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Picking up where Berton Roueché’s The Medical Detectives left off, The Deadly Dinner Party presents fifteen edge-of-your-seat, real-life medical detective stories written by a practicing physician. Award-winning author Jonathan Edlow, M.D., shows the doctor as detective and the epidemiologist as elite sleuth in stories that are as gripping as the best thrillers. In these st Picking up where Berton Roueché’s The Medical Detectives left off, The Deadly Dinner Party presents fifteen edge-of-your-seat, real-life medical detective stories written by a practicing physician. Award-winning author Jonathan Edlow, M.D., shows the doctor as detective and the epidemiologist as elite sleuth in stories that are as gripping as the best thrillers. In these stories a notorious stomach bug turns a suburban dinner party into a disaster that almost claims its host; a diminutive woman routinely eats more than her football-playing boyfriend but continually loses weight; a young executive is diagnosed with lung cancer, yet the tumors seem to wax and wane inexplicably. Written for the lay person who wishes to better grasp how doctors decipher the myriad clues and puzzling symptoms they often encounter, each story presents a very different case where doctors must work to find the accurate diagnosis before it is too late. Edlow uses his unique ability to relate complex medical concepts in a writing style that is clear, engaging and easily understandable. The resulting stories both entertain us and teach us much about medicine, its history and the subtle interactions among pathogens, humans, and the environment.


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Picking up where Berton Roueché’s The Medical Detectives left off, The Deadly Dinner Party presents fifteen edge-of-your-seat, real-life medical detective stories written by a practicing physician. Award-winning author Jonathan Edlow, M.D., shows the doctor as detective and the epidemiologist as elite sleuth in stories that are as gripping as the best thrillers. In these st Picking up where Berton Roueché’s The Medical Detectives left off, The Deadly Dinner Party presents fifteen edge-of-your-seat, real-life medical detective stories written by a practicing physician. Award-winning author Jonathan Edlow, M.D., shows the doctor as detective and the epidemiologist as elite sleuth in stories that are as gripping as the best thrillers. In these stories a notorious stomach bug turns a suburban dinner party into a disaster that almost claims its host; a diminutive woman routinely eats more than her football-playing boyfriend but continually loses weight; a young executive is diagnosed with lung cancer, yet the tumors seem to wax and wane inexplicably. Written for the lay person who wishes to better grasp how doctors decipher the myriad clues and puzzling symptoms they often encounter, each story presents a very different case where doctors must work to find the accurate diagnosis before it is too late. Edlow uses his unique ability to relate complex medical concepts in a writing style that is clear, engaging and easily understandable. The resulting stories both entertain us and teach us much about medicine, its history and the subtle interactions among pathogens, humans, and the environment.

30 review for The Deadly Dinner Party: and Other Medical Detective Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    I found this in the library by chance. I like a scientific/medical mystery book of this kind, so I brought it home. While the case studies were interesting, the writing did, on the whole, let the book down. The author had a tendency to outline the problems, hint or explain the issue quickly and then diverge into a history lesson about the bacterium/condition/additive/whatever in question before finally finishing up conclusion of the case study and final outcome. For me, it just flattened everythin I found this in the library by chance. I like a scientific/medical mystery book of this kind, so I brought it home. While the case studies were interesting, the writing did, on the whole, let the book down. The author had a tendency to outline the problems, hint or explain the issue quickly and then diverge into a history lesson about the bacterium/condition/additive/whatever in question before finally finishing up conclusion of the case study and final outcome. For me, it just flattened everything, and the mystery and resolution thereof got seriously bogged down in everything else. It's not that I don't want to know the history of the condition, but the way it was done in this book didn't work for me. The information was intersting, but it wasn't exactly a stimulating read. Not bad, but certainly not amazing either. But a short read and a nice break from the epic fantasy I've been reading lately.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is the best book that ever made me never want to eat again. Or go outside. Or even take a vitamin. This book will straight up RUIN YOUR LIFE, but it is so goddamn good. Edlow hits just about every literary kink I have: snappy writing, educational (but interesting) asides, mysterious happenings, and just the right level of Gruesome Detail. Because each incident is a short vignette, it's easy to break up your reading - but to be honest, I fucking inhaled this book. Recommend it to literally ever This is the best book that ever made me never want to eat again. Or go outside. Or even take a vitamin. This book will straight up RUIN YOUR LIFE, but it is so goddamn good. Edlow hits just about every literary kink I have: snappy writing, educational (but interesting) asides, mysterious happenings, and just the right level of Gruesome Detail. Because each incident is a short vignette, it's easy to break up your reading - but to be honest, I fucking inhaled this book. Recommend it to literally everyone, because it is that good. But seriously, don't fucking eat garlic in oil. Just don't.

