The best person to write convincing, accurate, and exhilarating medical thriller novels is someone who knows the medical world inside-out and can weave this knowledge and experience into a fast-paced narrative. As an emergency physician with an active practice, Melissa Yuan-Innes (pen name Melissa Yi) encounters the strange and the macabre in her daily work while using her investigative skills to diagnose and understand her patients. Add a creative flair and passion for writing and you have a prolific, diverse, and award-winning writer.
Yuan-Innes’s latest novel Human Remains is the 5th in the medical crime series following Dr. Hope Sze, a multi-faceted female protagonist who puts her medical knowledge to good use when she becomes involved in a number of unusual mysteries, from saving a sabotaged escape artist to delivering a patient’s baby at gunpoint. After a harrowing hostage situation, in Human Remains Dr. Sze is hoping to relax and recuperate while working at an Ottawa stem cell lab. But on her first trip to the lab, she uncovers a dead body beneath the snow. Although cool to the touch, Dr. Sze attempts to revive the apparently dead man, as there is a saying in medicine, “They’re not dead until they’re warm and dead.” Medical info and phrases like this one are infused throughout the text and are fascinating little gems within the main plot. Dr. Sze is unable to save the man, but it sends her on the trail of an international killer who is leaving bodies around the globe. Voted as one of CBC’s must-read mysteries, Human Remains addresses important current issues, including widespread international viruses and expensive cutting-edge medical research, while weaving a thrilling plot that will keep you hooked till the last page.
Yuan-Innes has published numerous medical thrillers, including Stockholm Syndrome and Terminally Ill, but her writing ability takes her far beyond the mystery genre. Yuan-Innes has published humour articles (such as the collection “The Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World and Other True Tales from the Emergency Room”), romance, children’s books, and non-fiction works including Eat Right & Get a Dog: Short Thoughts on Losing Weight and Gaining a Life. One of the most heartfelt and moving of her books is Buddhish: Exploring Buddhism in a Time of Grief. Based on her experience of delivering a stillborn baby, Buddhish gives readers an accessible introduction to Buddhism and how alternative philosophies or religions can offer solace beyond the typical medical or secularist response to grief.
Whatever genre you are interested in, Yuan-Innes has something to entertain and intrigue, inform and console. Her works are available online, at the Cornwall Public Library, and various local stores. For more information, visit melissayuaninnes.com.