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April 25, 2014

The Plastic Surgeon-as-Gumshoe Auteur

By Richard David Story | Books

Wendell Black, M.D. by Dr. Gerald Imber
© Bourbon Street Books - Harper Collins Publisher

“After showering, I dressed in gray pants, blue shirt, dark blue tie, and the soft tweed sport coat that had become part of my uniform. It was…casual and understated, which helped deny its custom-tailored cashmere heritage.” —from Wendell Black, M.D.

Nice detail, no?

Dr. Gerald Imber is one of the “big deal” plastic surgeons, the man behind some of the best “faces” in town, always at the top of those Best Doctors lists. He lives in Manhattan with his chic and talented wife, departures contributor Cathryn Collins; spends weekends in Millbrook, New York; loves Mozart and Puccini opera (the Pearl Fishers duet from Les Pêcheurs de Perles with Jussi Björling and Robert Merrill is a favorite), St. Barths in spring, Capri in summer…and has his suits custom-made by Anderson & Sheppard on Savile Row—that is, the guy’s a worldly, sophisticated sort.

He also does not suffer fools gladly, a quality shared with his fictional detective. The first in a brand-new series, Wendell Black, M.D. (Harper’s Bourbon Street Books) starts with a bang—a cardiac arrest during a flight from London­—and doesn’t stop. Manhattan is the backdrop, and there’s a swell, elegant, knowing sort of way about Imber’s writing that’s as up-to-the-minute as London-Tehran drug cartels and counterterrorism. Black reminds me of my favorite detective of all, that armchair gumshoe Nero Wolfe, whom Rex Stout created so many years ago. amazon.com