  3. 4 out of 5

    shanghao

    The first case of botulism was interesting but as the book went on it became more apparent that although each case has its own merits, not all medical cases fit equally well as detective whodunnit/whatcausedit mysteries. Also some unnecessary descriptions such as ‘pretty brown-eyed patient’ - author bias on looks which turned out to have little to no bearing whatsoever to the case...happened several times so it’s a bit jarring.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    What made this book great to read was how easy it was to understand the author. I never read the original Medical Detectives (but thought as this book came later that it would have more updated info). First, the author explained that he had a short attention span. Great! So do I. He summarized each of the following cases in the foreword with a brief one sentence summary. Great! (especially for going back to the case you want to review.) Second, it seems that he's an M.D. himself, practicing or n What made this book great to read was how easy it was to understand the author. I never read the original Medical Detectives (but thought as this book came later that it would have more updated info). First, the author explained that he had a short attention span. Great! So do I. He summarized each of the following cases in the foreword with a brief one sentence summary. Great! (especially for going back to the case you want to review.) Second, it seems that he's an M.D. himself, practicing or not, he never goes into. Great! He's not pompous at all...unlike a previous author I had the misfortune of picking up. He provides great background to all the diseases, with quick historical synopsis and anecdotes, ties up the current case with concurrent similar phenomenon. Essentially, the author is just a good writer -- his writing is easy to understand, the way he lays out the "mysteries" are quick and to the point. At one point, I thought I had had enough of these mysteries, but managed to finish the book in a matter of days. I can see this book being a popular choice for college course. Some of the cases toward the end didn't seem as titillating to me...maybe because I happened to know the diagnosis. But still, did I mention the author is a good writer? Good on him.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarazen

    Enjoyable read for folks who like a good medical whodunit, however, it suffers from the short comings of Edlow as a writer. At times awkward and prone to an abundance of digression, Edlow does get round to telling the story of each medical case, but he has difficultly maintaining the thread of tension that would turn such dramas from merely interesting to downright riveting.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    People who tend to think scientifically, either through formal training or by personal inclination, like formulae. Dr. Jonathan Edlow is on the staff of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and is a professor at the Harvard Medical School. He thinks scientifically which partly explains why his book is written in an highly formulaic fashion. Each of fifteen chapters is constructed similarly. (1) A sympathetic patient is introduced, with a puzzling medical condition, which a doctor or d People who tend to think scientifically, either through formal training or by personal inclination, like formulae. Dr. Jonathan Edlow is on the staff of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and is a professor at the Harvard Medical School. He thinks scientifically which partly explains why his book is written in an highly formulaic fashion. Each of fifteen chapters is constructed similarly. (1) A sympathetic patient is introduced, with a puzzling medical condition, which a doctor or doctors struggle to diagnose. (2) The history of a particular disease or condition, its diagnosis and treatment, is explored from the earliest (e.g. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans) to the most modern. (3) Through excellent medicine, the patient is properly diagnosed and cured. Jon Edlow is not a great writer but is an adequate writer. His prose is occasionally witty but often mechanistic. In addition to his many scholarly publications, this is his third book for a lay audience; the others are about Lyme disease and stroke. I purchased this book used. It contains a plate on one of the front pages which reads, in part, "Harrisburg Academy, Charles E. Dahl Award. This book presented to Nicholas Schmidt, the student in the Upper School who has proven to be exceptionally proficient in the areas of mathematics and/or science. Dr. James Newman, Head of School, June 5, 2013." This is the sixteenth mystery Harrisburg School is a private academy in Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania. Charles E. Dahl was a graduate of Penn State University who taught maths at Harrisburg, now deceased. As of the date of this review, Dr. Jim Newman is still Head of School at Harrisburg. About student Nicholas Schmidt, I know almost nothing except that apparently he did not want to keep this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Ames-Foley

