Alison Gordon •
The Dead Pull Hitter •
As baseball reporter for the Toronto Planet, Kate Henry holds her own in two male-dominated worlds—the newsroom and the locker room. She has a boss who hates being called Boss, a grueling road schedule, and a teenage neighbor who considers her apartment his second home. The Toronto Titans have a born-again left fielder, a shot at the American League pennant—and a couple of murders on their hands.
Knowing everyone on the team and associated with it, Kate is ideally placed to add crime to her beat even as she continues filing copy on deadline. Baseball commentary (“Red doesn’t believe in bunting. It’s against his religion”) runs alongside human interest features (“Bereaved widow ponders the meaning of life and death . . . and she’s not pondering it anywhere else but the Planet”).
When the trail leads to drug dealing and blackmail, the police decide she’s in need of protection. And Kate—who after all spends her days surrounded by people called Moose, Sultan, and Jughead—has no difficulty coming up with an appropriate nickname for the youthful officer assigned to her. “You call him Constable Donny?” asks Staff Sergeant Munro in disbelief.
Kate answers, “Well, he is a bit earnest.”
Munro: “Earnest? He’s an escapee from Leave It to Beaver.”
Kate: “Except he’s too young to have heard of it.”
Munro: “He’s too young to have heard of the Beatles!”
Kate: “Paul McCartney’s old band, right?”
Gordon’s newspaper background serves her well in fiction: Her writing is clean, taut, and as adrenalin-inducing as a pennant race.