Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ray's Reviews: The Perfect Game by Leslie Dana Kirby

“The Perfect Game” by Leslie Dana Kirby (Poisoned Pen Press, $24.95 hb,
$14.95 pb) is a fast-paced crime novel. It will appeal to baseball fans
as well as readers who enjoy police procedurals and legal thrillers.

        This debut novel introduces Lauren Rose, who has just moved to Colorado
to be near her sister Liz. Lauren’s working as an emergency medicine
intern at Phoenix Good Samaritan Hospital when Liz drops by for a brief

        Their parents are dead, but now the sisters can spend more time with
their ailing grandmother. Liz says that she has important news to share,
but will tell them both tomorrow.

        Unfortunately, by the end of the first chapter, Liz, the beautiful wife
of Arizona Diamondbacks star pitcher Jake Wakefield, is discovered
brutally murdered at their swank Scottsdale mansion.

        Lauren becomes a prime suspect, repeatedly questioned by police
detectives who are seeking answers in the high-profile investigation. She
 gets emotional support from Jake, who helps protect her from the massive
media interest.

        Jake, in grief and recovering from his loss, comforts Lauren and tries to
keep his mind on baseball. Later, he amazingly pitches a perfect game,
but his challenges are only beginning.

        Police suspect that Lauren is involved in the murder and give her a lie
detector test. She’s a prime figure in the highly publicized case that’s
being dubbed as “The Trial of the Millenium”.

        Courtroom drama abounds; there are many excellent scenes as the trial
continues with witnesses testifying and evidence being presented.

        There’s a bit of romance throughout the book, but scenes are
well-orchestrated and the relationships are strained but seem believable.
The baseball backdrop is integral to the plot, but not overdone.

        At the beginning of each chapter, Kirby includes the date of when the
action occurs; this is very useful as it allows the captivated reader to
more easily follow the novel’s time frame.

        The author, who’s a practicing clinical psychologist, has created an
intriguing tale with short chapters and satisfying plot twists.  The
characters are well-developed; even though they don’t always make wise

        Kirby’s definitely a mystery writer to watch; this is a carefully-
crafted crime novel that will have you flipping pages until the quirky
but satisfying conclusion.

        Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, 
has reviewed crime novels and mystery books regularly since 1987.

Find these books and other great titles
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on May 3, 2015.

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