Noel Coward once said, “Wit ought to a glorious treat, like caviar: never spread it about like marmalade.”
Yi offers up enough wit and sarcasm from her main character, Dr. Hope Sze, to make this novel charming as well as mysterious.
I suppressed my fury to flex my fingers (yep) and all ten toes (functional). Great. No obvious holes in my head or chest. Party time.
Set in the distant land of Cleopatra and ancient kings, both Dr. Sze and her fiancée Dr. Tucker end up in Egypt by invitation to work in the hospitals of Cairo for a month. Their guide fails to show up when they step off the plane. Trying to navigate in a foreign city to a friend’s house, the bus they take is an unfortunate victim when an IED (improvised explosive device) explodes near the bus. Tending to a gentleman with deadly shrapnel in his head, and other injuries he mumbles strange words that are unintelligible and don’t make sense. The adventure starts there.
Yi takes us through the streets of Cairo and gives us lessons in Egyptology much to my delight. She introduces us to a variety of compelling characters – some shady, some snobbish, some in dire need and many as bewildered as they are. There are rumours of millions in lost gold. Ancient relics and a questionable fanny pack and what it may hold bring an interesting twist to the story. The Beckers of South Africa figures prominently in Dr. Sze’s pursuit of the truth.
In real life, Melissa Yi is an emergency doctor and an award-winning author. This is a clever novel, interspersed with medical jargon (a few I had to look up) and intrigue. For me, there are a couple of questions that went unanswered in the novel but Yi takes us on an enjoyable adventure and brings it to an unexpected ending that makes this story worth reading.
Scorpion Scheme was my introduction to mystery writer Melissa Yi. I was not disappointed and I look forward to reading more of Dr. Sze’s adventures.
“Scorpion Scheme is top-notch historical crime fiction with a fabulous kick-ass female protagonist. The kind of book that you just can’t put down. Scorpion Scheme is Robin Cook meets D.J. McIntosh’s fabulous Mesopotamian trilogy but it delivers a stingingly good tale all on its own steam.”Lisa de Nikolits, author of The Rage Room
About the author: Melissa Yi, also known as Dr. Melissa Yuan-Innes, studied emergency medicine at McGill University in Montreal. She was so shocked by the patients crammed into the waiting area, and the examining rooms without running water, that she began to contemplate murder. And so she created Dr. Hope Sze, the resident who could save lives and fight crime. Doctor-wise, Melissa has worked as far north as Ivujivik, Quebec also the northernmost village in a Canadian province. Nowadays she stays closer to home, running codes in Eastern Ontario. She’s cheerfully married to her high school sweetheart, with two loud and loveable children and a Rottweiler shepherd. She loves stories, yoga, blading, sustainable fashion, laughter, intelligence, and random craziness.
- Publisher : Olo Books (Nov. 8 2020)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 214 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1927341841
- ISBN-13 : 978-1927341841
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Growing up in South Branch, Allan Hudson was encouraged to read from an early age by his mother who was a schoolteacher. He lives in Dieppe, NB, with his wife Gloria. He has enjoyed a lifetime of adventure, travel and uses his many experiences as ideas for his writing. He is an author of action/adventure novels, historical fiction and a short story collection. His short stories – The Ship Breakers & In the Abyss – received Honourable Mention in the New Brunswick Writer’s Federation competition. He has stories published on commuterlit.com, The Golden Ratio and his blog - South Branch Scribbler.