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House Call by Darden North, MD...Ponder House Press


Darden North, MD

Ponder House Press

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360 pages | 6 x 9 1/4 | ISBN: 0-9771126-0-8


No one would ever make the connection between the deaths: a young, attractive female nurse left brutally stabbed and floating in her bathtub and a prominent, older physician who drowns after tumbling from his deer stand. However, in this first novel, Mississippi physician Darden North masterfully weaves a fabric of secret self-indulgences, reverse discrimination, diverse sexual interests, and murder then drapes it across a fictional southern community. Lurking on the periphery, indirectly touching nearly every colorful character in this medical thriller, is a demonic killer whose victims share the wounds of a twisted psyche. To parallel the bumbling police investigation of the nurse's slaughter is the spreading poison of corporate financial greed that defiles the very core of decency. The unique qualities of this murder mystery lie in its gripping realism wrapped in intense personal tragedy, all crafted by a busy obstetrician-gynecologist who delivers babies. House Call appeals to men and women readers of all ages and occupations who crave fast-paced fiction ending with a surprising twist. Readers have labeled House Call a " can't-put-it-down, page-turner." Its references to medical care situations and characters blend perfectly with the novel's depiction of emotional human drama. The Clarion Ledger says that North "writes about what he knows best and captures the hectic, stress filled environment (of medicine) driven by drama" adding that House Call is "your new beach read." The Journal of the Mississippi State Medical Association states that the extraordinary and accurate descriptions in the prose make the medical thriller realistic and that "North's skill as a writer alone is not what makes the novel live (but also) his background, his daily grind as a physician, his first-hand knowledge of the interworkings and bizarre dynamics (of medicine). Delta Magazine writes that the book is a "suspenseful ride striking up feelings of fear, sadness, joy, and shock."



Born February 21, 1956, in Jackson, MS, Darden North was raised in the Mississippi Delta as an only child. Nearing his twenty-second anniversary in active medical practice as an obstetrician gynecologist, he often fields the question "How did you ever get interested in writing fiction?" (Quite frequently he also gets the query "How in the world do you have time to be a doctor and write books?" --- a question he often asks himself!)

Perhaps his taste for the arts was seeded there in the Mississippi Delta while attending the seventh grade. Much to his mother Evelyn's urging and against his initial argument, North starred in the speaking and singing role of Louis in the The King and I, produced by the Cleveland (MS) Little Theater. While continuing to be a straight A student and looking toward the sciences for a career, his desire to expand his horizons continued as he played three different musical instruments in the public school marching and concert bands. In addition, some early afternoons were spent taking piano lessons; but alas, he can no longer play any of the four instruments well. Furthermore, after the family piano was recently converted to a computerized-player version, his fledging career as a musician was finally buried. 

Without question, Darden North's interest in writing and publishing sparked while serving as editor-in-chief of the award-winning 1978 OLE MISS annual (At which time he began dating his future wife Sally Fortenberry, who was on the yearbook staff herself and served as editor the following year) and on the 1982 MEDIC yearbook, both published in hardcover. The fact that both his wife and mother have been English teachers could not have hurt either. 

After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Mississippi in 1978 with a BA in zoology and minors in both English and chemistry and induction into The Hall of Fame, he finished medical school and obstetrics/gynecology specialty training at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1982 and 1986, respectively, where he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha honorary society.

He and his wife Sally married in 1979 and have remained in Jackson since. After serving as chief-of-staff at two local hospitals, he remains active in the American Medical Association, the Mississippi State Medical Association, and the South Central Obstetrical and Gynecological Society while maintaining a full-time ob/gyn medical and surgical practice. Darden and Sally have two young adult children,  as well as two dogs and a grand dog.

Years ago Darden North traded his golf clubs for a laptop but on occasion can be seen with a tennis racket or garden shovel. North has written and published three novels in the mystery/suspense/medical thriller genre: House Call (2005), Points of Origin (2006),and Fresh Frozen (2008). Both House Call and Points of Origin have one national awards.


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