Doctor-author Melissa Yi takes flight

Glengarry emergency doctor Melissa Yuan-Innes, who writes thrillers under the name Melissa Yi, takes to the skies with Death Flight on September 6th (

For the first time, Yi’s alter ego, Dr. Hope Sze, exits the confines of the hospital—and of Canada itself—to pursue her paramour in Los Angeles. However, trouble reaches its apex in the air, when she and her boyfriend, Dr. John Tucker, perform an emergency operation on a murder victim at 35,000 feet.

“This was a fun one,” says Yi. “One of the local surgeons suggested all sorts of potential weapons and surgical maneuvers on the plane. At first I thought, no, that’s impossible. But then an aviation doctor told me about a real-life case where they sterilized a makeshift chest tube with Courvoisier cognac, and I said, ‘Why not?’”

As a medical doctor at the Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital and Cornwall Community Hospital, Yi strives to make such scenes as accurate as possible. “I had the aviation doctor, two trauma surgeons, and an intensive care specialist reading over my shoulder. Any mistakes are on me, but I have extremely knowledgeable readers, including physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists. I can’t let them down.”

Yi must be doing something right. Her previous Hope Sze thriller, Human Remains, topped CBC Books’ holiday list of recommended mysteries. In April, the Globe and Mail named Human Remains one of the best Canadian suspense books to read at the cottage, with reviewer Margaret Cannon calling it “a scarier-than-ever medical mystery.” In May, Yi was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for the best crime short story in Canada.

Death Flight will take wing on September 6 with a Facebook party, followed by appearances at Coles Cornwall Square September 8 at noon, September 27 at the Alexandria library at 6:30 p.m., and September 30 at the Cornwall library at 2 p.m.

Readers can obtain a free eBook copy of Death Flight only on Kobo (, with the promo code FLYHOPE, from September 6 to 30.

Bon voyage.

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Alyson Queen

Contributor at The Review