The Cincinnati Red Stalkings by Troy Soos
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Troy Soos writes a great story for baseball fans, of which I am one. I love the stories about the earlier days of baseball when the salaries weren't so high and players weren't so removed from the fans. This mystery takes place in 1921, the year that the Chicago "Black Socks" were supposed to have thrown the world series. I had always heard about it and felt that Shoeless Joe Jackson got a raw deal, but I never understood all the mysteries surrounding the scandal. While that isn't the the major theme in this book, a great deal of information is given, especially about the extreme actions of the Commissioner of Baseball and the feelings of the fans.
I also enjoyed the cameo appearances of Eppa Rixey who was from Rixeyville, just up the road from where I lived in Virginia. I had heard about him and saw a plaque dedicated to him, but never had any other information. Troy Soos fleshes out his character and gives some details about a few games he played in.
This book centers around the murder of a man who was gathering memorabilia from the earliest players and games. It is how the Baseball Hall of Fame must have started. Unfortunately, this young man was murdered and Mickey Rawlings is determined to find out how and why after his own house is broken into. Mickey was given some of the material that wasn't going to end up in the museum and he figures that the killer did not get the thing he sought when he broke into the museum.
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