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The Doctor Rocks the Boat Hardcover – June 27, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Agatha-winner Hathaway's unremarkable fifth novel to feature Dr. Andrew Fenimore (after 2003's The Doctor Dines in Prague), her easygoing, middle-aged hero rejoins his old boating club on Philadelphia's Schuylkill River, where he encounters a fraternity brother from medical school, Charlie Ashburn, once a great rower. Ashburn, a patient of Dr. Fenimore's father, had to give up rowing for medical reasons, but now he seeks glory through his son, Chuck, a gifted athlete. When Chuck's mother expresses concern over her son's health, Dr. Fenimore puts aside his medical ethics and tries to intervene, lest Chuck die from the same problem that kept his father from rowing. Someone is unhappy with Dr. Fenimore's interference, however, and the good doctor finds his own life in danger. While a murder eventually occurs, the identity of the killer isn't much of a mystery. Series fans will enjoy catching up with the doctor and his friends, but others may safely paddle by. (June)
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About the Author

Robin Hathaway won the SMP/Malice Domestic Contest for Best First Traditional Mystery in 1997 and the 1998 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She lives in New York City.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (June 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312349939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312349936
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,403,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Dawn Dowdle VINE VOICE on September 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Fenimore renews his membership at his old boating club to experience some of the relaxation rowing on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia provided in the past. He runs into his old fraternity brother, Charlie Ashburn, as he now runs the club. Charlie had to give rowing up years ago due to a heart condition back when he and Dr. Fenimore were in medical school.

Now Charlie's son Chuck is rowing. Charlie's wife asks Dr. Fenimore about the possibility of Chuck's having the same condition as Charlie. He is appalled that they haven't had him tested and helps her bring it up at a dinner party before the big regatta to try to save Chuck's life. This just makes Charlie refuse to talk to him.

The regatta goes off without a hitch, but soon after Chuck collapses and dies. Dr. Fenimore is determined to help find the killer. Could it have been his parents? What about his coach or the competition? What about the marina developer who wants to tear down the current boating area in the name of progress? Can he find the killer without putting himself or his girlfriend in danger?

I like Dr. Fenimore. He is the kind of doctor most of us would like to find; he still makes house calls. In this book he ends up needing a doctor more than he can be a doctor. I think that vulnerability adds credence to his character. I really like his assistant, Mrs. Doyle, and the teenager who helps out in the office, Horatio or "Rat" as he's called.

Plus in this book Rat is helping out a young runaway and brings Dr. Fenimore into that as well. I thought this added a lot to the story.

The uncertainty with his girlfriend helped to make his character more realistic. Things weren't totally secure in his life.

I liked the rowing. It's not something I've participated in, but I think it's a great sport. It really gave the story an interesting setting.

I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dr. Fenimore and his motley crew--Doyle, Rat, Sal, Rafferty, and Jen--investigate the strange goings on at Boathouse Row. A light summertime read.
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By A Customer on June 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In Philadelphia Dr. Charles Ashborn sponsors the membership of his former medical school colleague Dr. Andrew Fenimore to join the rowing club on the Schuylkill River. Both men are avid rowers, but Charles was forced to give up competitive rowing when he was in college due to being diagnosed with Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD), a condition that can be inherited.

When Andrew learns that Chuck is a rower, he asks his friend whether a physician has checked his son to insure that he is not a potential SCD victim. Charles insists that cardiologist Dr. Burton gave Chuck the okay to row. After Chuck's mom voices concern over her son's health and feeling something is off kilter with Charles' obsessed need for his son to row, Andrew visits Dr. Burton, who admits that he diagnosed Chuck with SCD and implanted a defibrillator inside the college student. Not long after winning a race, Chuck is rushed to the emergency room where Andrew later learns that the rower showed no evidence whatsoever that he suffered from SCD though his body contained an overdose of potassium. Andrew investigates what he assumes is a homicide but almost is murdered in the Schuylkill River.

Though the suspense is not quite at the level of the previous four Dr. Fenimore thrillers, fans of the series will enjoy his latest escapades assisted by his capable crew (nurse Doyle, lover Jennifer and office assistant Rat) as they try to learn what is going on with Chuck. The story line is character driven by the obsession of Charles at any price to win glory through the successes of Chuck. The fascinating side to the mystery resides with Chuck's health rather than with the subsequent whodunit. Robin Hathaway provides a fun cozy starring her beleaguered middle age medical practitioner staying home this time.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice South Jersey mystery. A fun read
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