Gilpin Library Footnotes : Baseball Season

stock gil libraryLarry Grieco, Librarian.   There is more than just spring in the air. I can hear the sound of bat hitting ball down in Arizona. We’re coming up on the new season in just a few more weeks. So, here’s a “baseball mystery” to help get us in the proper frame of mind.

T.T. Monday has a series going in which Johnny Adcock, a left-handed bullpen specialist “moonlights as a real-world fixer.” Adcock is not only a major league reliever but a private investigator on the side. He doesn’t have an office—he’s got the bullpen. In Double Switch, he is approached by the comely Tiff Tate, an agent for baseball players. Her newest client, Yonel Ruiz, is a promising rookie who is in a lot of trouble. When he fled his native Cuba to find fame and fortune in baseball in America, the Venezuelan cartel that smuggled him out of Cuba is squeezing him for a bigger fee, now that he has signed a record-setting contract. The greedy cartel has sent an assassin who goes by the name of La Loba to collect. Adcock takes the case and promises to help Ruiz, but he has to buck the front office that wants him to cease and desist with his side job. They’ve sent the equivalent of an enforcer to get him to quit, “a no-nonsense corporate…director of security.” With interesting and surprising plot twists, Adcock ends up fighting for his life, not to mention a spot in the playoffs.

Writer David Baldacci, on Double Switch: “T.T. Monday’s [book] is a rocket ride of a sports mystery with a wicked curve ball on every smoothly written page. May Johnny Adcock’s careers as a relief pitcher and sleuth motor on for a very long time.”

No career is hotter than that of C.J. Box, the crime writer out of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Box created series character Joe Pickett some fifteen books ago, and continues it with Off the Grid, in which Joe and his “force of nature” friend Nate Romanowski face a gang of elite operatives who are not quite who they claim to be. This all takes place in what is called the Red Desert of Wyoming. Pickett is a game warden, and Romanowski is his friend and frequent partner, but don’t leave out the rest of the supporting cast: Joe’s wife Marybeth, and daughters Sheridan, Lucy, and April, all of whom lend “a continuity and grounding to this series that sets it apart.”

BOOKREPORTER: C.J. Box consistently combines plot and character development with near-poetic descriptions to present one of the best ongoing series in any genre.”

Finally, let’s take a look at another intensely suspenseful story. In The Girl in the Red Coat, Kate Hamer tells the gripping tale of a mother who searches for her lost, eight-year-old daughter against all odds, and even after the authorities are urging her to give up any hope of finding her. Beth, the mother, is shattered by her daughter Carmel’s disappearance at a local outdoor festival. Called “an utterly immersive story that’s impossible to put down…and impossible to forget,” this is a book that will keep you fully engaged to the final concluding pages.

Booklist: “Hamer’s lush use of language easily conjures fairy tale imagery, especially of dark forests and Little Red Riding Hood. Although a kidnapped child is the central plot point, this is not a mystery but a novel of deep inquiry and intense emotion. Impossible to put down and will spark much discussion.”

As we’ve announced in previous weeks, the library has begun its annual search for our 2016 artist-in-residence. This individual will offer a series of programs throughout June, July and August, which “raise the consciousness of the community about a particular art or craft form.” If you have the talent and expertise to be our artist-in-residence, contact Larry Grieco (303-582-0161, or lgrieco@co.gilpin.co.us) to discuss your qualifications. The residency pays an honorarium of $1,000 over the course of the summer. Deadline for applying is March 28. This is our ninth summer of having an artist-in-residence. We’ve come to look forward to it each year, and it never disappoints!