Darden North’s mystery and thriller novels have been awarded nationally, most notably an IPPY in Southern Fiction for Points of Origin. His fifth novel, The 5 Manners of Death, also follows Wiggle Room, Fresh Frozen, and House Call and was nominated for the 2018 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL) Award in Fiction.
Darden has presented or served on author panels at writing conferences including the 29th Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, Killer Nashville, Murder on the Menu, SIBA Thriller Panel, and Murder in the Magic City.
A board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and daVinci Robotic Surgeon practicing at Jackson Healthcare for Women in Flowood, Mississippi, Darden North is Chairman of the Board of the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Mississippi Medical Association. He lives in Jackson with his wife Sally and enjoys family, travel, and outdoor activities. The Norths have two adult children, William and Anderson, who also work in the medical field.
Romance – Treachery – Murder in the Deep South
Morphine is a strong opiate or narcotic found naturally in opium, a dark brown resin extracted from poppies. It became the drug of choice for treating wounded soldiers in the Civil War and proved highly addictive.
Heroin, made from morphine, was introduced in 1898 as less addictive than morphine. That claim was false.
Oxycodone, a semi-synthetic opioid developed in 1916 to manage severe acute and chronic pain, also demonstrated high rates of addiction.
OxyContin arrived in 1995 with the promise of gentler and less addictive pain relief. However, 116 people die daily from opioid abuse.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over 109,000 people succumbed to drug overdose in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2022 – almost 300 deaths per day.
In Party Favors a young, financially struggling orthopedic surgeon on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is tempted to sell his patients’ leftover narcotics to save his drowning surgical practice, even hook new patients on opioids for financial gain. Local police work to connect his medical practice to a drug trafficking ring run by his secretary’s family.
Written by a practicing physician, Party Favors was inspired by true stories of the rampant national and worldwide crisis of opioid and related drug abuse. The novel details complex characters, relationships, and situations that test the deepest moral and ethical modes.
Also by Darden North
The 5 Manners of Death
Dr. Diana Bratton steals precious time from her young daughter, her surgical practice, and her hopes for renewed romance to clear Aunt Phoebe’s name of multiple murder and uncover the significance of the list. Even as Diana searches Phoebe’s home basement for evidence, she works to trump the police and outrun the conspiracy between her ex-husband and Phoebe’s long-time lover—her quest to expose the truth overshadowed by a need to rebury the past. Even though she realizes there is a chance to save her shrinking family, Diana understands that of the five ways to die, murder is her family secret.
Air Force surgeon Major Brad Cummins fails to save an injured American soldier, while a maimed Iraqi national survives. Though cleared of medical negligence, he is forced to endure the criticism of his peers. Cummins hopes to put the past behind him when he returns to civilian life in Jackson, Mississippi, unaware that someone wants him dead.
As the body count mounts, Cummins must uncover the truth or risk losing his new love, fellow surgeon Dr. Diana Bratton.
One of the best things about The 5 Manners of Death—and there are many—is that none of the characters are who they appear to be. If you like plot twists and surprises, you’ll love North’s fifth novel, a fast-moving story of crime and deception in the modern South.
– John M. Floyd
Edgar Award nominee and three-time Derringer Award winner