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Sunday, March 14, 2021


Judy Hogan is both an author and a publisher. Her archives are in Duke University’s Sallie Bingham Women’s History and Culture Collection. She enjoys reading, writing, and teaching and works on environmental issues in Moncure, NC, where she lives. Learn more about her at her website and blog.

A few years ago I was having some numbness episodes in my left hand and arm. They lasted less than five minutes, but I was advised to go to the Emergency Department to check it out. The main doctor I saw was a resident, who was usually overworked and exhausted. Her supervising doctor was a tyrant, as I learned. My own doctor always listened to me, so I wasn’t of the school that medical doctors, even at the highest level, were always right. 


This big doctor said he’d found the problem, and threatened me when I refused the medicine.


This left me feeling how wrong it was for a medical doctor to tyrannize like that. Hence this book. 


Sickness Unto Death is a phrase from Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher. It meant Despair to him. The only medical code I know about for the medical profession is “Do No Harm.”


Most of the novel takes place in a teaching hospital in rural North Carolina on the Stroke Ward.


Healthy Brownies



1/3 cup soy flour

1 tsp. salt

12 T. (or less) cocoa

2/3 cup whole wheat or whole rye flour

4 eggs

1 cup oil

2 cups granulated sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Sift together flours, salt, and cocoa. 


In a bowl beat the eggs and oil together. Gradually beat in the sugar. Add

the vanilla. Then mix in the dry ingredients in two parts. Add nuts, 


Bake in a 12” x 16” greased baking pan or two 8” x 8” pans 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack. Cut into squares. 


Sickness Unto Death

A Penny Weaver Mystery, Book 15


When Penny Weaver goes to the hospital because of some left arm numbness, her roommate is a very sick woman with pneumonia, diabetes and congestive heart failure. The doctors are worried Tenisha will have a stroke. Penny patiently submits to all the tests the doctors run and is told not to walk without a nurse being called, though the bathroom is only 3 steps from her bed. Tenisha is an unruly patient. She takes out her oxygen IV and yells for the nurse to give her something stronger than Tylenol. Both women have a bad night, and at 6 a.m. the next morning Tenisha falls out of her bed and dies.


When Penny’s husband Kenneth visits, he is sure that Tenisha’s death is suspicious. That brings in the detectives from the Shagbark Sheriff’s Department. Their investigation is thorough, but the cause of death is still not clear. Penny also is interviewed, but no solution is found. Penny is quite distressed at her own diagnosis and the prescription for her to take an anti-epileptic drug. She refuses, but the chief neurologist threatens that he will tell the DMV to take away her driving license if she doesn’t take the drug.


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Judy Hogan said...

The blog looks great. Lois. Thanks. Judy Hogan


Glad you like it, Judy. We're always happy to have you make a visit.

Carol Hay said...

Sickness Unto Death is a wonderful addition to the Penny Weaver mysteries, all of which are loaded with eccentric characters, original plots inspired by events in Judy's life, and true family and community values.

As one of Judy's biggest fans, I say thanks to Lois Winston for posting her guest blog here. I've enjoyed poking around your blog, too, and checking out your books.

Lois Winston said...

Thank you, Carol!