    The summary of this book really put too much emphasis on how "thrilling" it would be. While a decent read, the stories do drag on a little and I found myself getting bored a lot. It ended up being less mystery and more medical history than I thought it would be. Edlow seems to talk just for the sake of talking at times. He explains things that I don't really see as relevant or important, leaving me lost and waiting to get to the point. Overall it was well-written, I'll give it that, but it just w The summary of this book really put too much emphasis on how "thrilling" it would be. While a decent read, the stories do drag on a little and I found myself getting bored a lot. It ended up being less mystery and more medical history than I thought it would be. Edlow seems to talk just for the sake of talking at times. He explains things that I don't really see as relevant or important, leaving me lost and waiting to get to the point. Overall it was well-written, I'll give it that, but it just wasn't as good as I expected. I'd recommend this to folks who are more interested in the particulars of unusual diseases and parasites, or just medical cases in general. Just be ready for a lot of background and not much focus on the cases themselves.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    A solid 3.5 stars. While mildly entertaining, I felt the writing was lacking. The narrative needed depth and I only found some of the science compelling. I was disappointed that Creutzfeldt-Jacob was not included. It was, however, fun to read about the history and discovery of how it was determined what was causing each ailment, especially the more obscure microbes and their sources. The book did end abruptly; I would have liked the author’s overall thoughts and conclusion.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

    This book by Dr. Jonathan Edlow is the result of combining great mysteries with great medicine. The author, in his preface, talks about his lifelong fascination with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and it seems only right that he should find a unique way to combine both his love of 'whodunits' with his love of medicine. The case studies in this book are diverse... some deal with pathogens being introduced into the body and some are interestingly about health 'habits' which turn out to be not s This book by Dr. Jonathan Edlow is the result of combining great mysteries with great medicine. The author, in his preface, talks about his lifelong fascination with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and it seems only right that he should find a unique way to combine both his love of 'whodunits' with his love of medicine. The case studies in this book are diverse... some deal with pathogens being introduced into the body and some are interestingly about health 'habits' which turn out to be not so healthy. Many of the patients in in these medical mysteries become seriously ill and it is the powers of observation of some very alert doctors, and in some cases personnel from the Centers For Disease Control who come in and uncover the clues needed to make a diagnosis and devise a treatment which would ensure the patients' recoveries. These case studies included things such as botulism poisoning from leftovers reheated the day after a dinner party to typhoid fever contracted on a honeymoon (of all places).... to cases of E.coli which interestingly traced back to the very enjoyable autumn tradition of sipping freshly pressed apple cider. There were many fascinating mysteries in this book also dealing with the many unseen hazards in the workplace....such as the very baffling case in a textile mill involving the process used to make 'crushed' velvet. My favorite mysteries, however, were actually about how too much of a good thing can actually be very bad (and even toxic) for the body. We live in a society that is obsessed with health... people engage in many, what often seem like crazy fads.... including megadoses of vitamin and herbal supplements. Unfortunately,as Dr. Edlow demonstrated , not really understanding vitamins and herbs and how they should be used (if at all) can make people very ill. There was one particular case that I can't stop thinking about (I suppose because I remember when this particular fad was very popular with some people I know). This mystery concerned a fairly recent public preoccupation with oatmeal and oat bran. An older middle aged man ended up in the emergency room with severe abdominal pain. The doctor quickly diagnosed an obstruction in the lower intestine and emergency surgery was required. Upon opening the abdominal cavity of the man, the surgeon discovered an obstruction which he described as "thick material"... "some type of undigested vegetable material". The surgeon also remarked that they filled a 'small bucket' with what was removed from the patient's intestine. It was discovered through interviews of the patient that he had been concerned about his diagnosis of high cholesterol. After reading about the benefits of oats and oat bran, he had proceeded to eat massive quantities of this food.. this was combined with insufficient liquid intake in his diet.. and what resulted was a 'concrete-like' obstruction of his intestine. This was just one of the very interesting examples presented of how too much of a good thing is not so good after all. This book, although not for the particularly squeamish, was a very informative and entertaining collection of real life cases of medical mysteries that left me in awe of the doctors who somehow manage to follow the clues and come up with the whole picture... allowing them to save lives daily. The only complaint I have of this boom is that, because the author is a medical doctor, he often lapses into very technical terms about bacterial names and diseases.. which to a non-medical person (like me) can be difficult to follow. 3.5 stars!

