Al Hubin and I are convinced that we have correctly identified the author of Murder in the Medical School (iUniverse/Writer’s Club Press, December 2000), as Dr. James Roy Schofield, who died on May 20th, 2007.

   The reason I’ve phrased that opening paragraph the way I have is on the page where the book is for sale on, the author is said to be Jill R. Schofield, M. D. The latter name is also somehow connected with the ISBN number, since at least half of the sellers on ABE have entered it that way, also referring to the author as Jill. A check on Google uncovers a Dr. Jill Schofield with a practice in Aurora CO.

   On the other hand, and even more convincing, is Dr. James Roy Schofield’s Who’s Who entry, and his book, a mystery novel which just managed to make the end of 2000 deadline for inclusion in Crime Fiction IV, is definitely mentioned, along with some other data about him.

   Born July 12, 1923, Dr. Schofield received his MD from Baylor University in 1947 and a LLD from Queens University in Ontario, Canada, in 1988. As an educator, he was a member of the faculty of the Baylor University College of Medicine from 1947 to 1971, eventually becoming its Academic Dean. After leaving Baylor, he worked for many national medical associations, including the AMA, as a consultant on medical education.

Murder at Medical School

   All of which certainly means that the background for his mystery novel was authentic. Here’s a description of the book, as taken from the back cover:

   A particularly gruesome murder occurs in the Anatomy Department of a 1950’s medical school. Included is a graphic description of anatomical and pathological specimens in the Anatomists’ cadaver preparation room.

   The novel begins with preparations by the Anatomists to prepare a teaching exhibit of human structures in one-inch cross-sections of a human cadaver.

   The medical school is expanding into new clinical departments; recruitment of several departmental Chairs is described – showing the quite variable characteristics of several clinical specialists.

   The narrator describes life in and problems of the medical school. The reader can follow selection of new medical students, academic disputations about the M.D. curriculum behavior of some physicians in private practice, split opinions over the locations of the new charity hospital and a typical M.D. graduation ceremony – with the administration of the ancient Oath of Hippocrates to the graduates. The narration is flavored with references drawn from the History of Medicine.

   Was there a murder? A person on staff of the medical is missing; but no body could be found. The arrival of the missing person’s girl friend triggers the attention of the police; but, until the penultimate chapter, there is no solution until the two young anatomists convince the detective that they have solved the missing body question.

   Not until the Epilogue, is the identity of the murderer revealed, and how he did it.

   Perhaps it was never a bestseller, but more than six years later, Amazon still has copies of Murder in the Medical School in stock. Its sales ranking is #2,521,639, but the number must be put in perspective. Amazon offers well over four million books for sale.