I enjoyed this novel The setting is interesting as Soos mixes in historical figures like Ty Cobb and events like the labor unrest in 1919 The history is mixed in nicely with the mystery and baseball A fun read.
very interesting book If you love baseball and mysteries this is the book series for you Set in 1920 with the Detroit Tigers Mickey Rawlings has won a spot on the team He has also been labeled a murderer albeit in self defense Problem is he didn t commit the murder This involves the early days of union organization in the big leagues It is a fun read and I will look for the other books in the series.
I m not sure I would go out of my way to read another book by this author if I was wanting to read a good mystery However, the historical information about the labor movement, and baseball in the early 1920 s was very interesting.
This review applies to the audio version 4 Mickey Rawlings historical baseball mystery series, this one set mostly in Detroit in 1920, where Mickey is currently playing ball as a utility infielder Mickey, at a union organizing rally, ends up accused of shooting one of the principals, Emmet Siever, although he s not charged as it s termed self defense Trouble is, Mickey didn t shoot him at all, and he wants to know who s set him up so conveniently and who the real killer is The publicity has turned his Tiger teammates against him, and a union busting personnel manager with the backing of the Tigers owner wants him to badmouth the union when what Mickey wants is not to be involved at all Add in a mysterious fake policeman whom Mickey later learns is actually a federal agent in the organization that was the predecessor of the FBI and Marguerite Turner, an actress that Mickey had a relationship with a couple of books ago and the story gets really interesting Karl Landfors, Mickey s socialist newspaper reporter friend also makes an appearance to help Mickey navigate his way through all the different radical groups trying to organize workers Very enjoyable listen as always The reader does a great job at setting the tone and with the various voices throughout the book The author picks a social issue of the times in each book, one that intersects somehow with baseball In this book, it s the birth of the unions, the attempts to organize baseball players and the beginnings of the FBI and the power they wield over those whom they target as radicals, regardless of the truth Great sense of time and place, infused with the spirit of baseball when it was young.
Hunting A Detroit Tiger belongs to a genre I ve begun referring to as Mystery Light That s not meant as a slur of any kind these are books in which the setting is just as important and sometimes important than the mystery itself Personally, I like these books but it seems strange to put them on the same shelf as police procedurals Troy Soos, the author, does take the settings of his Mickey Rawlings baseball mysteries very seriously, maybe even too seriously On occasion, you know that sentences are in there just to add to the verisimilitude of the time Troy Soos wants us to know that he s done his research.
Okay, so maybe we really didn t need to know the names of three movies showing in Detroit on a given evening Especially since the main character names them only to let us know that he s not in the mood to go to any of them Sheesh, Troy, give it a rest But if professional baseball the labor movement and anti labor activities in America, mostly Detroit, in the years immediately following the first World War are subjects you might have interest in, this is certainly a book you might want to read.
The mystery itself is not bad and many of the facts needed to unveil it are hidden by the fact that the book is written from the viewpoint of the main character and we don t learn these things until he does The baseball is, well, the Detroit Tigers that year were pretty awful even if some of the individual players would end up in the Hall of Fame The inner workings of the IWW part of the radical labor movement of the time and those opposing that and any other attempt to organize either Ford Company workers or major league baseball players are described ad nauseam but I ll give Soos a break here because my background knowledge may well exceed that of the average reader of this book The prose is adequate.
All in all, a quick and mostly enjoyable read But nothing that will stay with you.
Mickey Rawlings is accused of shooting the head of the IWW union in self defense, although he knows he didn t do it The police consider it a shut case and unless Mickey can find definitive proof that someone else was involved, he won t be able to clear his name Mickey winds up as a pawn in the battle between the baseball owners and players during the fledgling labor movement.
This one was not my favorite, although it may be colored by my recent reading of The Daring Ladies of Lowell, which also covered the same subject matter Like Mickey Rawlings himself, I have a hard time getting behind unionized baseball players when the working conditions for children were terrible There was almost a little too much going on between the labor movement, suffrage movement and the Detroit auto factories that no subject was scratched very deeply.
However, as always, the baseball details are wonderful and Mickey is a truly delightful protagonist.
This is the fourth installment in the Mickey Rawlings series of baseball novel Rawlings, an up and coming baseball player living and playing in the early part of the 20th century, turns detective in the name of social justice.
There was lots of not baseball stuff in this mystery labour unions and politics play large roles I was interested in the history and the mystery but found that the book went on overlong and the plot became convoluted I read this when I was quite sick with the flu, though, so I could be biased Don t let me put you off trying this series if it s something you think you d like.
Read this if you enjoy old time baseball or you re interested in social politics of the early 20th century 3 stars
series on television For those who aren t as old as I am, the old television series ended up with a formula where the investigation of a death provided an excuse for the writer to present propaganda for her his cause du jour It was often clumsy and often elicited groans in my family To be sure, author Troy Soos has enough integrity not to have protagonist Mickey Rawlings start subscribing to The Daily Worker or overtly joining the IWW Industrial Workers of the World aka One Big Union or Wobblies , but Soos sympathies are readily apparent They were in Hanging Curve, as well, but Hunting A Detroit Tiger seemed heavy handed to me.
Don t get me wrong I m a huge fan of the muckraking novelists of the early 20th century Sinclair Lewis mentioned casually on than one occasion in this novel , Upton Sinclair, and Theodore Dreiser get somewhat preachy in their works, but Hunting A Detroit Tiger seemed to lose its focus in preaching the virtues of organized labor Frankly, I admired Rawlings position in the book I generally didn t take sides with the combatants in a conflict I identified with those caught in the middle p 106 I wish the author had stayed a little closer to that sentiment On the other hand, I learned a little detail that I hadn t known about the black cat symbol I didn t realize that it was the symbol for sabotage during the WWI and post WWI era Those are the kinds of delightful historical tidbits that will keep me coming back for in this series, regardless of the preachiness The mystery in Hunting A Detroit Tiger begins with utility infielder Mickey Rawlings visiting a Wobblie rally in order to meet a former major leaguer who was encouraging all professional players to join the One Big Union When Mickey goes backstage to meet him, the former major leaguer is dead Strangely, Mickey is both framed for the killing and given a self defense plea from law enforcement Headlines trumpeting him as the war hero who killed a dangerous radical merely serve to get him in trouble with his team and a great deal of the story s appeal has to do with being caught between the union leaders who are willing to do anything in the name of justice and the defenders of capitalism who are willing to do anything in the name of justice One almost wants to appeal to the line from A Princess Bride and substitute justice for inconceivable At any rate, it doesn t appear to mean what either side think it means.
For my personal taste, the mystery portion of the story wasn t really all that exciting There is a conspiracy element in the story that starts out fairly interesting, but the revelation isn t very exciting Hunting A Detroit Tiger isn t, by any rationale, the best in this series, but it is still worth reading.
It S , And All Mickey Rawlings Wants Is A Batting Average, Stolen Bases, And A Regular Place In The Tigers Lineup But When Emmett Siever, An Old Time Baseball Player, Is Killed, Mickey Finds Himself Accused Of The Crime Now, With Someone Seeking Revenge For Siever S Murder And The Baseball Owners Pressuring Him To Speak Out Against The Unions, Mickey Must Find The Real Killer