The best medical thriller/mystery novels with a spiritual twist

Elizabeth B. Splaine Author Of Devil's Grace
By Elizabeth B. Splaine

Who am I?

Before becoming an opera singer, I received my Masters in Healthcare Administration and worked in various healthcare settings, from a community health center to a large teaching hospital. I learned first-hand how the best-intentioned clinicians can make mistakes, and how those mistakes can lead to unintended consequences that can harm patients. Although it’s terrifying to think about, the best defense is to self-advocate as much as possible. It’s your body and your decision. Don’t give away your power.


I wrote...

Devil's Grace

By Elizabeth B. Splaine,

Book cover of Devil's Grace

What is my book about?

0.63 seconds.That's the amount of time cardiac surgeon Dr. Angela Brennan has to process the oncoming truck that destroys half of her family and irrevocably alters her life. Not long after the accident, death intervenes once more and snatches her remaining family member.

Angela confronts the healthcare power brokers at the hospital where she works and discovers lies, complicity, and corruption at the highest levels. As she uncovers the truth about her daughter's death, barriers are thrown in her way that threaten to destroy her career and reputation. Spirits start communicating with Angela, causing her to question her sanity. But as her science-based world continues to disintegrate, she accepts her new reality, and her mission to transform her pain into purpose becomes clear.

The books I picked & why

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Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives

By Michael Newton,

Book cover of Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives

Why this book?

Journey of Souls is the culmination of one psychologist’s work over decades pertaining to understanding what happens to our souls after our bodies stop functioning. The similarities of descriptions (across thousands of patients under deep hypnosis) left me amazed and comforted that our souls make deliberate choices in an effort to improve, for lack of a better word, our karma. I read this book after I wrote my book, but it cemented the ideas that I present in the book. It also helped me to deal with challenging health issues in my family.

Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives

By Michael Newton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Journey of Souls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While in deep hypnosis, 29 patients of the author describe their hidden memories of the hereafter, including what has happened to them between their former reincarnations on earth. They reveal how it feels to die, who meets us after death, and what the spirit world is like.

The Body Farm

By Patricia Cornwell,

Book cover of The Body Farm

Why this book?

All of Ms. Cornwell’s books are fun to read, but this version of Dr. Kay Scarpetta is reminiscent of my Angela Brennan in terms of vulnerability. The mystery is compelling and brings Kay to places (literally and emotionally) she isn’t sure she wants to go. But, like Angela, she is goal-oriented and driven, and must dig until the truth is revealed. 

The Body Farm

By Patricia Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Body Farm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Body Farm - a research institute that tests the decomposition of corpses. Black Mountain, North Carolina: a sleepy little town where the local police deal with one homicide a year, if they're unlucky, and where people are still getting used to the idea of locking their doors at night. But violent death is no respecter of venue, and the discovery of the corpse of the corpse of an 11-year-old girl sends shock waves through the community. Dr Kay Scarpetta, Chief medical Examiner on a similar case in Virginia, is called in to apply her forensic skills to this latest…

Blind Eye: The Terrifying Story Of A Doctor Who Got Away With Murder

By James B. Stewart,

Book cover of Blind Eye: The Terrifying Story Of A Doctor Who Got Away With Murder

Why this book?

I read this book for background for my first novel, in an effort to understand why some physicians (very few, thank goodness) kill. What I discovered in this book is what I experienced in real life working for eleven years in healthcare: hospitals are breeding grounds for medical error and cover-ups. Physician, protect thyself, so to speak. The number of times this insane MD (Michael Swango) was allowed to continue practicing when he could have been stopped is appalling, but not surprising to those inside healthcare.

Blind Eye: The Terrifying Story Of A Doctor Who Got Away With Murder

By James B. Stewart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blind Eye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shows how an apparently respectable young doctor murdered patients and poisoned co-workers while being consistently protected by an oblivious and dangerously secretive medical establishment.

Although the Day is Not Mine to Give, I'll Show You the Morning Sun

By David Melton,

Book cover of Although the Day is Not Mine to Give, I'll Show You the Morning Sun

Why this book?

This book sat on my parent's bookshelf when I was a child, and I would sporadically remove it and read it at various stages of my life. As an adult, I returned to it when I had three kids of my own. It reminds me how important family is and how fleeting childhood is. Angela learns this the hard way in my own book, and I pictured her reading this book after her children had been stolen from her. As I was writing, it always left me in tears.


Four Funerals, No Marriage: A Memoir

By Mike Keren,

Book cover of Four Funerals, No Marriage: A Memoir

Why this book?

Four Funerals, No Marriage by Mike Keren is a poignant, funny, deep dive into elderly caretaking, and the toll and lessons learned from it. The author is a psychologist and is somehow able to analyze his feelings/actions while immersed in the daily responsibilities of taking care of several ailing relatives. His writing is smooth, easy to read, and packed with incredible insight. I found myself simultaneously laughing and crying, and always entertained.

Four Funerals, No Marriage: A Memoir

By Mike Keren,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Four Funerals, No Marriage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A heartbreaking memoir that is also highly relatable and often darkly funny."

- Michael Sadowski, Author of Men I've Never Been: A Memoir, one of Book Authority's 100 Best Gay and Lesbian Books of All Time

In Four Funerals, No Marriage: A Memoir, author Mike Keren gives his readers an inside look at his unexpected foray into caregiving to his sick and dying parents and in-laws. Often funny and always poignant, the story begins when his loving but difficult parents announce they are moving back to New Jersey from their retirement home in North Carolina because they "never really liked…


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