Parker Field: A Willie Black Mystery

Howard Owen. Permanent, $28 (224p) ISBN 978-1-57962-361-6
In Hammett Prize–winner Owen’s enjoyable third mystery featuring biracial Richmond, Va., newspaper reporter Willie Black (after 2013’s The Philadelphia Quarry), Willie rushes to the scene of a shooting in Monroe Park. The victim turns out to be Les Hacker, the 79-year-old boyfriend of Willie’s drug-toking mother, Peggy. The single rifle shot that severely wounded Les, who was once a minor league baseball player, appears to have been deliberate. While Les is in the hospital, Jumpin’ Jimmy Deacon, a baseball nut, tells Willie stories about Les’s career with the 1964 Richmond Virginians and the colorful contingent that made up that team. Willie senses a good story, but discovers some strange mortality figures when he begins searching for the starting nine. The deliciously flawed Willie must contend with ex-wives and offbeat friends like Awesome Dude, not to mention an adversarial relationship with newspaper management and Richmond police chief L.D. Jones, on his way to righting another injustice. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Genre: Fiction
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