Saturday, December 30, 2017

Penzler, Otto (Murderers' Row: Baseball Mysteries)

There is very definitely one best story in this book, and you should save it for last (even if it's not the last story in book).

First, though, you must love baseball to read this book. There are at least two jokes regarding how difficult it is to remember the infield fly rule (don't ask me how the rule works, I still haven't got it down). Plus any number of complete descriptions of plays, sides, and innings, and liberal seeding of statistics. To be clear, you can love baseball without understanding every rule (case in point right here), but you probably love baseball in some part because of those rules. So, you'll know if this book is right for you.

Since this is a collection of mystery short stories, none of the stories are particularly involved regarding the mysteries themselves. The writers have worked at compacting the plots they've chosen, which works to the advantage of everyone: editor, writers, readers. I was also surprised at how many different styles were employed, and how often the conclusion was at least partially surprising.

That best story to save for last? The Robert B. Parker story, of course.

(Full disclosure: I only read half of the stories, those chosen by hubby as the best.)

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