  10. 5 out of 5

    C

    This is a book that hit 4 out of 5 highlights for me: 1. mystery 2. life or death situations 3. resolution to the problems presented, and 4. interesting facts/details. The only thing that could have made it more entertaining to read would have been a narrative like in a work of fiction, but that would have discredited the book's contents so I'm glad the author didn't do that. As is, an excellent book. Really interesting medical cases: mysterious illnesses, symptoms seemingly without cause or relat This is a book that hit 4 out of 5 highlights for me: 1. mystery 2. life or death situations 3. resolution to the problems presented, and 4. interesting facts/details. The only thing that could have made it more entertaining to read would have been a narrative like in a work of fiction, but that would have discredited the book's contents so I'm glad the author didn't do that. As is, an excellent book. Really interesting medical cases: mysterious illnesses, symptoms seemingly without cause or relation, rare viruses. Cases were a mixed bag, but grouped by cause - food, environment, etc... This is definitely NOT a book for you if you're a hypochondriac or go to the doctor for every sneeze/cough. It did make me consider/improve my own safe food handling processes and it definitely underlined the importance of hand washing. An excellent book to open your eyes to how easily something in your daily life can make you ill - either by your own doing or that of some unknowing person.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Allyson Dyar

    The Deadly Dinner Party: and Other Medical Detective Stories by Jonathan A. Edlow, M.D. is a true worthy successor to Berton Roueche. Accept no substitutes! This book is the real deal! In all seriousness, The Deadly Dinner Party is exactly how Berton Roueche would have approached the subjects covered here with the introduction of the patients and their sickness; the doctors who uncovered the medical mystery, the history behind the disease in question; the treatment and aftermath. Pure Roueche at The Deadly Dinner Party: and Other Medical Detective Stories by Jonathan A. Edlow, M.D. is a true worthy successor to Berton Roueche. Accept no substitutes! This book is the real deal! In all seriousness, The Deadly Dinner Party is exactly how Berton Roueche would have approached the subjects covered here with the introduction of the patients and their sickness; the doctors who uncovered the medical mystery, the history behind the disease in question; the treatment and aftermath. Pure Roueche at his finest. I feel that I’m giving Dr Edlow short shift, but I guess I’m not. This is the bottom line: If you love Berton Roueche you’ll love Jonathan Edlow. It’s as simple as that. This is a solid 4.9 stars. Why not five? ‘coz only Berton Roueche deserves five for any tales of medical detection.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    "Last, each of these miniature mysteries had all the elements of any good story-- plot, character, and setting. The writing placed the reader in the midst of the investigation, just like Dr. Watson, the sidekick to Holmes." So the author explains his love for Berton Roueche's "The Medical Detectives". Unfortunately, the writing in The Deadly Dinner Party is weak-to-non-existant on all three counts. (I mean, technically they're all there, ish, but the prose is such that it's really hard to notice "Last, each of these miniature mysteries had all the elements of any good story-- plot, character, and setting. The writing placed the reader in the midst of the investigation, just like Dr. Watson, the sidekick to Holmes." So the author explains his love for Berton Roueche's "The Medical Detectives". Unfortunately, the writing in The Deadly Dinner Party is weak-to-non-existant on all three counts. (I mean, technically they're all there, ish, but the prose is such that it's really hard to notice or care (even if, like me, you are predisposed to be intrigued by the subject matter)). It's not the worst, but, I mean, scarce resources and all. Slash: Time is a Thing (And You Could Be Doing ANYTHING Else). Edit: I AM more afraid of food now, though. Bonus?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    Stopped reading halfway through. This book sucks. The medical mysteries are all boring and decades old. The author sidetracks a lot to even more boring and irrelevant topics. He's not a very good writer. Skip this unless you have insomnia Stopped reading halfway through. This book sucks. The medical mysteries are all boring and decades old. The author sidetracks a lot to even more boring and irrelevant topics. He's not a very good writer. Skip this unless you have insomnia

