Tigers Burning: A Duffy House Mystery

Crabbe Evers, Author
Crabbe Evers, Author William Morrow & Company $20 (246p) ISBN 978-0-688-11469-5
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The adventures of retired Chicago sportswriter Duffy House, last seen in Fear in Fenway , usually begin with Duffy being dispatched by his pal the commissioner to a ballpark where crimes are afoot and where Duffy's brains and his niece Petey's tireless (and well-turned) legs can save the day. This time Duffy's too late for the ballpark; Detroit's Tiger Stadium is aflame, perhaps as part of the Devil's Night mayhem that besets the Motor City once a year. Found dead in the wreckage is Kit Gleason, a Grosse Pointe matron and leader in the campaign to save the old park from the wrecker's ball; missing is a player, former drunk Al Shaw. Lined up against Kit and her team of preservationist agitators are two characters who, like most of the cast in this winning series, seem a lot like real life folks: the owner of the Tigers franchise, a fried chicken tycoon, and the manager, a volatile former college basketball coach. Baseball buffs and mystery lovers are the winners here as Duffy conjures up ghosts sporting the gothic D on their white uniforms while chasing the plot's sharp curves. Action and crackling dialogue, principally between the anachronistic Duffy and the spunky Petey, distinguish this series co-written pseudonymously by William Brashler and Reinder Vant Til. (Mar.)
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