Poisoned Pen, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
f you're a died-in-the-wool baseball fan, this is definitely the book for you. If the Boston Red Sox raise your blood pressure, even better. If not (it's okay, I'm not either) but you love mysteries, this is also the book for you. Author Rick Shefchik has woven his obvious love of the game into a well plotted mystery. I thought I had it figured out by the third chapter. Boy, was I wrong.
he mystery world met private investigator Sam Skarda in Shefchik's debut novel,
. In this sequel, elderly Red Sox owner Louis Kenwood receives a note demanding that he pay up $50,000,000. If not, the fixing of games and use of steroids by players will be revealed to the world. Skarda is to find the extortionist by the deadline specified or the world of sports will be vilified.
enwood's wife Katherine is confined to a wheelchair with emphysema, and at death's door. His much younger personal assistant Heather has been assured that when Katherine dies, she will be the next Mrs. Kenwood, hence the wife of an extremely wealthy man. The plot necessitates that Sam travel from L.A to Boston and eventually to Caracas, Venezuela.
hefchik never loses his mission in a convoluted plot that nevertheless proves easy to follow. His characters shine – though Heather is a little over the top. I like Sam very much. He is true and blue and believes in giving his best. I have no basis for comparison with the underworld characters – never met one. But if I had, I'm sure they'd be just as depicted. I have never been to Fenway Park, but I feel as though I have now, so strong are the descriptions. Even dropping of the 'r's in words seems necessary to the story. Shechik writes a good mystery.
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