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Racanelli

    Not my most favorite mystery book, but not the worst, either. Also read for HOSA at work/school.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kam

    No one likes being sick. All too often many people move through their day only to realize, later on (or even right from the moment they wake up) that something isn't quite right. In many cases, it's a minor, easily-treatable thing that eating or taking some over-the-counter medicine can easily counteract. Other times, it's not quite so easy to treat, but nothing that a day in with some bed rest won't cure: a fever, perhaps, or a migraine. And then there are the times when the situation is far gr No one likes being sick. All too often many people move through their day only to realize, later on (or even right from the moment they wake up) that something isn't quite right. In many cases, it's a minor, easily-treatable thing that eating or taking some over-the-counter medicine can easily counteract. Other times, it's not quite so easy to treat, but nothing that a day in with some bed rest won't cure: a fever, perhaps, or a migraine. And then there are the times when the situation is far graver: constant diarrhea, or vomiting, or bleeding, or paralysis, or the loss of one or more of one's senses. It is such situations that lead to panicked emergency room visits, and oftentimes for good reason - such symptoms are often indicators of potentially life-threatening conditions. It is these moments that we dread the most, whether they happen to us or to those we love, and we try to stay vigilant against anything that might cause the more lethal diseases and maladies. A lot of it is good common sense: get vaccinated, do not eat spoiled food, ensure that one's residence is not inhabited by vermin, do not eat spoiled food, and so on. But every once in a while, even with all these precautions in place, whether because of lack of knowledge or sheer carelessness, one does get inflicted with some dreadful malady, and one goes to the hospital hoping a doctor will have the answer to whatever the matter might be. And then the worst-case scenario happens: the doctor knows nothing about what the matter is. As for the doctor, he or she is likely in a panic as well, because no doctor likes being confronted with a condition they cannot diagnose. Most work through the panic and either consult other doctors, or eventually manage to diagnose their patient on their own, whether through diligent and careful analysis of the facts, or occasionally, through sheer luck based on gut instinct. All of these factors can, and do, make for interesting stories, as shown by the popularity of the show House, M.D.. Macabre though it might seem to some, diseases and their effects are a subject many people find interesting, and when they are at the center of a mystery story, so much the better, as such stories often promise some kind of resolution at the end - a good one, generally, because solving a medical mystery often means that the disease is cured and the patient or patients are able to return to their lives more or less unscathed. And it is this kind of storytelling that one finds in Jonathan Edlow's The Deadly Dinner Party, which consists of fifteen unique cases grouped into three. In the first part, the cases are about certain pathogens; the second part deals with environmental causes for disease; while the third deals with the ways the body reacts to the things that get put into it, whether deliberately or accidentally. The first thing that came to mind while I was reading this, aside from House, was Every Patient Tells a Story by Lisa Sanders, which I'd read back in June. However, while Sanders' book discusses the importance of such things as a meticulous patient history and an excellent doctor-patient relationship in the diagnosis of medical issues, as well as the overall state of the practice of diagnosis in the United States, Edlow's book focuses on specific, interesting cases. This means that the two books resonate with each other: Every Patient Tells a Story focuses on what goes on in doctors' heads when they're trying to come up with a diagnosis for any kind of problem they are presented with, as well as investigates the reasons why the art of diagnosis might actually be taking a downturn in the United States. The Deadly Dinner Party, on the other hand, is more about spectacular cases that are solved by doctors who apply the techniques and methodologies discussed in Every Patient Tells a Story - and, oftentimes, by following gut instinct (which is something most doctors don't like talking about, but which they do use anyway whenever they think it might help). The latter also focuses on the importance of collaboration to solve cases, and cooperation with private and government institutions: in Edlow's book the CDC gets top billing, especially during the first part. Truth be told, I enjoyed The Deadly Dinner Party more than Every Patient Tells a Story, primarily because the former is everything I thought the latter would before I read it, especially since the blurb of Sanders' book clearly stated that she was one of the primary consultants for House. And while it was still a good read, it was not quite what I thought it was. Edlow's book, on the other hand, is exactly what I was looking for, albeit it did have some problems of its own - primarily because of Edlow's writing. His tone is rather bland, so it's quite fortunate that the subject matter of his book is entertaining enough to carry each of the stories through. There are also moments when he seems to go around in circles: a clear sign of organizational issues with his writing. I attribute this to the fact that he tries to reference as much as he can in one story, bringing in as much relevant history and similar cases as he can. This is something I can appreciate, but it must be done well - and unfortunately, Edlow is no Michael Pollan, capable of interweaving stories in such a way as for the whole to be lucid as well as entertaining. Overall, The Deadly Dinner Party makes for an interesting and informative read, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys House or medical mysteries of all stripes. It is, however, a hypochondriac's worst nightmare, and therefore anyone who has tendencies towards that particular issue should not even take a peek at this book. I also do not recommend it for anyone with a weak stomach or delicate constitution, as Edlow's descriptions of symptoms, while accurate and told in a fairly objective language (as one would expect from a medical doctor), can be quite gory for those who are not accustomed to reading such things. However, some readers may find Edlow's writing to be a deal-breaker, since it can be disorganized and weak in parts, but if one can overcome those issues then this should be a fairly fun read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)

