Date with a Dead Doctor by Toni Brill
Synopsis & Review: Midge “Call me Margaret!” Cohen, a former Russian professor turned children’s book author, has been through way too many set-ups thanks to her mother. Since divorcing her veterinarian husband Paul and moving from Ithaca back to New York, Midge has made an enjoyable life for herself, hammering out two girl’s summer camp mysteries and occasionally sleeping with her super, a Russian emigre named Sasha. And even though her mother’s set-ups always go wrong, when called late on a Saturday evening by one Dr Leon Skripnik, urologist, Midge reluctantly agrees to see him. Only as it turns out, he’s only interested in her Russian translation skills. But Midge needn’t hurry, because Leon Skripnik is found dead in his brownstone the next day.
Anxious to turn over Skripnik’s letter, from an elderly relative arriving from Israel in the next few days, Midge tries to reach his ex-wife Phyllis, and is instead mistaken for Skripnik’s mistress. But by the time she convinces Phyllis that she wasn’t in fact Skripnik’s mistress, Midge has become a person of interest as the last person to see Skripnik alive. Of course, with the gorgeous Detective Russo on the case, that might not be so bad. Then undiscovered Chagalls pop up, and yet more Russians, and when combined with Midge’s meddling mother and the sobbing, neurotic Phyllis, things are beginning to get a little out of Midge’s control.