Death In The Dentist's Chair
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Death In The Dentist's Chair
A Steve Raymond, D.D.S. Mystery
Published:
3/5/2004
Format:
Perfect Bound Softcover
Pages:
300
Size:
5x8
ISBN:
978-1-41402-371-7
Print Type:
B/W

Crime-solving dentist Steve Raymond is back in an all-new mystery.  When a colleague brings disturbing news of a patient who has died in her chair, she calls on the Seattle dentist for help.  Little does Dr. Raymond realize that his offer to treat the surviving family members will draw him into another murder investigation.  At the same time Steve is playing saxophone with the best band he's ever been in.  But the choice between music and dentistry is just one of the decisions Steve will have to make.  Suspects abound, and time is running out, as death sits in a most unlikely place.

Dr. Paige Barrett bit her lower lip nervously and then started back in.  "That was the first time I'd ever seen him," she said.  "That day in the office.  I recognize all of our patients, and I'd never seen him before. "Connie had a new file made up - I could tell because we use these color-coded tabs to distinguish between new patients, regulars, and ones who haven't been back in a couple of years."  Then she nodded to emphasize the fact.  "He was new." She took her mug off the desk, fidgeted with it, and looked down into the coffee as if it might hold an answer, but she didn't take a drink. Dr. Barrett's shoulder-length blond hair curled slightly in at the ends, framing a face that was free of makeup.  She wore dark-green slacks, and a matching tie over a charcoal-gray dress shirt.  It was a warm day in August and she wasn't wearing a jacket.  On her feet were brown penny loafers over white ankle socks, and on her ears, tiny emerald earrings. She took a breath, recrossed her legs, and continued.  "God, he was such a nice man, my age, forty or forty-one, I think."  Delicate eyebrows furrowed over her brown eyes for a moment and then she put her coffee cup back on the desk.  "This thing is killing me." She pulled a handkerchief from the pocket of her slacks as tears welled in her eyes.  "First I looked at his medical history...I always do that with a new patient.  Connie circles and highlights anything that isn't checked no, so I won't miss it.  He'd had a broken arm a couple of years before, but nothing else.  On the line where it asked for allergies he'd written none. "He was from Latvia or Lithuania, one of the Baltic States, and he could barely speak any English.  His name was Andre Matulis." Paige smiled bravely.  "It was kind of fun in the operatory trying to communicate with him.  We used hand signals, pantomime, and with the few English words that he recognized we managed to get out of him that he was having some temperature sensitivity in one of his teeth. "When I examined him I found a lot of decay in one of his molars, number eighteen.  My explorer stuck so deep it almost wouldn't come out.  That was it, though.  He really looked pretty good otherwise.  I had Vi ready a syringe of Novocaine and after the injection he seemed fine, so I went to look in on another patient while I waited for the anesthetic to take effect.  I hadn't even washed my hands when Vi yelled from the other room.  I was so glad she hadn't screamed. "When I came back to the operatory, he was breathing rapidly and sweating.  He looked so frightened.  I could tell he wasn't getting enough oxygen, and when I felt for a pulse there wasn't one.  Jesus, that scared the living hell out of me.  I knew then that it was anaphylactic shock.  I asked Vi if she'd called an ambulance and she said that Connie already had.  Then he stopped breathing altogether.

"While I was trying to get a syringe of epinephrine ready he jumped out of the chair.  He was in a panic.  Luckily, Marcy came in a second later, and between her and Vi they were able to get him to sit back down.  But before I could even inject him he grabbed for his chest and passed out.  He had a heart attack. "I gave him the epinephrine anyway, and then we lowered the chair all the way back and I started CPR.  Marcy was doing the breathing, but she wasn't able to get any air down his windpipe.  We were about to do an emergency tracheotomy when the paramedics finally arrived.  They did what they could but I'm pretty sure that he was already dead. "Ten minutes," she said, and the tears started again.  "The fucking hospital's right next door and it took them ten minutes to get here. "The medical examiner said that the heart attack was brought on by stress, and that's what he listed as the cause of death, secondary to the allergic reaction.  The inquest was yesterday.  The police had taken the medical history as evidence...it had Mr. Matulis's signature on the bottom, and on that basis I was exonerated.  Now I'm just waiting for the malpractice suit. "He had a family, you know, a wife - I don't know how many kids.  He worked at a bottling plant.  He was an electrical engineer.  He was taking English lessons so he could get on at Boeing.  God, I feel like shit." Paige used the fingers of both hands to pinch the bridge of her nose.  More tears came, and she dried them. "I'm so sorry, Paige," I said.  "I wish there was something I could do." "There is."  She looked across the desk at me with red-rimmed eyes.  "His whole family had appointments.  They hadn't had dental treatment in years.  Needless to say, they won't come near my office now - not even to see Marcy or Jeanette, but I have their phone number.  Is there any way you could call them up and offer your services?  I don't want them to have to go without.""Sure," I said, as she slid me a folded p

In addition to being the author of the Steve Raymond, D.D.S., mystery novels, Eric B. Olsen is a high school English and social studies teacher.  He is a graduate of Hoquiam High School, the University of Washington, and Saint Martin's College.  The inspiration for the novels came from his father, who was a dentist for many years in Hoquiam, Washington, and his own love of music.  Mr. Olsen is also a practicing historian, currently at work on a non-fiction biography of a well-known jazz musician.  He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and two sons.

To keep up on the latest news about Dr. Steve Raymond and the dental mystery series, visit Eric B. Olsen's web site at:

http://eric.b.olsen.tripod.com

or contact Eric B. Olsen at:

ericbolsen@juno.com

 
 


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