    I am always curious about things, especially when it comes to bizarre and outlandish things. So I will read books like The Deadly Dinner Party; and now that I read this book, I am paranoid about a plethora of things such as:- eating garlic in oil for fear of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum; canned foods for fear of contamination of Salmonella typhi during the canning process; using loofah because it may breed the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa that causes skin lesions; and many other thing I am always curious about things, especially when it comes to bizarre and outlandish things. So I will read books like The Deadly Dinner Party; and now that I read this book, I am paranoid about a plethora of things such as:- eating garlic in oil for fear of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum; canned foods for fear of contamination of Salmonella typhi during the canning process; using loofah because it may breed the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa that causes skin lesions; and many other things! But this wonderfully frightening book is alluring with so much intriguing information! There are fifteen medical cases discussed in this book where doctors and epidemiologists come together to solve medical mysteries they encounter. This is a well-written and easy to understand book, without the litany of medical jargon. It actually reads like a fiction. I loved the history information about each bacterium, virus, polymer, and so forth. This is definitely an eye-opening book for me. I learnt a lot (besides feeling more paranoid too - but that's just me!) and although I'd recommend to read this book slowly, it will be a challenging task. The writing is engaging and the medical issues are so bizarrely mysterious that you'll feel compelled to read it in one sitting!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marfita

