Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Summer 2012 (July 12, 2012)

Dead in Center Field

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July 12, 2012

Dead in Center FieldBy Paul Engleman’76

Allerona Press

Charleston, S.C., 2011

(First published in 1983 by Ballantine Books)

Dead in Center Field is a gritty and rollicking mystery set in the sweltering heat of the summer of 1961. That season at Yankee Stadium, slugger Marvin Wallace of the New Jersey Gents is set to overtake Babe Ruth’s home run record. And someone is determined to stop him.

Enter Mark Renzler, wisecracking private eye and ex-ballplayer. Renzler begins investigating the case, sifting through a lineup of suspects including New Jersey gamblers, die-hard Ruth fans, and even Wallace’s teammates. The plot thickens, the stakes get higher, and Renzler struggles to pull it all together as the season draws closer to its end.

Engleman seamlessly intersperses mounting clues with baseball trivia, never breaking the sense of tension throughout the novel. First published nearly 30 years ago, Dead in Center Field won the Private Eye Writers of America SHAMUS Award for best original softcover. The Japanese edition won Japan’s FALCON Award.

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