Friday, August 21, 2009

Murderer's Row, Edited by Otto Penzler

I've been on a tear for the past few weeks ever since I picked up Murder at the Racetrack, a collection of murder thrillers centered around horseracing and edited by Otto Penzler. I met Otto at Pulp Fest and when I mentioned that I had picked up the horseracing book recently, Otto mentioned that there were several other sports featured in their own books. He said that his favorite books in the series were the boxing and the basketball books. But I couldn't care less about either of those sports. Nooo...it was baseball or nothing for me. And one of the first things I did when I came back from Pulp Fest was to email Otto and ask him to sign a copy of the baseball book and get it in the mail to me. And now's it's here.

Murderer's Row
it's called, an homage to the Murderer's Row of baseball legend. Murderer's Row is the name given to the four players on the New York Yankees team of 1927: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri and Bob Meusel. They were called Murderer's Row for their habit of murdering the other team - in 1927, they scored 975 runs on over 400 hits -- in 154 games.

I've just started on the first story, so I'll have to report on the stories in a blog in the next few days. The contributing authors are Lawrence Block, Max Allan Collins, Michael Connelly, K.C. Constantine, Elmore Leonard, John Lescroart, Laura Lippman, Mike Lupica, Michael Malone, Robert B. Parker, Thomas Perry, Henry Slesar and Troy Soos. Jim Bouton, who pitched for the New York Yankees and was best known for his 1963 year when he posted a 21-7 record, writes a hilarious forward. I did not know that he is also the author of Ball Four.

So while the Dodgers (hopefully) beat the Cubs tonight (it's 2-1 in the bottom of the 6th), I'm going to sit back and read the first story, "Keller's Designated Hitter," while listening to Vin Scully's broadcast as background music. Almost as good as being at the game.

9 comments:

ARCHAVIST said...

This sounds right up your street - is there an LA Angels Story?

David Cranmer said...

That's an impresssive line up of talent and being a Yankee fan I like your added history.

Laurie Powers said...

If there was an Angels story, I wouldn't have bought it.

Chris said...

Baseball mysteries...love it! Looks like a good collection.

Here's a baseball mystery you'll be trying to solve at the end of the season: How the Dodgers managed to fall out of first place to the Giants, and how the Braves, Rockies, or Marlins took their wild card spot! *Wink*

Dave Lewis said...

I'll have to check this one out. Baseball history if fascinating.

By the way, I finally got around to reviewing "Kid Wolf of Texas" over on the Almanack. Is it true - as it says in "Desert Justice" - that Five Star will be doing a Kid Wolf collection?

Laurie Powers said...

Hi Dave: That collection has been put on hold unfortunately. So the Kid Wolf of Texas book is the only one out right now, and that's a Large Print reprint of the book that was originally published in 1930.

Laurie Powers said...

Oh, and Chris - right now it looks like both your team and mine may be left in the dust by that "other" team. Shades of 2007.

Chris said...

I am now almost officially rooting for the Dodgers—if only to beat the dreaded Rockies. For some reason, I really don't like them. They get down like 6-1, then all of a sudden explode and they win 15-9. In fact, they just scored 6 runs while I wrote this. (LOL) Soooo annoying!

Giants have pulled off two in a row over the Diamondbacks. If they win tonight and the Dodgers beat the Rox, the Giants can regain the wild card lead with a sweep of the Rox this weekend. Yeah, not likely, but it's still within the realm of possibility. The thing about the Giants team this year is that the hitting has been SOOOO monumentally bad. I don't know how they're still in this thing, but I'll take it!

Laurie Powers said...

The Giants are still in this thing because they have pitchers that make everyone tremble, including some kid named Tin Lincecum, who I think is a freak of nature (in a good way).