    Stories about real life medical mysteries are fleshed out with the history of the illness or diagnosis. Someone gets sick from ingesting something, something trying to ingest them, or the environment. It shows how important OSHA is - rather than just Nanny State Gone Mad. Consider how much lost work time has been caused by going to work and inhaling some invisible contaminant. And you might get nervous about what you're eating, especially bluefish (whatever they are). I had already read about Ty Stories about real life medical mysteries are fleshed out with the history of the illness or diagnosis. Someone gets sick from ingesting something, something trying to ingest them, or the environment. It shows how important OSHA is - rather than just Nanny State Gone Mad. Consider how much lost work time has been caused by going to work and inhaling some invisible contaminant. And you might get nervous about what you're eating, especially bluefish (whatever they are). I had already read about Typhoid Mary, but it was surprising that you can still get typhoid fever in this day and age - from the same poor sanitary habits. Fortunately, when we are traveling I don't drink orange juice. They usually have cranberry juice (probably just as easily infected, but I don't have the story on that), which I consider a huge treat. There's so much sugar in that that I never have it at home. You learn some fun extras, like how Teflon was invented. Should probably have two and a half stars. It was more than okay. Nevermind. Will give it three. When I started it, I zoomed through it and shared (the non-food bits) with my husband over dinner. But I got restless at some point toward the end.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Edlow examines about ten 20th / 21st century medical mysteries and explains them by doing two thing: 1) providing a lot of detail about the case itself and 2) broadly discussing the context of the case by explaining the workings of the body, the nature of the disease or poison, and discussing related cases--particularly the first recorded cases. It was fascinating to read all aspects of the book--the cases, the working of the body, and the older cases. Now I'm a bit more paranoid about contracti Edlow examines about ten 20th / 21st century medical mysteries and explains them by doing two thing: 1) providing a lot of detail about the case itself and 2) broadly discussing the context of the case by explaining the workings of the body, the nature of the disease or poison, and discussing related cases--particularly the first recorded cases. It was fascinating to read all aspects of the book--the cases, the working of the body, and the older cases. Now I'm a bit more paranoid about contracting a disease or a toxin in my food or environment. But I still like this genre. I'm interested in the body, and I like a good mystery.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lyssa

    Gimme more I picked this up from the library as an after thought but found myself really diving into this book that was my bread and butter- medical mysteries with poisonings, bacteria and various drama abound!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pixismiler

    3.5 stars. It was good. However I was expecting the diagnosis to come at the end of the chapter, but it comes like 3 pages in and gives some history and other cases of it. It got a little heavy with the medical jargon, but still good overall.

  21. 4 out of 5

    David Meyer

    Some of the cases were more interesting than others, but overall I thought the quality of them went down as the book went on. The writing wasn't bad, but at times the author rambled on too much for my taste about other related cases. Some of the cases were more interesting than others, but overall I thought the quality of them went down as the book went on. The writing wasn't bad, but at times the author rambled on too much for my taste about other related cases.

  22. 4 out of 5

    HB

    Each real-life account starts off as a promising, rare investigation of a medical issue, but the author digresses so often that it just feels like he’s trying to cram in allllll of his additional research notes.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    fun book- lots of medical detective cases, appropriate for lunchtime reading ( well, if deadly food doesn't put you off yours) fun book- lots of medical detective cases, appropriate for lunchtime reading ( well, if deadly food doesn't put you off yours)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rome Doherty

    Not as good as Berton Rouche, but interesting and well written.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katie Finch

    Really interesting set of stories. Easy to dip in and out of for some light medical reading.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Howes

    Not really what I was expecting. Too dry, more info and no humour.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Medical mysteries presented in a clear and approachable way with the perfect mix of history and science involved in each diagnosis.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Listened to audiobook.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Da277

    Probably not wise of me to choose a book like this during a pandemic. Interesting read for sure but suffice it to say I’m never taking vitamins, drinking herbal tea or eating oatmeal ever again.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Great stories in the vein of Napolean's Button and The Disappearing Spoon with a different sotry in each chapter. Interesting and attention-keeping. Great stories in the vein of Napolean's Button and The Disappearing Spoon with a different sotry in each chapter. Interesting and attention-keeping.

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