’s Curse

Jason continues his role as a major crime magnet, he and Chelsea explore the many seriously dangerous recreational opportunities provided by subtropical Florida, and engage in a treacherous search for vacation property. (There might be a murder or twenty in there somewhere). Who is the killer? Everyone seems to think it’s Jason, and he’s starting to wonder himself. Jason is OCD and abhors chaos, Chelsea is pure chaos, and together… let’s just say that Florida will never be the same. (Florida, I apologize in advance). New Book The Realtor’s Curse

If you like a great mystery, enjoy laughing and would be interested in learning just a little about medical biotechnology and pharmacology, keep an eye out for The Realtor’s Curse, coming in October. It’ll strike fear into the hearts of anyone thinking about buying vacation property, or taking a vacation, or visiting Florida. (Maybe I should re-categorize this book as horror, except for the fact that it’ll make you laugh out loud). New Book The Realtor’s Curse

To find the links to buy PLEASURIA and MURDER BY ROAD TRIP, go to my author page at