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KOMET

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DEATH ON THE DIAMOND

Murder at Fenway Park - Troy Soos

The time is the 1970s. The novel begins with the reminiscences at the Baseball of Fame (HOF) in Cooperstown (NY) of a man in his dotage, who, in his youth, had been a journeyman baseball player in the major leagues. The reason he was there was that he had received an invitation to attend an exhibition game between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs, 2 teams he had played with earlier in the century. The man, as the last survivor of a generation of pioneer ball players, had been given the honor of throwing out the first ball at the game. His name: Mickey Rawlings.

The reader is then fully immersed in Mickey's salad days in April 1912, after he was hired by the Boston Red Sox as a utility player. Rawlings has just arrived in Boston too late to attend the Saturday game at Fenway Park (then a new stadium that stood out like a great cathedral). But he -- a lad barely out of his teens with a keen love and devotion to the sport -- is determined to report to the Red Sox. The sooner he's a full-fledged member of the team, the more secure he'll feel. (Rawlings' brief stint with the Boston Braves the previous year attested to the precarious position often held by journeyman ball players.)  So, after meeting with a stadium attendant at the entrance to Fenway Park, Rawlings wanders into the heart of the stadium, in search of the manager's office. He walks into a tunnel and is halfway inside and ventures past an intersecting corridor when he hears a dull, echoing THUNK!  from a recessed doorway. There Rawlings discovers to his horror a well-dressed man slumped on the ground whose face had been mutilated. He is sickened by what he sees and passes out. A short time later, he is found and brought before Robert Tyler, the Red Sox treasurer and a local cop who questions Rawlings about his discovery of the dead man.

This dramatic development -- Rawlings' discovery of a dead man -- takes the reader into the heart of the novel which follows Rawlings throughout the 1912 season as he endeavors to find out who murdered the man, whose death the Boston police seemed set on holding him accountable for! There are a lot of twists and turns in this novel that I can't begin to describe, because that would be giving away the heart of the story. But I can say for anyone who takes up "MURDER AT FENWAY PARK" to read that he/she will be treated to a roller-coaster ride full of thrills, chills, and surprises.