cover image Murder at Wrigley Field

Murder at Wrigley Field

Troy Soos. Kensington Publishing Corporation, $18.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-57566-023-3

In the summer of 1918, wartime fever grips Chicago, rendering even pretzels and dachshunds verboten. Mickey Rawlings, journeyman second baseman and hero of Soos's last two mysteries (Murder at Fenway Park and Murder at Ebbets Fields) has a new shortstop to work with, Willie Kaiser. With a name like Kaiser, Willie is not the most popular guy in Chicago. On July 4th, while marching in a patriotic parade at Cubs Park (it would not be named Wrigley Field until 1926), Kaiser is fatally shot. Rawlings is determined to find out who did it. Among his suspects are the shortstop who lost his job to Willie; the Patriotic Knights of Liberty, an anti-German vigilante group; and Bennett Harrington, a part owner of the Cubs who would like to be the boss. Learning that Kaiser had worked in Harrington's war plant, Rawlings takes a job there to snoop. His life is endangered by an explosion set up by the plant's security chief, who belongs to the Patriotic Knights. When the security chief's body is found in the Chicago River, Rawlings wonders if he's the next target. Along with a first rate wartime Chicago atmosphere, Soos gives us cameo appearances by such baseball legends as Shoeless Joe Jackson and Bonehead Fred Merkle. Although this tale is slower paced than earlier stories, Rawlings still turns double plays and solves murders with equal grace. (Apr.)