With the Major League Baseball playoffs in full swing, today we’re tipping our cap to readers in America. If you love baseball and crime fiction, author Allen Schatz has what you need. He’s written three books in which MLB is the backdrop, and umpire Marshall Connors not only calls the strikes but is a detective as well.
So far, Schatz has written three books – Game 7 Deadball, 7th Inning Death and Rally Killer. Having loved the game his entire life, he is an umpire himself (pictured), and the milieu of baseball comes naturally to him. “One of the challenges I faced, however, was developing a plot that wasn’t the obvious ‘fixed games’ angle an umpire’s involvement might suggest. That’s why I focused more on the off-field side of things,” he says.
All sorts of things happen off the field – kidnapping, romance, threats, blackmail and, of course, murder – and Schatz has worked on making the books safe for a non-baseball audience. “The stories are more about the characters and the plots as opposed to the game,” he says. “Someone once said to me I’d done for baseball what Dick Francis did for horseracing with his collection of mysteries.”
As for Schatz’s favourite team, the Philadelphia Phillies, they’re still in it and play the Cardinals tonight. Rally Killer is yet to be released but US readers can get the first two books for Kindle. UK readers can get Game 7 Deadball in paperback via Amazon. Kindle versions are coming soon. Check out the video trailer and link below, or visit the author’s website.
If you’ve come across any mysteries that roll in professional sports as a backdrop, tell us about them in the comments section below. Rugby, maybe, to tie in with the World Cup?