Max Lechtman ’57

A Sense of Rumor

“I opened the door with my key, stepped into Nina’s living room, closed the door, turned toward her bedroom and froze. My breath caught in my throat. I stared at her bloody body and began to hyperventilate.”

These chilling lines are an excerpt from Max D. Lechtman’s novel, A Sense of Rumor. Published in June 2010, the novel tells the story of a reporter forced to prove his innocence when he becomes the prime suspect in a murder.

Lechtman graduated from URI with a major in biology and a minor in English. He became particularly interested in microorganisms in his senior year so went on to earn his M.S. in Bacteriology at the University of Massachusetts. His studies led him to Los Angeles to a Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the University of Southern California followed by Army, Airforce, and NASA work with aerospace industries concerning biological warfare and America’s concerns about the “race to the moon.”

Lechtman followed his time in aerospace by working in disease management at a hospital in Long Beach, Calif., and later co-founding a company specializing in microbiology lab supplies. When business circumstances changed, Lechtman taught microbiology at Golden West Community College in Huntington Beach, Calif.

After 25 years, Lechtman retired from teaching and became a student again taking classes in sculpting and mystery writing. “I started thinking about writing a novel as a child, since I enjoyed reading,” Lechtman explains. Influenced by his favorite genre, mystery, he knew he would write a novel based on his scientific background: “Microbiology gave me the flexibility to get a variety of jobs that enabled me to contribute a wide base of knowledge to my teaching and my writing.”

A bio-terrorism plot touched upon in the first novel will be further developed in Lechtman’s second novel, which is already underway.  For information and to contact Lechtman, go to

 —Robin Deal